Jacinda Ardern's arts agency now in damage control
Creative NZ goes into damage control
We've spent the last week on social media releasing examples of bizarre art projects given taxpayer money by Creative NZ as part of a $16 million COVID-19 response (I've linked to my favourites at the bottom this email).
Last night, the agency finally cracked under pressure. But instead of defending the bizarre grants, it attacked us for what it called a "low blow"!
Here's their full public statement:
Creative New Zealand is proud to tautoko dedicated, hard-working artists, bolstering a sector knocked to its knees by the impact of COVID-19.
We work to encourage, promote, support and advocate for the arts for the benefit of all New Zealanders — from Bluff to Cape Reinga and beyond, through projects of all shapes and sizes, communities and cultures, glitter and all.
We’re really shocked and disappointed at recent low blow targeting of artists we’ve funded – we stand by them and our decisions. We don’t condone attacks on the arts whānau, or anyone for that matter. To the arts community and supporters: We’re with you, and we value your mahi.
They just don't get it. We're not targeting artists – we're targeting the out-of-touch bureaucrats who waste taxpayer money on weird pet projects.
Creative NZ's attempt to defend themselves is going badly. Take a look at the comments slamming the agency on their own Facebook post.
I joined Magic Talk again today to discuss the drama – and this time, the CEO of Creative NZ fronted up to make his case.
In the interview, the CEO admits that artists don't even need to live in New Zealand in order to be eligible for taxpayer funds. Indeed, a number of the grants we looked into were for artists based overseas.
The CEO also admits he doesn't know what an 'indigenised hypno-soundscape' is – despite spending $50,000 on one.
We're proud of our efforts to shed light on how taxpayer-funded agencies spend our hard-earned money. With the Debt Monster forecast to grow to $150,000 per Kiwi household in 2034, our job is more important than ever.
Thank you for your support.
Towards a live event watch party and livechat with fans online.
To record and livestream a performance from Fat Freddy's Drop.