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Change-making entrepreneur honoured

Sarah Longbottom
Framebreaking educator, founder and director of Ngā Rangatahi Toa, Sarah Longbottom has been awarded the ART Emerging Creative Entrepreneur 2016 Award.


Framebreaking educator, founder and director of Ngā Rangatahi Toa, Sarah Longbottom has been awarded the ART Emerging Creative Entrepreneur 2016 Award at a gala event at Auckland’s Q Theatre.

Initiated by the Arts Regional Trust (ART), the Award brings with it a $5,000 cash award and most importantly recognition of the grit and determination as well as countless hours that Sarah has poured into developing programmes and initiatives aimed at empowering young people who have been excluded from mainstream education.

It was her determination and leadership that prompted the Award judges Dayle Mace, Charlie McDermott and Mei Hill to select Sarah as the inaugural Award recipient. “The work of Ngā Rangatahi Toa changes lives by developing young people’s creativity, helping them to find new purpose and a pathway forward. Sarah has recognised the need and the opportunity, and as a true creative and social entrepreneur, made meaningful change happen” says Dayle Mace (ART Board member).

Fellow judge Charlie McDermott agrees and says “In establishing Ngā Rangatahi Toa, Sarah has drawn on all her skills and considerable experience as an educator and created an organisation and programmes that are focussed on building social and creative capital in rangatahi, through kindness and compassion and meaningful relationships. This approach is both inspiring and powerful”.

Ngā Rangatahi Toa programmes match young people with top creative professionals working in the fields of performance, visual arts and music, to realise the creative and leadership potential of young people.

Judge Mei Hill (Kaitiaki Toi at Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei ) observes “Much of the value of the Ngā Rangatahi Toa approach is that it supports not only those directly participating in the programmes at the time, but has a beneficial effect on all of those in their orbit, as well as those who get behind the programmes.

Sarah is a connector, bringing together our diverse communities, creating empathy and understanding, and stimulating action.”

Each of the judges recognised Sarah’s strong leadership and talent for relationship building by bringing together Auckland’s education, business and arts communities, to build a robust organisation and programmes supporting and nurturing Auckland’s youth.

Sarah herself is no stranger to awards, and counts this as a great honour, saying “the most important aspect of receiving this award to be acknowledged by my peers in the arts and creative sectors. Ngā Rangatahi Toa does indeed changes people’s lives. Not just the rangatahi we work with but also my life.

This is truly my life’s work. I feel honoured and blessed.”

Sarah was selected as the recipient of the ART Emerging Creative Entrepreneur 2016 Award winner from a shortlist of successful leaders working in a range of creative areas, each of whom were nominated by their peers. The ART Emerging Creative Entrepreneur Award is one of a suite of awards presented by Arts Regional Trust to recognise and support people who are making a difference through their work in the arts and creative sector. This award specifically focuses on someone who is creating innovative, well regarded work and already achieving great things. The award recognises innovation and risk taking on the part of an emerging creative entrepreneur on a creative career or enterprise development trajectory creating benefit for the wider Auckland community through what they do.

Also at the ART Awards event, 12 creative entrepreneurs were awarded places on the 2016 ART Venture programme. The year-long ART Venture programme provides start-up and experienced creative entrepreneurs with a flexible yet intensive action-learning environment that, through peer-to-peer support, specialist coaching, a seed fund pitching process and an innovative curriculum, accelerates the creative enterprise development of each participant. The programme, through which participants access over $30,000 of customised content, coaching and investment, represents the Arts Regional Trust’s commitment to and meaningful investment in Auckland’s creative future.

Also honoured was Hynds Creative Entrepreneur 2016 awardee Duncan Greive, journalist, critic and editor of The Spinoff, an online culture magazine which he founded in 2014.

Sarah Longbottom

Sarah is an educator and founder of Ngā Rangatahi Toa, an award-winning arts mentoring organisation focused on empowering youth who have been excluded from mainstream education. Ngā Rangatahi Toa programmes match young people with top creative professionals working in the fields of performance, visual arts and music, to realise the creative and leadership potential of young people.

