About us

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Kia ora & Welcome

Welcome to Auckland Arts Festival - Nau mai, Haere mai ki Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki Makaurau.

Welcome to Auckland Arts Festival – a celebration of people, place, culture and art. A time to come together as a community to laugh, to cry, to be amazed, to contemplate and to imagine.

Artists create works that echo what is happening and has happened in our world. They challenge us to consider what is important. We as audience members respond to their work and take our impressions of those stories, sounds and images with us into our worlds.

AAF 2015 was a true celebration of people, places, culture and art. It gave us a reason and a moment to come together and laugh, cry, contemplate, imagine and be amazed.

Over 900 international and NZ artists shared works that echoed what is happening and has happened in our world. From Groupe F’s dazzling reflections on our treatment of the planet, to Lemi Ponifasio’s monumental representation of the legacy of war I AM, shows challenged us to consider what is important.

Audiences opened their hearts and minds to the stories, sounds and images from our place and elsewhere. Tales of struggle, rebellion, history, beauty and love in Nancy Brunning’s Hīkoi, Mei-Lin Te Puea Hansen’s The Mooncake and the Kūmara, Brett Bailey’s Macbeth, Akram Khan’s iTMOi and in Fela! The Concert all made lasting impressions on wide-eyed Festival audiences.

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and Tafelmusik brought moments of great beauty and gob-smacking skill while concerts including The Kitchen, A Child of Our Time and Requiem for the Fallen gave us quiet moments for contemplation on what came before and how it impacts now.

Tai Whetuki and Fale Ula, visual arts installations by Lisa Reihana and Niki Hastings-McFall (respectively), immersed us in reflections on the cycles of life, traditions and ritual practices and our late art-night-out in the city event White Night attracted record numbers of family groups. The Book of Everything, White, Othello: The Remix, Jazzamatazz, a sun-filled Family Day and our SmartsFest education programme ignited the minds, hearts and spirits of our younger audiences. 

Be it politics, war, romance, pleasure or introspection, each and every audience member got to choose their individual dream.  AAF 2015 embraced the diversity, dynamism and spirit of Auckland and for a precious moment changed the face, perspective and feel of our city.

We’re looking forward to providing precious moments for hundreds of thousands of people when we do it all again in 2016.

Put the dates in your diary 2 - 20 March 2016.

Carla van Zon, Artistic Director
David Inns, Chief Executive
Victoria Carter, Chair