From School to Stage and back again

Saturday 17 May 2008, 8:36AM
By Judith Tizard

New Zealand artists from drama, music, dance and visual arts will give students a first-hand experience of their art under the new "Artists in Schools" programme, Education Minister Chris Carter and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture & Heritage Judith Tizard announced today.

The launch of the programme will take place at Viscount School in Mangere Vau Atonio and Lauie Sila of the "Black Friars" award-winning comedy group will be back at their old primary school to perform a piece of theatre with students on the challenges and opportunities of growing up in Mangere.

Also at the launch will be three members of "Strike Percussion" who will give a performance of high-energy drumming and who have also joined the Artists in Schools programme.

The Black Friars group won "Best Newcomer" at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival and are currently performing their Auckland production called "Being Big".

"Vau Atonio and Lauie Sila are just two of the many artists who will work with schools and teachers from Northland to Invercargill in this exciting new initiative," Chris Carter said.

Judith Tizard said the programme showed young people the contribution art and artists make to New Zealand.

"In today's changing world, art and performance art is real work. I want to see young people see art and artists as leading creative thinkers who make real contributions to society and the economy," Judith Tizard said.

During the first year of the programme, more than 50 artists will work with schools for a 10-week period.

Detailed information about the scheme is available from