Statements of Service Provision
4 Cultural wellbeing Oranga ahurea
Reflecting and shaping Wellington’s unique cultural identity
By The Numbers
81% and 92%
Cultural wellbeing – at a glance
|Relevant LTP objectives|| |
“Investing to grow” through establishing a programme of major projects that grow the economy and deliver returns on investment;
Investing to maintain and improve existing services, including making infrastructure more resilient and the city’s transport system more efficient;
Increasing the use of existing assets rather than spending on new infrastructure;
Improving asset management practices to better manage risk and the timing of asset replacement; and
Achieving ongoing efficiencies from shared services and improved customer experiences.
|LTP key activities||Arts and Cultural Activities.|
|Relevant LTP projects||Inclusive and culturally diverse city; Increasing the range of visitor attractions; Increasing funding for major events; New Zealand Festival; An indoor arena; and Wellington Convention Centre.|
|Operational expenditure||Operational expenditure (as per financial summary).|
The strength of Wellington’s creative culture depends on people, the output of artists, writers, musicians, and dancers and on the expressiveness of Wellington’s communities. We fund events and festivals, support attractions such as Te Papa, the Carter Observatory (Space Place), and the city’s galleries and museums, and also support community art and cultural activities. We work in partnership with the business community, and four other councils in the region, providing support for regional art and cultural activities.
We fund these activities because they matter to the lives of individual Wellingtonians, and to the community as a whole. They contribute to a diverse economy, and build on Wellington’s reputation as New Zealand’s arts and culture capital. They also make the city a more vibrant place to live, help develop healthy and connected communities, and improve residents’ quality of life.
Artsplash is a 5-day young people’s arts festival that brings together primary and intermediate schools from throughout the Wellington region to celebrate dance, music, visual art and wearable art. Around 8,000 children participate in this unique-to-New Zealand event, which is organised and coordinated by Mary Prichard. During its 28 years, Artsplash has grown into a significant event on Wellington City Council’s annual calendar.
Music-making “by young people, for young people” is at the heart of Artsplash. Youth orchestras perform alongside the Artsplash Band on the main stage, and smaller groups perform in the foyer as family and friends make their way into the auditorium. The festival also includes students choreographing and performing their own dance routines, showcasing their own wearable art creations, and seeing their visual works of art displayed in a public exhibition.
“Artsplash is completely accessible to everyone – the kids come from all different backgrounds and there are no auditions,” says Mary.
Artsplash has been a key early experience for many of our emerging young artists, including soprano Bianca Andrews, and internationally renowned tenor Ben Makisi and concert pianist Ludwig Treviranus.
The 2016 festival was held at the Michael Fowler Centre over August and September 2015. Performances included partnerships with Virtuoso Strings, Wellington Youth Sinfonietta Orchestra, and Chilton Amadeus Orchestra.
4.1 Arts and cultural activities Ngā mahi toi me ngā ngohe ahure
Supporting arts activity adds vibrancy to the city as well as promoting inclusive and strong communities
What we do and why
Our arts activities ensure Wellington builds on its reputation as New Zealand’s arts and culture capital, by continuing to be home to top-class museums and art galleries, orchestras, dance and theatre companies. A strong arts and culture sector contributes to a diverse economy, a creative identity and connected communities, which is why we live here.
Our activities include:
- Funding Te Papa, the Great War Exhibition, Wellington Museum, City Gallery, Capital E, the Cable Car Museum, Carter Observatory (trading as Space Place), and Nairn Street Cottage
- Supporting events and cultural festivals
- Providing grant funds to arts organisations
- Managing the Toi Pōneke Arts Centre, and the city’s art collection
- Funding cultural grants
- Access to and support for community arts
- Funding arts partnerships
- Partnerships with four other councils in the region to provide support for regional arts, cultural and environmental organisations and activities
Over the year these activities contribute to the following outcomes:
|People-centred city|| |
Our key achievements
We supported a wide range of museums, galleries and visitor attractions (through arts and cultural projects) that shaped our sense of place and identity
We commemorated the 100th anniversary of WW1 with a range of activities over the year, including commemorations for Anzac Week. A light and sound show at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, WW1 Remembered: A Light and Sound Show 2016, highlighted New Zealand’s contribution to the war during 1916 and 1917. Remembrance, a WW100 interactive public artwork by Squidsoup, was installed in Appleton Park, Karori, but was closed early due to vandalism.
