For the last few years He Waka Eke Noa Charitable Trust have championed for an arts hub in Auckland to support arts practitioners from ALL genres through accessible space for workshops, rehearsals, classes, practices, seminars, programmes, meetings and workspace.
An important aspect of this is hot desks so practitioners don't have to work in isolation, meeting rooms that provide a professional environment for those working out of grandma's kitchen, and support through WiFi, admin and networking events.
He Waka Eke Noa would like to announce that this vision will become a reality in Tāmaki Makaurau in June, thanks in no small way to Foundation North!
As of June 1st He Waka Eke Noa takes over the lease at 80 Onehunga Mall to launch Kete Aronui, named as it is is one of the three kete of knowledge focusing on arts, literature and the humanities, but also aroha and respect for the world around us.
There will be 4 dedicated rehearsal spaces, 2 small meeting rooms, a flexible space for larger meetings / workshops / classes / music and band practice etc, 10 hot desks with WiFi access, and of course facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens. Kete Aronui is located at 80 Onehunga Mall and is accessible by bus, train and car. There are over 60 car parks behind the building that can be utilised.
"During first 6 months whilst establishing systems, upgrading the rooms (one specifically for dance with appropriate flooring and mirrors) and getting to a point of 100% efficiency in all areas, the space will be hired out at a minimal charge." says Executive Director, Richard Green.
As of 1st January 2020 there will be a scale of charges that reflect non funded to funded projects, community to corporate rates and support of learning in the arts sector, but these charges will continue to be accessible.
"Until then, for the next 6 months, our rehearsal and workshop spaces will be hired out at a rate of $5 per hour (+ gst – minimum 4 hour booking)) This will be our ongoing unfunded project rate"
That means 20 hours of rehearsal time from June to December this year will cost an organisation $100 + gst! And the project gets free access to a hot desk!
What's the catch?
"There is none" says Green. "He Waka Eke Noa is committed to making the arts accessible. The whole reason for setting this up is to continue meeting the objectives of our Trust - mainly arts accessibility".
Board members David Clendon, Gael Haining Ede, Lara Macgregor and Emmett Skilton believe this is an important development for the arts in Tāmaki Makaurau.
Clendon, who is chair of He Waka Eke Noa, is excited about the possibilities. "It's a game-changer for arts practitioners in the city. We often hear of fledgling groups looking for space. Once they find it, it's too expensive. We want to ensure projects don't fall over because they have nowhere to develop".
The economic and community development aspect of the project is also hugely important. "With creatives working in a common space, rather than, say, grandma's kitchen, it provides an opportunity to discuss, collaborate, share and support in a professional and supportive environment" adds Clendon. "The Arts contribute hugely to our economy, and we need to support ways to capacity build and empower to ensure we can grow the sector"
Funding has been confirmed for two years through Foundation North for the lease to give the project a chance to get legs.
"We don't know what the response will be, but we are confident from the feedback that the spaces will fill fast. We have arts therapists as well as practitioners enquiring about the space since announcing" says Green, "Our aim is for the venue to become cost - nutruel. That would be the ideal."
Kete Aronui will run 24/7 with access given electronically to confimed bookings. And Bookings are open for space which will be available from JUNE 16th.
If you have a project, workshop or class, or anything coming up Green encourages people to get in early. "We think the spaces will fill up fast so I wouldn't wait to book"
Bookings can be made by emailing email@example.com until their online booking system is up and running.