Stirring Sri Lankan Drama Gets Cash Boost

2 March 2009

Wellington City Council is urging anyone with an artistic endeavour up their sleeve to get an application in for the next round of the Creative Communities local funding scheme - which closes on Tuesday 31 March.

Creative New Zealand provides an annual sum to Wellington City Council to support local arts projects, and grants are awarded twice a year.

In the last round of the scheme - which closed in September - more than $48,000 was granted to an eclectic range of projects. One person to benefit was local playwright Sugu Pillay who received a $2,000 grant to help with the production costs of her first full-length play - Serendipity.

Running at Bats Theatre from 17 – 28 March, Serendipity is a powerful drama about a third-generation Sri-Lankan New Zealander who returns to New Zealand after spending 13 years with the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

Sugu - who is also an accomplished author and poet - says the play focuses on the Sri Lankan civil war to highlight the damaging effects of divisions in both Sri Lankan and New Zealand society.

"Ultimately Serendipity is about forgiveness and reconciliation, but there is an underlying question - how do we live in a world that's so divided? Heroes / villains, Tamil / Sinhalese, Māori / non-Māori, Pākehā /non-Pākehā - these are just a few of the binary divisions that can govern our lives."

Creative Communities Committee Chair Amanda Hereaka says they are looking forward to supporting another diverse assortment of local arts initiatives in the next round.

"I definitely encourage anyone with an idea for a creative arts project to apply for a grant. Projects like workshops, performances, exhibitions and arts-related promotional activities are all eligible for funding."

Eligible projects must occur in the Wellington City rate-paying area and increase community participation in the arts by providing new opportunities. Projects should also enhance the local arts sector through diverse arts experiences.

The next round of Creative Communities Wellington local funding scheme closes at 5.00pm Tuesday 31 March.

Two free arts grants seminars will be held at Toi Pōneke, Wellington Arts Centre, 61 Abel Smith Street on Tuesday 10 March from 1.30 – 3.00pm and 7.00 – 8.30pm. Book your place by calling (04) 801 3595.

The seminars provide advice about:

  • Creative Communities NZ Wellington Local Funding Scheme and Council arts grants
  • which projects are most likely to be funded
  • how to complete the form.

Information on the scheme and other Wellington City Council grants can also be found in the Grants section, or people can phone the Council grants team on (04) 499 4444.