Aotearoa’s largest Asian theatre company crowdfunds for its future

May 31, 2024

Aotearoa’s largest Asian theatre company crowdfunds for its future

Proudly Asian theatre celebrated its 10th anniversary, marking an achievement in Asian representation in Aotearoa. Photo: Nabeelah Khan

Auckland-based theatre company Proudly Asian Theatre (PAT) has successfully crowd-funded over $20,000 for its future as well as announcing a one-year hiatus.

The theatre company is turning to a crowd-funding campaign to ensure its financial sustainability for the years to come.

PAT’s executive creative producer Marianne Infante says that the company’s hiatus comes after a decade of the theatre’s creative directors having to run the company out of “their own pockets”.

“We don’t have the financial ability to run the company... We don’t get paid to do it. We are basically paying ourselves to run PAT through other projects.”

Infante says that the hiatus will be used to explore different income streams so they’re not fully reliant on government funding, alongside taking time to come back stronger and serve the artistic community more holistically.

Big Idea reported that New Zealand's creative sector has surged to a value of $16.3 billion, marking a remarkable rise of nearly $2 billion in just five months, contributing to 4.3 percent to Aotearoa's total GDP.

A report by CreativeNZ shows that the arts industry in Aotearoa is underfunded.

The report reveals that the median income for creative practitioners is only $35,800 – with most having to rely on other sources of financial support to sustain themselves.

The decision to ask the public for financial aid has been met enthusiastically as contributions made by 237 donors helped in exceeding their initial target of $19,800.

Donor and theatre maker Sananda Chatterjee describes PAT's role as an "important part of Tamaki Makaura's Asian Arts ecosystem”.

“The people who want to see the company thrive are the practitioners of it,” Infante says.

The company has developed 37 new Asian plays of which ten have been further developed and performed across Aotearoa.

The donations ensure PAT’s longevity for years to come.

LISTEN HERE: Marianne Infante discusses the theatre company’s financial issues.

Auckland's Matariki festival this year highlights indigenous art

Auckland's Matariki festival this year highlights indigenous art

Nabeelah Khan June 12, 2024

University students and professors weigh in on newly proposed ‘assistant psychology’ role

University students and professors weigh in on newly proposed ‘assistant psychology’ role

Nabeelah Khan June 5, 2024

Giving journalism a ‘face-lift’ in a time of crisis

Giving journalism a ‘face-lift’ in a time of crisis

Jamie Lawlor June 4, 2024