Creativity and creation, telling your story and the story of others, expressing emotion and bringing out emotion in others; art is an experience which encompasses so much, it’s hard to know how best to describe it in words.
What we do know is that art and culture build community wellbeing, allowing everyone to participate regardless of background or socio-economic status. This in turn builds strength and resilience in a community, providing a vitality and richness of experience that is essential to quality of life.
Art in Many Forms
At The Incubator Creative Hub, creativity comes to life in many forms. From their two successful community galleries, exhibition programme and creative workshops to working studios and community music facility The Jam Factory, there is something for everyone no matter their level of skill or creative specialty.
Simone Anderson, Director of The Incubator Creative Hub, says they are responsive to the community and what they want to see.
“One of our strategic focuses is about being poised for action; always having an eye on the next thing that we’ll respond to. It’s a cool way of growing—we’re not duplicating things that are already happening, we’re delivering things we know people are asking for.”
One of these things is a new entity that opened in October 2019; Okorore – Ngā Toi Māori, based at the Heritage House in the Historic Village.
Driven by a passion to support the growth of Maori art and design, the professionally curated Toi Maori artist studios features an indigenous resident artist exchange programme, celebrating and nurturing Toi Maori art practitioners, creating mentoring opportunities for Maori youth and making Toi Maori art practices available to the public. The space will also allow people, whether local or visiting from the cruise ships, to purchase Maori artwork; something that is authentic and handmade right here in Tauranga.
Simone says The Incubator Creative Hub is all about fostering grassroots level art.
“It’s about giving someone a grassroots foundation to get to the next level. Anyone can be involved in the exhibitions we hold. For most people their day jobs are not as artists, but their work when they come here is taken seriously as an artist and not a hobbyist.
“It elevates that art is a serious industry; it is just as important as sport. It has equally as many health outcomes, but it’s just not been as accessible.
“Here at The Incubator Creative Hub, we are changing that. There are no barriers—that for us has been the most exciting part of this whole journey as we’ve grown. There’s this massive tsunami of people that want to be involved in the arts that never had an entry point, both as a participant and as an audience.”
Multi-Year Funding for Multiple Opportunities
With multi-year funding support from TECT of $140,000 over two years, The Incubator will be able to respond to positive opportunities with confidence, help build their capability and provide security for continued delivery of their many creative arts activities and events.
Simone says that TECT is fundamental to their growth, and they are incredibly grateful for the continued support.
“TECT have always been so supportive. To get multi-year funding, it enables us to really concentrate on being on the ground and delivering. So much of our time goes into applying for and researching funding, by having that security, it frees us up to go ahead and keep doing what we are here to do.”
“I appreciate that TECT have always been on the journey with us, they’ve got faith in what we are doing which is really important.”
To learn more about The Incubator Creative Hub, visit https://www.theincubator.co.nz/