What happens when you bring innovators and artists together?

After 12-weeks of running Ringatoi Poneke Artist Intensive (PAI), we can confirm that innovation and arts are a great match.

The Opportunity

New Zealand's arts community has been hit hard by COVID-19. Having to put live shows on hold has highlighted what many artists knew already - the need to find alternative ways to create more secure and sustainable practices.

Wellington is a great testing ground for new initiatives and we jumped at the chance to bring our innovation methodologies and tools to the arts community.  We partnered with independent Wellington artists and art practitioners to co-create Ringatoi Poneke: Artist Intensive (PAI), an arts accelerator programme which gives artists the tools and guidance to create pathways to financial sustainability.


PAI was a great experience to have at the end of a really tough year. I felt that PAI really supported me to get back to the guts of why I am doing what I do, and reminded me that I need to balance my creative passion with a sustainable reality - thank you!”

PAI Artist

Our Approach

PAI took the foundations from a 2019 Creative HQ Design Sprint involving mid-career artists in Poneke and implemented the eight-week programme which ran from 1 October - 20 November 2020. 10 artists were selected from a pool of  47 applicants. The programme involved 2-hour workshops every week and was tailored to the artist’s needs, providing one-on-one innovation coaching, mentor sessions with art leaders, and peer support.

How we helped

We worked with the participants to discover new entrepreneurial approaches for the arts and to validate ways to balance financial sustainability and artistic freedom. 

The programme included: 

  • Innovation coaching with Creative HQ innovation specialists, where participants received tailored, responsive advice to support their arts business practices.
  • Mentoring with arts leaders, where participants received arts sector-specific advice on sustaining careers in the arts and current best practice. 
  • Ongoing peer support from Arts Leads throughout the process
  • Specialist workshops in fields where knowledge gaps existed for participants, e.g. IP law

The results

PAI concluded with an artist showcase on 18 November 2020. The showcase invited local Wellington artists and supporters to Creative HQ’s office for a night of art performance and networking. Some of the key results included: 

  • Jerome Kavanagh, Kahungunu, Maniapoto (Māori musical instrument specialist): focused on launching a new Māori sound production company to service film, TV and digital media, and building a website for it.
  • Jacqui Moyes (director of Praying Mantis Productions): improving organisational sustainability for the Home Ground Collective, developing branding and website for Praying Mantis Productions.
  • Nathan Mudge, Kuki Airani (theatre artist, The Up Down Project): developing marketing collateral and improving organisational processes for The Up Down Project and its company premiere at Circa Theatre in April.
  • Eleanor Strathern (producer, A Mulled Whine): consolidation of internal business processes for multiple scaled productions, streamlining of tax and legal systems.
  • Hannah Smith (co-director, Trick of the Light Theatre): developing new models and planning tools including business plans and forecasting tools.

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