What The Big Idea means to you?

'What does The Big Idea mean to you?' "It’s like the village green for New Zealand arts. Thanks for existing!" Documentary filmmaker Leonie Reynolds. Photo by Olivia Young.
For The Big Idea's 10th birthday celebrations we've been asking the creators, makers, movers and shakers we’ve interviewed this year what The Big Idea means to them. Please share yours!


As part of The Big Idea's 10th birthday celebrations we've been asking the creators, makers, movers and shakers we’ve interviewed this year what The Big Idea means to them. So we’ve bundled their thoughts together, and encourage you to share yours.

As part of The Big Idea's 10th birthday celebrations we've been asking the creators, makers, movers and shakers we’ve interviewed this year what The Big Idea means to them. So we’ve bundled their thoughts together, and encourage you to share yours.

  • What does The Big Idea mean to you? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

We look forward to hearing from you as we wrap up this decade and move into the next.

* * *

Shona McCullagh
- NZ Dance Company Artistic and Executive Director

I feel connected and valued as an artist. Also brilliant at sourcing people.

Ann Dewey - Choreographer

Great source of information, inspiration, and another platform on which to see and be seen.

Jennifer Nikolai - Choreographer

It’s accessible and highlights people, issues and ideas that otherwise wouldn’t be accessed.

Celia Walmsley - Tempo Dance Festival director

Connection with inspirational people and ideas.

Daniel Belton - Dance

Important arts network for New Zealand.

Chris Jackson - Industrial Design Lecturer

It’s a great hub for New Zealand creativity.

Bridget McKendry - eTextile Designer

I actually joined 10 years ago, after going to a talk at a conference called Innovate. I was working in web and had lost touch with the arts, it let me see what was happening in New Zealand and helped rekindle my interest in object art.

Margaret Maile Petty - School of Design deputy head Victoria University Wellington

The start of the day. It is my easy one-stop site for all that’s new, noteworthy and happening in New Zealand’s creative community. It’s been an invaluable ambassador for this American transplant.

Jason Morphett - Lighting Designer

A place to share and learn from other creative souls.

Hitesh Chheda - Motion Graphics Designer

The Big Idea is very helpful for any aspiring artist or creative person to find out the current art trends and events in the country and its an amazing platform for an artist for a kick-start in their career.

Dan Milward

Funnily enough I remember the first time I saw it years ago was in a hotel after the first Game Developers Conference in Auckland. It has come a long way in 5 or 6 years!!!

Dave Moskovitz
-  Webfund and MusicHype chairman, Wellington Startup Weekend organiser

The Big Idea is the information source for creatives. There's nothing else like it in NZ.

Phlossy Roxx - Blogging

To me it’s your BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal.  Something that is big picture, out on a limb, a risk or a stretch, something inspirational you dream big to achieve.  The Big Idea website is those opportunities brought to you and people with that same desire, vision and their own BHAG’s in one creative community.

Kylie Hawker
- Lake Taupo Arts Festival Trust General Manager

As someone new to the arts sector, I have found The Big Idea a hugely valuable resource for information, ideas and contacts.

Alyx Duncan
- Filmmaker

Industry initiative * egalitarian * people’s space

Leonie Reynolds - Documentary filmmaker

It’s like the village green for New Zealand arts. Thanks for existing!

Thomas Gleeson - Director/Editor

Love The Big Idea, there’s always something interesting to check out. Here's to another 10 years.

Gina Dellabarca - Show Me Shorts Film Festival Director

It’s a space for creative people to network and share ideas.

Bella Kalolo
Singer Songwriter

The Big Idea is quite new to me but looking around the site has given me insight into what it’s all about. It seems like an awesome place where like minds can interact.

Ruth Carr - Minuit Singer

It's useful, it's helpful, it's informative it's big ideas made small and small ideas made big.

Eve Gordon
- The Dust Palace Director, Circus-Theatre

A wonderful meeting place of like minded people supporting and growing each other!

Kylie Aitchison - NZ Comedy Trust Managing Director

It’s a place where the creative industry can connect.

James Wenley  - Theatre Director/Producer

I wouldn’t be producing Day After Night if it wasn’t for The Big Idea. I didn’t know Benjamin, but after putting out a call on The Big Idea, he contacted me... with a full script and score that demanded to be put on! It has been such a great resource over the years for finding actors and collaborators – we’d be so much poorer without the ‘Jobs and Opportunities’ section!

Tuigamala Andy Tauafiafi
- Tatau (tatoo) Artist


Vincent Ward - Filmmaker and Artist

You guys have been around for ten years? How do you get funding?! But seriously, The Big Idea is a great platform for artists to connect.

Rob McLeod - Wellington Painter and Teacher

Sometimes an answer will get me thinking.   

Abby Cunnane - City Gallery Wellington

A point of connection for like-minded folk. A useful, highly accessible resource, and a place to read Mark Amery’s art reviews when far from home.

Kate Montgomery - Curator

A creative window to the world, close to home.

