An interview with Creative Spaces Mentor Programme participants
29 September 2015
A mentor in the 2014/2015 Creative Spaces Mentor Programme is Dunedin artist and director, Don Hunter who mentored Rohana Weaver, Community Support Worker and tutor at Alpha Art Studio in Wellington.
Don Hunter studied sculpture at Otago Polytechnic and has worked in various art management and administrative positions around New Zealand. He has done collaborative work with NGO’s in New Zealand and overseas and has produced several sculptures and has been a lecturer and arts Co-ordinator. He has worked in the creative industries for about 15 years.
Rohana Weaver also studied sculpture as part of a fine arts degree at Otago Polytechnic and has continued producing sculpture and working in different aspects of the creative sector in performance. Alongside this creative work she is an arts facilitator and support worker.
The twelve-month partnership with mentor and mentee has proved to be a valuable one and Don says it is a useful programme for transferring skills and supporting up-and-coming leaders.
“It is helpful for the mentor too because it is an opportunity to reflect on and share past experiences. It’s a fertile ground for exchange of information and ideas and sharing about creative ways around issues that come up.
“It is interesting rubbing shoulders with someone who is working in parallel but is not working in exactly the same area as you,” Don says.
"An amazing programme"
Rohana has found it helpful seeing how things are done in different creative spaces around New Zealand. She says had it not been for the training programme she wouldn’t have known she needed to know those skills or wouldn’t have sought out advice or known where to go or who to ask.
“I feel like my whole attitude towards my role and my work has changed and become more professional and forward thinking. It has been wonderful to learn from someone with such a broad and varied range of experiences,” Rohana says.
“It has been so validating and it’s been an amazing programme for me as a mentee.”
Arts Access Aotearoa's Creative Spaces Mentor Programme aims to help build the capacity and sustainability of the creative spaces sector in New Zealand. To register your interest in the Creative Spaces Mentor Programme please contact Claire Noble (T: 04 802 4349 or firstname.lastname@example.org).