We also supported the Great War Exhibition, which had a successful year in terms of visitor numbers and experience. The exhibition attracted 179,363 visitors for the year, including school groups. An admission charge for adults of $15 was introduced by the Great War Trust from 1 March 2016 to provide additional and needed operational funding.
Did you know?
We provided support to Te Papa, who had 1,784,939 visitors, a record even beating the opening year of 1998/99. The Gallipoli: The scale of our war exhibition continues to attract high levels of visitation. Te Papa’s 2015/16 summer blockbuster exhibition, DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition, closed on Easter weekend, with 137,105 total visits. This made it the fourth most popular paid entry exhibition in Te Papa’s history, and the tenth most popular exhibition overall.
Minor, but still key city events included: Sky Show, Capital Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and the Summer City Programme. Wellington Sky Show was successfully staged to an estimated audience of 100,000. A festive Capital Christmas included the Santa Parade and having the city dressed with bright lights, banners and flags, two large Christmas trees in Midland and Courtenay Place parks, and candy cane wrapping around the Railway Station pillars. The New Year’s Eve event was staged in Frank Kitts Park to a capacity crowd, with a family friendly vibe and positive media feedback. We also supported a number of more local events and projects including Youth Circus, a new Wellington Street Art Map, the Young and Hungry festival of new theatre, and the Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ.
There was also positive feedback on the programming of Meridian Gardens Magic this year, validating our decision to present a bolder, more diverse and creative event offering. The partnership with Massey’s School of Design, showcasing student light-based creations at the Botanic Garden, again brought an element of delight and innovation to Gardens Magic. We are in discussions with other faculties and institutions about possible future projects and collaborations.
Did you know?
There were three Courtenay Place Park light box exhibitions during the year, including The Visitors’ and Romance, and we sponsored other community events, including the NZCT Dragon Boat Festival, the Island Bay Festival, Chinese New Year, and Newtown Festival.
Attendee satisfaction with Council supported events declined. The reasons for low satisfaction included postponement of one event and bad weather. In addition, some attendance figures were overrated and the capacity of some venues limited.
|Measure||2015/16 Actual Performance||2015/16 Target|
|Attendee satisfaction with Council supported arts and cultural festivals||85% ||90%|
Source: New Zealand Festival
Through our CCO, the Wellington Museums Trust, we supported our visitor attractions and museums.
Council Controlled Organisation – Wellington Museums TrustThe Wellington Museums Trust operates six institutions on behalf of Wellington City Council. These are Capital E, Space Place at Carter Observatory, City Gallery Wellington, Nairn Street Cottage, Wellington Museum (including the Plimmer’s Ark display in the Old Bank Arcade) and the Wellington Cable Car Museum.
Relevant Council outcomes:
Key activitiesThe main activities of the Trust are:
Museums, galleries and visitor attractions shape Wellington’s sense of place and identity. They celebrate creativity and ideas and increase our understanding of culture and science
|Interesting Fact||2015/16 Actual Performance||2015/16 Target|
|Total visitors||Total visitors: |
Source: Wellington Museums Trust
We provided a number of grants to support our cultural sector ensuring the city is lively, and full of festivals and performances. These grants also support cultural institutions integral to our cultural and events capital status
Our Arts and Culture Fund focuses on four areas: the city as a hothouse for talent, Wellington as a region of confident identities, active and engaged people, and our creative future through technology. The fund supports projects and key partnerships for key arts institutions in the city. Over the year we supported 69 projects with $235,795, with grants ranging from $500 for a community Matariki festival to significant large scale youth theatre, projects around the commemorations for WW1 and community murals.
In partnership with four other councils in the region, we support the Wellington Regional Amenities Fund. Ten arts and environmental organisations from around the Wellington region were granted funding from the 2014/15 round, including Aratoi Museum of Art and History, Circa Theatre, Festival of the Elements, LUX Festival Trust, Mahara Gallery, Matariki Festival, Nature Connections, New Zealand Festival, Orchestra Wellington, the Wellington Museums Trust project, and Kids to the Capital. We contributed $609,200 towards the $1,053,200 distributed by the fund in 2015/16.
Projects that reach across the region like Nature Connections, Matariki, and the Kids to the Capital initiative, which have all received funding over the past 2 years, are well underway and developing and implementing new models for working – championing collaboration over competition.
We supported community arts programmes and venues allowing our creative communities to put on shows, festivals and performances
We facilitated the community project, Art in the Park, at the Terrace Gardens as part of Parks Week to enliven the space and encourage people to use it. Musicians played and two artists, developed a mosaic and a mural in partnership with local residents. We also supported artists and purchased 10 artworks for the City Art Collection and continued to support a number of artists in residence programmes, including the Wellington Asia Residency Exchange and Te Whare Hēra.