Deborah White - Whitespace Director / NZ Contemporary Art Trust trustee

A great source of information on the creative community and opportunities for artists.

Judy Millar - Artist

Hopefully during the next decade The Big Idea can continue to play a role as a discussion platform and help to develop better-informed conversations in the arts.

Peter Madden - Artist

The Big Idea is a multi-formated internet site showcasing things creative in New Zealand. It’s a portal for getting involved, and making contact with exuberant practice. It is a part of New Zealand’s creativity.

Lonnie Hutchinson - Artist

I flick through it quickly (usually the ‘Opportunities’ highlights) I must admit, and if I see something I think might be of interest to a friend I often flick it their way. I think it’s great at keeping all the creatives informed.

Reuben Friend - Curator

Like the Tautai Trust, The Big Idea is a communal focal point: a place where people come to share, engage and wananga ideas.

Rob Garrett - Writer and curator

Connection: between people; between people and opportunities; and between people and information and ideas.

Community: an online place to go; a people-place to be part of; to be able to come and go as one pleases while being part of a larger, distributed enterprise.

Anne O'Brien
- Auckland Writers & Readers Festival artistic director

A place where the arts landscape is profiled, encouraged and shared.

Adrienne Whitewood - Fashion Designer

An insight into the stories behind the people

Guy Ryan - Inspiring Stories Trust

For me The Big Idea is more practical than intellectual. An idea is nothing if you don’t action it. The Big Idea is an action-learning community, and a great platform to celebrate creativity.

Marina Alofagia McCartney - Filmmaker

Interesting articles, ways to advertise for crew, grants and awards watch list.

Shirley Allan
- Youth Performance Trust

Networking is pivotal to my mahi. TBI offers an opportunity to connect much more deeply and meaningfully than any other community I have come across. I can’t even remember what the arts scene was like in Ak before TBI came along!

Vicki Smith - Upstage cyberformance Festival co-curator

The Big Idea is a community space which for me as an artist from a remote part of Aotearoa NZ is fantastic to connect with what is happening in the rest of the country and introduce the community to what is happening in my part of the world/internet :)

* * * THE BIG IDEA TEAM * * *

Margaret Lewis - Business and marketing

Such a hard question when you are immersed in it so many hours each week – it can be hard to have a sense of perspective. To me, The Big Idea is a great way to feel connected. Every day I find inspiration and often a renewed sense of the value of what I make and do. This comes from the people I get to work with, those I get to talk to and those whose work I get to see or engage with.

Craig Barlow - The Big Idea project manager

A chance to work with a team that genuinely cares about what they do and strives to make a difference to the community they serve.

Ben McNicoll - Web developer

As well as being a job, I got involved because I was impressed by the aims of The Big Idea as an organisation. I like the approach of sustainability in all forms, and that means the arts must be personally sustainable for practitioners.

Lena Kovac - Community and listings manager

The Big Idea has been part of my life in NZ right from the start in late 2009 - hard to imagine a life without it.

Clayton Gould - Editorial Assistant

It’s a place where creatives can go who are in need of some professional help (not that sort – you’d have to go elsewhere to get that kind of help!) People who don’t know what to do with their amazing piece of art they’ve created. All of the how/what/where/why and who's. The site is crafted by people who really, really love creation in all of it's forms. Also connecting with like-minded creatives…..you’re not alone!!

Ande Schurr - How Freelancers Can Succeed

It’s given me the opportunity to find my writing voice, to express my opinions on freelancing, to open my mind as I’ve discovered other people’s perspectives.

Mike Chunn & Barney Chunn - Strange News

Mike: The Big Idea disseminates a wide variety of info, comment, knowledge and debate.

Barney: It’s a fantastic space to share ideas and be inspired by the wonderful things that others are doing. A community that invigorates your creativity.

Helen Baxter - MsBehaviour Files

I’ve been a member for over ten years and it was an excellent way to connect to the creative industries when I first moved to New Zealand. I’ve found work and friends through the community, and feel proud to have played a part in the Big Idea story.

Philip Patston - Creative Collide blog

It's a creative space that never closes.

Renee Liang - TalkWrite blog and Cultural Storytellers series

It was a big day four years ago when I was invited to become a contributor. It’s given me an ‘inside eye’ on the way things work in the creative sector. Being a TBI contributor has given me an excuse to talk to many, many inspirational people – and I’ve subsequently ended up working with some of them. Lucky me! But this experience epitomizes to me the way The Big Idea works – it gets us talking and linking, and the community grows and strengthens as a result.

Cathy Aronson
- The Big Idea Editor

It’s so simple and yet so huge. Like the world wide web!

Elisabeth Vaneveld - The Big Idea executive director

The potential of The Big Idea is immense especially as its core premise is to develop and deliver powerful, relevant resources ‘for creative people by creative people’; that’s the main reason I left Creative New Zealand in 2006 to take the promise of The Big Idea and with wonderfully creative and dedicated team, make good on that promise.

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

3 Dec 2012

The Big Idea Editor Cathy Aronson is a journalist, photo journalist and digital editor.

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