Tauranga Arts Festival farewells Ria Hall
Tauranga Arts Festival has farewelled director Ria Hall after only four months in the job – but for all the right reasons.
“It wasn’t my intention that my tenure should be so short,” Ms Hall says, “but as we’ve learned recently you never know what’s around the corner – and in my case it’s turned out to be a lovely surprise.” The award-winning singer-songwriter is expecting her second child in September.
“It was a difficult decision to step down but it’s the best one for my whānau and the festival as it would be almost impossible to fulfil the demands of the job and be a mother to two very young children.”
Festival Trust chair Kathryn Lellman said the board admired and applauded Ms Hall’s championing of Te Ao Māori in every sphere of her life. “We were looking forward to seeing her energy and passion translate into our 2021 festival but wish her and her whānau all the best for the busy but joyous time ahead.”
Ms Lellman congratulated Ms Hall and her team for its Arts at Home programme during the recent Covid-19 lockdown, delivered through the festival website.
The board is reviewing options for the 2021 festival director role. Other staff members remain unchanged with Nikki Hansen as general manager and Sandra Simpson as literary programmer and publicist. In the interim they will have the support of former director Jo Bond.