We also continued to support artists in Wellington through our Toi Pōneke Arts Centre. Toi Pōneke celebrated its 10th anniversary with an open day, including a full programme of local musicians, performance art, public talks and open studios and offices. Toi Pōneke Gallery delivered 13 exhibitions during the year and held seven public programmes. An Open Studios Day was held during CubaDupa.
We worked, often in partnership, on a number of mural projects in the city, including:
- With Wellington Cable Car Limited on a project to design murals for a series of new trolleybus cabinets installed across the city
- Waituhi 2015, a Matariki mural printed onto a billboard skin installed under the City to Sea Bridge
- With Westpac Stadium to launch the Westpac Stadium community mural projects in December. Six artists workshopped with 12 schools to paint a total of 12 murals (two per artist) on the walls of the internal stadium concourse to celebrate the stadium’s 15th anniversary, enliven the stadium walls, and engage audiences across the Wellington region
- With Eastern Southern Youth Trust and artist Chris Barrand to support the development of a community mural in Strathmore at Taiaroa Park
- With the Karori community on a large-scale mural on the new retaining wall at Karori Road. Artists Ruth and Ian Taylor painted the mural, after a series of workshops with schools in the area to brainstorm ideas
- With the residents of Flagstaff Hill in collaboration with mosaic artist Rachel Silver and street artist Olivier Kenneybrew. They developed a series of artworks in and around the Terrace Gardens that reduce graffiti, enliven the space and, reflect and complement the heritage and the surrounding urban, green environment
Temporary public art projects were also supported, including PARK(ing) Day on 9 March, a day of temporary installations in car parks throughout the central city, organised by the Wellington Sculpture Trust.
Masons Screen, a 24 hour outdoor screen for video art, was launched in December as part of the Council’s Masons Lane upgrade. We are partnering with arts organisation CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand to deliver the pilot programme over the next year, with a new video featured each month.
Quality and usage of arts and culture support activities: There was an increase from last year in attendee satisfaction with the arts and cultural festivals we support. We were below our target for this measure. This is largely due to events such as weather postponements that are beyond our control. Customer satisfaction with the New Zealand Festival has increased from 2014. The economic impact of the New Zealand Festival was below target largely because many of our regional visitors chose to attend the earlier Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, instead of the New Zealand Festival the following weekend. Further detail can be found in the section ‘Measuring our Performance’.
How it was funded
Services in this activity are funded through a mixture of general and targeted rates and external grants and subsidies from non-Council sources.
What it cost 2015/16
|4.1.1 City Galleries and Museums|
|4.1.2 Visitor attractions |
(Te Papa/Carter Observatory) 1
|4.1.3 Arts and cultural festivals|
|4.1.4 Cultural grants|
|4.1.5 Access and support for community arts|
|4.1.6 Arts partnerships|
|4.1.7 Regional Amenities Fund|
* The capital expenditure budget consists of the LTP amount plus the carry forward from 2014/15.
1 Over budget due to additional depreciation and impairment of Carter Observatory assets.
2 Wellington Museum upgrade completed under budget.
3 Under budget due to delays and changes in the Cable Car Trail project.
4 Under budget due to the design process taking longer than expected for the Pou Whenua to be placed at the Taputeranga reserve.
|4.1.1 City Galleries and Museums 2|
|Unspent portion of budget to be carried forward||N/A||-||-||N/A|
|4.1.2 Visitor attractions |
(Te Papa/Carter Observatory) 3
|Unspent portion of budget to be carried forward||N/A||43||-||N/A|
|4.1.4 Cultural grants 4|
|Unspent portion of budget to be carried forward||N/A||60||-||N/A|
|4.1.5 Access and support for community arts|
|Unspent portion of the budget to be carried forward||N/A||-||-||N/A|
Cultural wellbeing – overall summary
We made progress towards the activities for year one of the LTP despite some delays in our capital works programme. Generally speaking, Wellingtonians have a positive attitude towards the role we play as the arts capital of New Zealand. Visitor numbers were up for our museums, galleries and Te Papa. The economic impact of the NZ Festival shows a decline – but these figures exclude the impact of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo held the weekend before the festival. There were delays to our capital programme although we successfully completed the Wellington Museum upgrade under budget. On balance, our activities in this area have helped us make a significant boost in the achievement of our outcomes.