Monday, May 08, 2006

Wellington is of course known for its vibrant creative community. Although I have about as much creativity as a goldfish I get to enjoy our city's creative output almost as often as I like. A prime example was my Saturday; taking in Transmission, the Radio NZ recording gig at Bodega, then up to San Fran-Indigo Bar House to lap up Phoenix Foundation. What a night...!

Whenever a "big" music weekend drags everyone out of the woodwork I am always struck by the power that creativity has in the community. Like going to a recent Bats gig or the Straightjacket Fits tour last year - all sorts of folk head out. I am of course showing my age here, but it great to be at a venue where 18yr olds are lovin music that has its roots back in the day when us 30-somethings were 18. Music, or creativity generally, has the power to galvanise communities.

This "force" is exactly why NZ On Air and other forms of funding for the creative community are essential. Those that sit way down there at the right hand end of the political spectrum would argue that ALL artists should stand
commercially on their own feet ALL of the time. Of course the answer lies somewhere along a quality-impact scale where "value" to the community must be demonstrated.

I had a conversation some months ago with a local muso about creative funding. He was adamant that in choosing to be an artist, all Kiwi artists must recognise that they need to feed/house/cloth themselves, so in order to be able to work full time as an artist they must have some saleable/commercial quality to their work. Because they should not expect to be funded through life they must show relevance to the community. If not quantitavely (sales potential) at least qualitatively (galvanising benefits and the like). Touche...

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