Sarah has almost 15 years’ experience in education, youth work, facilitation and creative arts. She has worked as a secondary school teacher in Hastings and Christchurch, in South Auckland residential youth justice, and as the pedagogical leader of alternative education in South Auckland. Throughout her time in South Auckland Sarah also worked as sector advisor for the Ministry of Education, advocating for increased access to the arts within alternative education and an acknowledgement of the arts as a credible pathway for young people. Working within New Zealand’s alternative education sector, Sarah saw a need for more support and programming aimed towards young people outside the mainstream education system. She went about researching, planning and networking within Auckland’s creative arts community to develop Ngā Rangatahi Toa and address this important issue.

Inspiration for the Ngā Rangatahi Toa program was based on youth programs run in New York, including DreamYard and the 52nd Street Project, which put theatre professionals and young people together to produce a new creative work. In 2010 Sarah won a US State Department, US International Visitors Council International Professional Development Award (Creative Arts / Marginalised Youth) and went to New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles in 2010 and 2011 looking at alternative education models, with a specific focus on the transformative power of the arts.

In 2012 Sarah won an Arts Access Aotearoa National Community Partnership Award for Ngā Rangatahi Toa Creative Arts Initiative, and in 2013 she was awarded a Vodafone World of Difference Scholarship.

The scholarship allowed Sarah to undertake a month long research of youth mentoring programs in New York in 2013. Sarah returned again to the US for three months in 2014, undertaking professional development and working with Ngā Rangatahi Toa partner organisations in New York and Baltimore.

This year Sarah was named the New Zealand International Woman of Courage, a US State Department award made by the US Embassy in Wellington, for her work with marginalised youth.

About the Arts Regional Trust, Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi 

Through its unique and innovative programmes and approach, ART is growing entrepreneurship in the Auckland Region’s arts, culture and creative sector to generate cultural, creative and economic outcomes that benefit the Region.

ART’s creative enterprise development programmes back high-achieving creative people intent on growing Auckland’s cultural capital into rich creative, social and economic outcomes. ART’s programmes accelerate and maximise business and career development outcomes for participants, creating a confident and prosperous creative sector and wider community benefit, now and into the future.

ART background:

The City Councils of Auckland and Manukau created the Arts Regional Trust: Te Taumata Toi-a–iwi (ART) in 2000 to manage and grow their combined share of funds ($6 million) provided through the disestablishment of Auckland Regional Services Trust.

Since then ART has invested $4 million in the Auckland Region’s arts, culture and creative industries through groundbreaking ART programmes such as ART Venture and ART Enterprise. The capital fund has grown to over $10.3 million (20 June 2015) under ART’s stewardship.

About ART’s Awards

ART Venture ART Venture is a unique acceleration programme that brings together the arts, business, education and investment communities to back creative entrepreneurs and producers working in the Auckland region who are keen to contribute to Auckland’s arts, cultural and economic development.

The Programme provides start-up and experienced creative entrepreneur participants with a flexible yet intensive learning environment that through peer-to-peer support, specialist coaching and customised content accelerates the creative, professional and enterprise development of each participant.

Now in its seventh year, ART Venture has firmly established itself as a vital and sought after development programme for creative entrepreneurs drawn from across all disciplines of the arts, culture and creative industries sectors who are serious about growing their skills, projects and enterprises.

Over 60 creative entrepreneurs already have benefited from their participation in the 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015 ART Venture programmes.

Hynds Creative Entrepreneur Award

Hynds Group of Companies has shown their commitment to the arts and creative entrepreneurs through their sponsorship of the Hynds Creative Entrepreneur Award. The previous Award winners are:

Hynds Creative Entrepreneur 2012 | Ant Timpson
Hynds Creative Entrepreneur 2013 | Charlie McDermott
Hynds Creative Entrepreneur 2015 | Shona McCullagh

The 2016 recipient of the Hynds Creative Entrepreneur Award is Duncan Greive

Hynds Group of Companies is a New Zealand success story. Founded by John and Leonie Hynds in 1973, Hynds have become leaders in the supply of innovative solutions for products associated with water and water based waste. The Hynds Group consist of eight operating divisions employing 650 people throughout New Zealand and Australia. John Hynds was recognised in the 2011 New Years Honours list, and was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his services to Business and Philanthropy, and was the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999. 


Written by

Arts Regional Trust

31 Aug 2016

The Arts Regional Trust : Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi is an arts and creative industries development agency and a leading investor in growing entrepreneurship in Auckland’s creative sector.

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