Performing arts groups set out to inspire Palmerston North youth

Published on 01 December 2022

Group photo of grant recipients and politicians.

Local performing arts groups have been given a helping hand to run educational projects and foster talented young performers. The Palmerston North Performing Arts Trust has awarded Hokozoo Productions/MYTH Youth Theatre and Palmerston North Dance Association grants under this year’s Arts Heart Educational Development Project Scheme.

Chair of the Performing Arts Trust, Sheridan Hickey, says the scheme is all about encouraging and educating young talent in Palmerston North.

“We’re wanting to enable these local groups to inspire young talent through workshops, masterclasses or summer school. These workshops will be vigorous and intense and will conclude with public performances.”

Palmerston North Dance Association has been awarded $4,300 to hold workshops and masterclasses covering ballet and contemporary genres. These will be held in June 2023. The classical dance workshop will focus on extending repertoire and developing solo and group dances, while the contemporary workshops will set out to further develop technique.

The Association has been promoting dance activities, particularly dance competitions, in the city for 50 years.

Mrs Hickey says the Association is not new to the Arts Heart Scheme.

“This isn’t the first time the Palmerston North Dance Association has received a grant from the Trust. In the past it was funded for international professionals to facilitate workshop sessions in various genres of dance.”  

Hokozoo Productions and the MYTH Youth Theatre have been awarded $2,650 to facilitate a series of workshops in March 2023. These workshops set out to encourage rangatahi (young people) to share their concepts and stories, while helping them develop and create their own original musicals.

“Hokozoo Productions really value inclusivity and wish to reflect the rich multicultural community here in Palmerston North.”

One of the groups’ goals will be to reach out to the Pasifika community here in Palmerston North and work towards developing Moana, the musical.

The grant recipients are required to report back to the Trust on the outcomes of their projects.

Community Development Manager, Stephanie Velvin, says it’s great that this scheme is offered again, after a two year break.

“Usually the Arts Heart Scheme is offered annually, but because of COVID-19 and the lockdowns, it wasn’t offered in 2020 and 2021. The next round of applications for funding will be open in the second half of 2023.”  

Applicants will need to meet set criteria, provide supporting documentation and more than likely appear before the selection panel.

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