News | 15 July 2022
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Diversity in the Pōneke art scene

Pōneke is an incredible place to create, live, learn, and work. However, the past few years have been tough for many, including those in the creative sector who want the arts to be more accessible in our city.

Group of people sitting together.

This year a number of artist residencies, at Wellington City Council’s Toi Pōneke Arts Centre, specifically promote diversity, and accessibility, in the industry. 

A returning residency in 2022/23 is the Write Room Residency, for a screenwriter to develop a draft feature film screenplay, with the support of a group of experienced industry mentors.

This year’s Write Room Producer Internship is for producer applicants who identify with an underrepresented community in film.

Write Room Producer Internship interns are exposed to experienced mentors. Past mentors have included Robert Sarkies (Scarfies, Out of the Blue, Consent: The Louise Nicolas Story), Desray Armstrong (Juniper, Millie Lies Low, Coming Home in the Dark), Briar Grace Smith (Cousins, Waru) and Vicky Pope (Gardening with Soul, Savage).

 “My experience as producer's intern on the Toi Pōneke Write Room gave me hard-to-find and all-important insight into the role of a producer in development,” says previous Producer Intern Thomas Coppell (Into the Pickle Jar, Little Apocalypse, Conspiraseries).

Toi Pōneke Arts Centre also has a d/Deaf and/or Disabled Artist Residency in the pipeline.

The residency will provide one d/Deaf and/or disabled artist with a studio space at Toi Pōneke Arts Centre for six weeks. An invitation for applications will go out on the Toi Pōneke Arts Centre Facebook page this month.

“Making art more accessible for people to enjoy and to participate in is key to building community connections and wellbeing,” says City Arts Manager Andy Lowe.

Toi Pōneke Arts Centre is a creative space where the city's arts communities interact, produce innovative works, teach, and exhibit in the heart of Wellington. It is home to over 20 Wellington artists renting studio space in its Abel Smith Street premises and offers annually half a dozen residency programmes.

Submissions for the Write Room Producer Internship close 25 July. To apply visit

Details of Toi Pōneke Arts Centre residencies can be found on their website.

The Wellington City Council monthly City Arts Pānui also highlights artist opportunities. Subscribe to our e-newsletters.