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The Weekly Roundabout #82

Kia ora e te Whānau,

Well we’re pretty excited to be launching our first ever podcast today called Audio Potluck.

A big part of our kaupapa at Gizzy Local is supporting the Arts and the creative endeavours of our community. This is because we know so well how good creative energy is for us, whether it’s watching a piece of theatre or looking at a painting that ‘speaks to you’, dancing to some live music, or drawing or writing or singing your own heart out. It can be therapeutic, cathartic, can connect us to ourselves, ideas, and to others.

We’ve been pondering how we might better support our local music scene for a while now and recently I started talking with local musicians about a podcast dedicated to the music of te Tairāwhiti. It seemed there was indeed an appetite for a space in which to bring to light what is surely an incredibly diverse and colourful catalogue of music that has whakapapa to this place. 

The concept for Audio Potluck has its own whakapapa to ‘Sound Crush’, a segment in which a different panel each week discussed their favourite songs of the moment on Radio NZ’s Music101, which aired throughout 2019 and 2020, and which I always appreciated as a source of new music inspiration. (You can find some of the episodes here).  

And so each week, one of our panelists will present a song with Gizzy whakapapa to the Audio Potluck table for the panel to sample and mull over, serving as a starting point for yarns about all things music here in the Tāirawhiti. We have recorded our first four episodes and I’m excited as!  All sorts of interesting titbits came out in that first session and I think the content will enrich any music-loving local’s life. I hope you like it!

Ngā mihi nui,
Sarah 

The Weekly Roundabout #81

Kia ora e te Whānau,

This week’s featured piece of writing is a little different from our norm, and signals the arrival of a new section of content on Gizzy Local called Voices. In contrast to most of our content to date, which strives to tell the stories of others, Voices is a safe space in which people can share their own and in any form.

This first selection by Neherā Kopa gifts the reader a lens – that of a small black and white puppy by the name of Nugget – through which to reflect on the experience of moving; moving around…moving home.  This piece of writing simply entitled ‘An Introduction’ is both poignant and funny and has had me thinking about the things that we find to cling to, that become our salvation, when everything else around us is new, uncertain and unfamiliar.

I met a woman this past week at the Neighbourhood Pizzeria, who had moved here for work last year along with her family, including their teenaged daughter. She spoke of how the incredible music programme at Gisborne Girls High has become that point of connection for their daughter in her new community. She also told me she recieved The Weekly Roundabout, using it to connect with their new community and what goes on around here. 

How that first year or two of settling into a new place pans out, can have so much to do with who you meet or the opportunities you come across. It makes me happy to know that Gizzy Local can help foster those opportunities and hopefully help speed up that process for the people who come across it. 

So by all means, if you meet someone new to town, or just returned, don’t forget to ask them whether they’ve come across Gizzy Local yet.  Enjoy your weekend Gizzy Local whānau!

Ngā mihi nui,
Sarah 

The Weekly Roundabout #80

Kia ora e te Whānau,

Yesterday I had a meeting with Gizzy Local’s accountant, James Burn. I came away with a spring in my step and I might even go so far as to say, a small fire in my belly – which is not my usual post-accountancy meeting state, I hasten to add!

James first got in touch with us last year, wanting to discuss the possibility of sponsoring Gizzy Local. We had an initial meeting and established over the course of a cuppa that yes indeed, we were on the same page, sharing common aspirations for our community, and in particular a drive to each do our bit in helping our fellow local Gisborne businesses thrive.

And so James Burns Associates joined our Gizzy Local community and Gizzy Local began the process of actually becoming a business ourselves. James and Lucy have a knack for keeping the overwhelm at bay, as they’ve helped us set up systems to keep things manageable as we grow and tackle each new step as they emerge in our progression.

Yesterday’s meeting covered tax and payroll systems and a few things in between, and I furiously scribbled notes because that stuff really isn’t my jam and I’m liable to forget everything as soon as I walk out the door.

However no notes were needed when it came to the pep talk James gave me in amongst the formalities – and whether he intended it as such, I guess I may never know.. James reminded me of why they had offered to support Gizzy Local in the first place and why they continue to do so today, speaking passionately of his belief in what we are doing, talking about the gap we fill in our community, and reminding me of how far we have come. He offered some suggestions of what we might do next.

When I left our meeting, not only did I feel inspired by James’ beliefs in what we are doing, but I left with a deeper appreciation of the sponsorship/supporter relationship. It’s about creating win-win situations and helping each other to achieve our respective goals, and it’s about growing a community of likeminded people. But there’s also a big piece in there about inspiring each other to keep striving for the gold, and reminding each other of our belief in each other to achieve those things.

So today’s Roundabout is a shout out to our community of supporters – that’s you – with a special thanks to James for that exceptional pep talk! Thank you for all you do to nourish Gizzy Local, each in your own way ‘Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari kē he toa takitini’. 

