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Auckland Art Gallery launches ‘Cultured Conversations’ series

Auckland Art Gallery director Kirsten Paisley and former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark.

Auckland Art Gallery launches ‘Cultured Conversations’ series

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki has launched Cultured Conversations, a new digital series addressing the impacts of COVID-19 for arts and culture in Aotearoa.

Auckland Art Gallery launches ‘Cultured Conversations’ series

The first episode sees Auckland Art Gallery director Kirsten Paisley sit down with former prime minister of New Zealand Helen Clark ONZ. Clark speaks about the importance of arts advocacy, saying that the arts community “has to be banging on doors”.

Exploring issues and ideas from the cultural sector in Aotearoa New Zealand, Cultured Conversations invites leaders from arts, philanthropy, economics and politics to outline their vision for recovery as we navigate the impacts of COVID-19.

Rich with diverse voices and inspirational ideas, Cultured Conversations creates dialogue around urgent concerns that face our cultural communities as we move from crisis to renewal.

The series will also delve into other issues that face our cultural communities, including Indigenous representation, arts and culture funding, and the importance of arts in enriching civic life.

“The world as we knew it is gone,” says series host Paisley. “The global pandemic is changing everything. It’s a crisis for arts and culture too. Around the world, museums, galleries and cultural producers have been disrupted. We must advocate for the arts now more than ever.

“In New Zealand, we are in the privileged position of actually being able to sit face-to-face and have conversations. I’m using this as an opportunity to speak out and to speak with other leaders.

“We’re making these conversations public. We must talk about this crisis to overcome it. We must promote and advocate for a positive policy agenda on the arts now.”

Cultured Conversations has launched with two episodes, which are both available to stream in video or audio form now from the Auckland Art Gallery website.

The second episode features Chris Brooks, chief executive of Regional Facilities Auckland, who speaks about arts leadership in a time of crisis.

With a new episode released every week, future guests include the gallery’s Māori Art curator Nigel Borell, internationally-acclaimed artistic director and curator Juliana Engberg, McKinsey & Company senior partner Andrew Grant, and Academy-award nominated filmmaker Chelsea Winstanley.

New episodes of Cultured Conversations will launch every Tuesday. Episodes can be found at

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