New Zealand arts funder rejects Shakespeare as ‘imperialism’

Wellington – Is Shakespeare still relevant to students today?

New Zealand’s arts council seems suspicious after it ends funding a popular school’s Shakespeare program. It relied excessively on a busy school, failed to demonstrate relevance to the “contemporary art context”, and “relied on genres positioned within the canon of contemporary art,” he argued. Imperialism. ”

However, many have contested Creative New Zealand’s decision, including Jacinda Ardern, the country’s prime minister and former student theatre.

“I attended Shakespeare in Schools and thought it was a great program,” said Ardern. “Kids who are interested in drama, speeches, and debates often have limited opportunities to engage with other schools, and I was one of those kids. I hope to continue to see opportunities like this.”

Ardern added that funding decisions are not up to her, not even the government.Creative New Zealand is funded by taxpayers but operates independently.

School programs, workshops and festivals have been run by the Shakespeare Globe Center New Zealand for nearly 30 years. Students can act, make costumes themselves, and create soundtracks. Often the plays are set in modern times or have different takes from the originals written by William Shakespeare over 400 years ago.

The center receives about NZ$30,000 ($17,000) each year from the Arts Council, which is about 10% of its overall budget.

The center’s chief executive, Dawn Sanders, said last month’s initial refusal, which remained after Friday’s crisis meeting, blinded her.

“I was disgusted and disgusted,” she said.

She said more than 120,000 students have attended festivals and programs over the years, many of whom have become professionals in theater and film.

According to her, others used their acting skills in their work.

Creative New Zealand did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

However, in its 11-page rejection memo, one Arts Council evaluator said the center had “proven the continued value” of its regional and national Shakespeare competition model, with 24 regional About 4,600 young people participate in the festival.

“This application made me think about the continued relevance of Shakespeare and wondered whether a focus on Elizabethan playwrights would be most relevant for the decolonization of Aotearoa in the 2020s and beyond. I think,’ added the evaluator, using New Zealand’s Aboriginal names.

The panel concluded that the Shakespeare Center “appears to be very paternalistic” and that its funding proposal “did not show relevance to the context of contemporary art”.

Sanders said she was trying to find another fund and vowed the show would continue. People have already donated thousands of dollars through online crowdsourcing since the controversy became public, she said. I got

On the other hand, Ardern said it would be wrong to infer broad commentary on society from a single funding decision. She objected, saying she was sexually active.

“So I may leave out the details for now,” she said.

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