Ngā mihi nui,
Sarah 

The Weekly Roundabout #79

Mōrena Gizzy Local whānau,

Our local visual arts community is really humming along at the moment. Every week lately new exhibitions have opened, and this evening will be no different, with exhibitions opening at both the Tairāwhiti Museum and Paul Nache, by Margaret Hansen and Melanie Tangaere Baldwin respectively. 

Last night Hoea Gallery opened an exhibition too, although it was possibly quite different to your average ‘Opening Night’. This one, up for just today and tomorrow, showcases the work Hoea! have been doing with tamariki from Pickering Kindergarten and the JRD and Rewanui Early Childhood Learning Centres.

I love the way in which the Hoea Gallery wāhine are building such a fun and inclusive approach to art making. A few weeks ago I took my daughters in for a look at the exhibition at the time, Korou, and before I knew it Rangi had them both carving out printing blocks, rolling them with glossy blue ink and printing them in the beautiful old printing press that sits in the Hoea! kitchen.

While we were in Whāngarei over the holidays we checked out an exhibition by school kids at the Hihiaua Cultural Centre. I noticed my girls were way more engaged than they usually are checking out adult art. They took time reading the child-written captions and based on the conversations we had afterwards, spent time trying to figure out the process of the artists, imagining how they themselves might have done it.

My daughters are growing up with such a different attitude to creativity to that which I absorbed as a child in the ’80s. In those days, you either had it or you didn’t, whereas these days kids are just as likely to say they want to be an artist or a performer when they grow up as they are anything else. This of course hasn’t happened by chance and it’s people like Melanie, Rangi and Nikora at Hoea! Gallery that are empowering this continued transformation in attitudes, beliefs and abilities. So collect up the kids, your moko, nieces, nephews or friends’ kids and take them along for a look.

Meanwhile, I continue to hesitate with my brush poised over my fresh white canvas, so paralysed I am by my own long held beliefs that I am most certainly not a painter, and nor can I draw. Luckily an impending deadline will soon force my hand.

I hope you enjoy a weekend of creativity and sunshine!
Sarah 

The Weekly Roundabout #78

Kia ora Gizzy Local Whānau,

Here’s your weekly round up of what’s going on in Gizzy this coming week. I was excited to see an 8 week fees-free course in Rongoā being held by EIT in this week’s listings. It reminded me of days gone by when educational institutions used to offer night classes in all manner of life skills, things like upholstery, drum-making, foreign languages, creative writing…

It seems as if with the fees-free regime released post-lockdown last year, we may be experiencing a resurgence in the night class. I’m currently doing one of my own, studying towards a certificate in Māori and Indigenous Art at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Learning alongside our tutor Johnny Moetara and a beautifully diverse bunch of humans, it is proving to be one of my defining life experiences.

I put this down to a number of things, but probably the biggest thing is being Pākeha, immersed in a Māori-run environment. There is much to notice – the subtle yet starkly different ways that ‘things are done’ and in turn, the way that these differences play out in the way we work, the way we learn and the ways we relate to each other. 

Our first task in the course was to create a visual representation of our pepeha. Pepeha – a way of introducing oneself – a structure, which identifies who we are, where we’re from and where we belong. “Everyone has a pepeha which links them to their ancestors” I read recently, but this Pākeha had never gotten around to finding out who her ancestors were. Until I was given the task and a deadline.

And despite that particular deadline having passed, my journey to discovering my connection – to everything else – has only just begun, and has become quite the consuming force.

I think my partner was right when he wondered whether there was actually enough time or space in my life to embark on this night class, I almost certainly don’t. But it’s probably the most important thing I’ve done in a long time, and I would recommend it to any (busy) person.

Do a night class, surround yourself with people you might not otherwise have ever met. Learn something new, and if you’re Pākeha and haven’t gone there yet, ponder that pepeha – it’s a profound starting point.

Ngā mihi nui,
Sarah 

The Weekly Roundabout #77: Some great news

Kia ora e te Whānau,

This week we received some news that has generated a fair few high fives and even the odd modified fist pump amongst the crew.  Gizzy Local has been awarded funding from Creative New Zealand for a project in which six local creatives will dig deep into some issues of local relevance and communicate these with our community via Gizzy Local.

This project will enable us to sustain our mahi to facilitate connection amongst our community as well as help us to move forward with our kaupapa of creating more opportunities for our local creatives.

We believe that the creative process is a really valuable means of investigation, and the creative voice an effective and meaningful way to engage and communicate with a diverse audience. This project gives us the opportunity to demonstrate this at the same times as showcasing six different local artists and their unique approaches to our wider community.

We look forward to introducing these artists with you over the coming weeks! 
Enjoy your long weekend..

Ngā mihi nui,
Sarah 

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