Go NZ!: An artsy weekend in Bay of Plenty

Rita Hall, the artistic director of Tauranga Arts Festival, offers her top tips for an art-filled weekend in the Bay of Plenty

Held in October every two years, this is the flagship festival of Tauranga Moana. Our aim is to deliver a world-class arts programme for our diverse community to immerse themselves in, and become inspired and hungry for the next instalment. I am very excited and honoured to be at the helm of the Tauranga Arts Festival waka, and look forward to curating how our festival looks as we move forward into a new direction.

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There’s always something interesting happening at Baycourt. As the home of Tauranga Arts Festival and our Escape! Writers and Ideas Festival, it’s very much at the heart of the arts in Tauranga.

Baycourt has played a starring role in the lives of so many people who grew up in Tauranga (including myself) with lots of wonderful Bay of Plenty talent making their debuts on the stage of either the Addison Theatre, or the X-Space.

Alongside our wonderful local creative community, Baycourt hosts some of the best touring theatre, music and dance shows and is a regular stop for the NZSO, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and some of the highlight acts from the NZ International Comedy Festival.

A favourite Baycourt event is the International Youth Silent Film Festival – an annual competition where young film-makers get to see their work up on the big screen, with live accompaniment from Baycourt’s Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, which rises up from beneath the stage. Very cool.

The Incubator gallery contains a series of individual cubicles that provide professional arts practitioners with the personal space to research and create their individual works in an inclusive, supportive and connected environment. The Incubator is also home to The Jam Factory , a wonderful live music venue.

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