Spark, Pride partner to empower Auckland’s Rainbow communities

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Spark New Zealand

Auckland Pride Festival, in collaboration with Spark, is excited to announce a new initiative for Pride 2020, designed to help support diverse rainbow communities bring creative events and projects to life during the 2020 Auckland Pride Festival.

The Pride & Spark Empowerment Initiative is a new and unprecedented project that will help connect and resource Auckland’s diverse rainbow communities by supporting those producing events for the upcoming festival. By providing funding and support, the initiative will break yet another barrier to participation in the festival.

The Pride & Spark Empowerment Initiative will include workshops, access to mentors and funding. The workshops will ensure that vital, relevant advice and information, on topics like finances, event management, marketing and sponsorship, is given to those wanting to put on events as part of the festival.

Mentors will volunteer their time to share their industry knowledge, insight, and tips on a particular project. Funding for Pride 2020 aligned events will solve the previously unaddressed need of resourcing for diverse and less-privileged voices in the Pride Festival, allowing for the full talent of our communities to be shown in a display of queer excellence across Tāmaki Makaurau.

“The Pride & Spark Empowerment Initiative is easily one of the most exciting aspects of the 2020 Festival” says Director of Pride Max Tweedie. “Resourcing is an ongoing issue for rainbow communities, so to be able to address this head on marks significant progress for the Auckland Pride Festival. It’s been a pleasure working with the Proud@Spark whānau on this community-centred partnership, and I eagerly anticipate the impact on our communities.

Spark has been an authentic supporter of rainbow communities through their celebrated partnership with OUTLine, and their unwavering participation in Auckland Pride’s signature events, from #ourmarch to the Ending HIV Big Gay Out.

This Major Partnership has been born out of a shared commitment to the community-centric kaupapa of Auckland Pride and to advancing progress for more-marginalised voices in the Pride Festival.

Proud@Spark Coordinator Riki Hollings says “Our Proud@Spark community group is really committed to how we can help make a real difference to Auckland’s diverse rainbow communities. Our ongoing partnership with OUTLine has cemented our desire to focus our energies on community initiatives that help our diverse community to flourish. And our #thankstoyou brand campaign has aimed to show real-life stories from New Zealanders, showcasing, celebrating (and sometimes defending) rainbow diversity in an authentic way.

“As a result, it’s been a real privilege to co-create the Pride and Spark Empowerment Initiative with the Auckland Pride team. It is our hope that the funding, mentoring and workshops will enable exciting and fresh creative endeavours during the festival that deserve to be appreciated by Tāmaki Makaurau.”

As part of their Major Partnership, Spark will also join in the celebrations at OurParty on the 8th of February. As OurMarch ends, OurParty begins in Aotea Square and will be an unforgettable evening of Rainbow community celebration, as our favourite queer musicians, artists, performers, dancers and foodies come together in an all-ages, free to attend, community event.

The Pride & Spark Empowerment Initiative is one of several initiatives designed to lower the barrier to entry for participants in the Auckland Pride Festival 2020, by providing resources including funding for the rainbow communities of Tāmaki Makaurau to run their own events.


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