Arts festival set to make a splash

24 August 2016

Artsplash Festival, New Zealand’s biggest event for children, kicks off next week.

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Thousands of young people from primary and intermediate schools around the Wellington region will perform in massed choirs at the Michael Fowler Centre, accompanied by Wellington’s Sinfonietta Orchestra, Chilton Amadeus Orchestra, and the professional musicians that make up the Artsplash Festival Band. 

Year 7 and 8 students will also present wearable art creations and a wide variety of dance routines, while the Renouf Foyer of the Michael Fowler Centre will play host to thousands of pieces of visual art.

From humble beginnings, as a one-day visual art exhibition beneath the Oriental Parade Band Rotunda, the iconic festival has grown into a five-day series of 10 performances and exhibitions and has become a significant event on Wellington City Council’s annual calendar. With Artsplash almost 30 years old, many parents who were involved in earlier shows, are now in the audience watching their children take part.

According to Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer, Portfolio Leader for the Arts, it’s vital for the Council to support art at all levels.

“Being part of Artsplash is the first opportunity many children have to be involved in the arts, and nothing can replicate that feeling of being on stage for the first time, singing in a choir with hundreds of other children, or seeing your artwork displayed in a gallery setting,” he says.

“It’s also a fantastic way to get a broad cross section of the community enjoying performances in one of the city’s best venues. Over the course of Artsplash around 18,000 friends and family come along and support the performers – they are people from all walks of life, from all around the region, getting together and celebrating culture.”

Artsplash is made possible through the generous support of the Wellington Decorative Arts Society, Lion Foundation and Multimedia Systems Ltd.