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  • Award-winning writer becomes Tautai’s new Director

     

    Courtney Sina Meredith has been appointed as Director of Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust.

    With extensive experience in building partnerships and stakeholder relationships across the cultural, public, and commercial sectors both locally and internationally, Courtney Sina Meredith brings a diverse and valuable skill set to the role.  Courtney holds a degree in English and Political Studies from the University of Auckland, where she also studied Law and co-edited Spectrum 5 (Penguin).  She is of Samoan, Mangaian and Irish descent.

    “We are very excited to have made the appointment from such a strong field of candidates from across the country.” outgoing board chairperson Nina Tonga says. “Courtney represents a generational change for Tautai as it enters its fourth decade of supporting Pacific artists in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

    The newly created position is part of a new leadership model focusing on both artistic development and engagement. With a key focus on the latter, Courtney will recruit an offsider to lead on artistic growth.

    Courtney has worked with Tautai in a range of capacities over the last decade.

    “I’ve taught high school workshops on the Fresh Horizons programme, featured as a performer at patron events and various showcases, and I’ve been a key stakeholder at an organisational level in leadership roles at Auckland Council and MIT. Most recently I was the Project Manager for the CNZ Pasifika Internships delivered by Tautai. I have a broad understanding of how the trust operates.” says Meredith.

    “I understand how important Tautai is to ensuring the vitality and excellence of the Oceanic arts sector. It’s a great honour to step into this key leadership role. The artists, thinkers, researchers and administrators in our community are world-class.”

    Before her appointment as Director of Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust, Courtney was the Partnerships Manager at the Manukau Institute of Technology, developing and delivering on the implementation of commercial and community opportunities across the Faculty of Creative Arts.

    She was a Contributing Editor for Paperboy, with a key focus on the stories of Maori and Pasifika artists, and spent five years in local government as an Arts Advisor and Artist Liaison in Auckland Council’s Arts and Culture and Festival and Community Events teams.

    Following a move to London, Courtney ventured into commercial partnerships management. She has lectured in World and Pasifika literature, held writing workshops all over the world, and was one of the global thinkers invited to the House of Lords by the BBC to discuss Britain’s cultural future.

    Courtney is also the author of three books and she has been selected for many international writers’ residencies including the prestigious Fall Residency at the University of Iowa where she is an Honorary Fellow in Writing, the Island Institute Residency in Sitka, Alaska, and the Bleibtreu Berlin Writers’ Residency in Berlin. She has attended numerous international arts and literary festivals, giving performances and appearing as a guest speaker on panels, her voice advocating for greater opportunities for women of colour. 

    “We are confident that Courtney has a great vision to lead Tautai into its next exciting phase of development.” says Tonga.

    Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust has spent more than 30 years dedicated to the development and support of Pacific arts and artists. 

    The name Tautai draws on the Samoan word for navigator, reflecting a desire to work alongside artists and offer guidance in enhancing their art practice.  

    Tautai supports the production of new and innovative work by practising artists, runs programmes for secondary and tertiary students of Pacific heritage and maintains a comprehensive website www.tautai.org

    Tautai receives ongoing major public funding from Creative New Zealand, significant funding from the Foundation North, and generous support from its Fetu Ta’i programme. 

     

    Current Tautai projects:

    HAU Papakura Art Gallery – runs until 13 October

    And Then What? ST PAUL St Gallery – closes 14 September

    The Future is Death, Toi Pōneke Gallery – opens 21 September

     

    Recent Tautai projects:

    Third Space: Ambiguity in the Art of Graham Fletcher Gus Fisher Gallery

    LIT! Beresford Lane

    OFFSTAGE 8 Artspace

    Sauniga ICL Building

    Artist Residency Programme: photographer, artist Juliana Brown Eyes Kahomovailahi

    Our Inherited Body & Thinking Locally, Acting Globally Papakura Art Gallery

    TAUTAI | CELEBRATE Galatos, Ponsonby Central & Ponsonby Community Centre

    Art4Food St Matthews

    Tautai |Navigate: Thirty years of navigating contemporary Pacific art Studio One Toi Tu

    Fresh Horizons workshops Wellington, Invercargill and Auckland

    Pacific Materiality Studio One Toi Tū

    Niki Hastings-McFall’s Flock Whitespace and Fale Ula Auckland Arts Festival

     

    For media assistance, contact:  

    Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust

    T: 09 376-1665                                    E: tautai@tautai.org                                         

    Victor van Wetering

    T: 09 849 6565                                     E: victorw@xtra.co.nz

    Photography Credit: Thomas Langdon 

     

     

     

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