St Hilda's Arts Festival
Local creatives have been invited to perform in the inaugural St Hilda’s Festival of Arts, 24 – 26 June. They have already had Jane Siddal, a textile artist, and Jonathan Usher, a magician, in the school to great effect.
St Hilda’s has hosted an artist in resident programme for several years. This year’s resident, Eliana Gray, is organising one of the twelve events that St Hilda’s students can participate in over three lunchtimes. Eliana Gray is an award winning local poet, and will offer students the opportunity to create a ‘poetry quilt’ to be displayed afterwards. Other events include: Gasp! Inclusive dance; White Men, a play by St Hilda’s alumna Abby Howells; a live graffiti battle from Ōtepoti Hip Hip Hustle; and an improvised musical Play it By Ear.
The school brought in the Dunedin Fringe Festival to assist with curating the programme which draws heavily from the recently cancelled 2020 festival. Fringe Director, Gareth McMillan, was full of praise for the initiative:
‘I think St Hilda’s should be commended for investing in their students’ wellbeing and for supporting local creatives. The arts sector is really hurting right now and it’s wonderful to offer some events the opportunity to present the work they had developed for the fringe, and assist them recover from the financial impact of Covid 19.’
It is hoped that the St Hilda’s Festival of the Arts may become a more regular fixture in the school’s calendar.