Creative New Zealand establishes touring agency

A new agency to support the touring of contemporary New Zealand theatre, dance and music will launch next March in an effort to strengthen the country’s cultural infrastructure.

Creative New Zealand has chosen PromPt Incorporated to act as a national touring agency, providing touring services over the next three years. PromPt will receive a total of NZD760,000 to cover between this month and June 2017.

Creative New Zealand’s senior manager, capability building, Cath Cardiff, said: ‘PromPt’s proposal showed a clear understanding of the complexity of issues associated with touring in New Zealand for the medium to large performing arts sector and the types of services a touring agency could provide. They proposed a business model with a team of professionals covering a broad range of expertise and took a strongly developmental approach to the work.’

The move comes following Creative New Zealand’s reviews of the country’s music and dance sectors, identifying risks associated with touring as ongoing issues.

Cardiff said: ‘An effective mechanism to develop and manage touring of medium to large scale work is a missing link in our arts infrastructure.  The agency and fund will play a vital role in ensuring more audiences enjoy great New Zealand performing art experiences.’

She added: ‘With New Zealand’s small and unevenly distributed population touring is essential for maintaining and increasing audiences for our arts companies and for sustaining the life of a new work beyond its first season.’

The agency will support and manage tours throughout the country in collaboration with the performance sector including companies, independent producers and artists, arts festivals and venues.

Creative New Zealand will continue to support other touring projects through its grants and investment programmes and through the Māori Arts Presentation Fund. The new agency will complement the work of existing touring organisations such as Arts on Tour and Chamber Music New Zealand.

Established in 1998, PromPT is a fee-based membership organisation which delivers the annual PANNZ (Performing Arts Network of New Zealand) market, a showcase for theatre, music and dance attended by festival and venue presenters.

PromPT chair Megan Peacock Coyle said: ‘The PromPT executive is thrilled to be able to provide national touring services over the next three years.  For more than a decade PANNZ has provided a platform and an organisational infrastructure for key players in New Zealand’s performing arts sector to meet, discuss and plan. The New Zealand touring agency is a new opportunity for PromPT to encourage and support sustainable performing arts networks throughout New Zealand.’

Image: NZ artists in Edinburgh, courtesy Creative New Zealand