Philanthropy to save Fellowship — 20.01.15

New Zealanders are gearing up to save the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship, a 45 year old Fellowship for New Zealand writers.

New Zealanders are gearing up to save the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship, a 45 year old Fellowship for New Zealand writers. Some of our finest literary geniuses have benefited from the Fellowship, including Janet FrameMaurice Gee  and Witi Ihimaera . "We have an opportunity to secure the Fellowship for all time", said Keith Ferguson, Campaign Chairman. "With the support of New Zealanders we are establishing a permanent capital sum, generating sufficient income to send a writer to France at least every two years". 

The campaign still needs support, it has a target of $800,000, which needs to be raised by June 2015. Almost $500,000 has been secured. Donations can be made to the Arts Foundation, who will manage the residency when the funds are raised.

The Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship has enabled a New Zealand writer to spend six months (or more) in France writing at Villa Isola Bella - the villa where Katherine Mansfield wrote some of her best work. Following a significant change in the availability of corporate sponsorship, the historic Fellowship has not been able to secure another sponsor since losing New Zealand Post's support about four years ago.

The Winn-Manson Menton Trust that runs the Fellowship has teamed up with the Arts Foundation, who are actively seeking public donations in order to establish a permanent fund. Arts Foundation Executive Director Simon Bowden says "The Fellowship is a part of the history of New Zealand literature. The list of past Fellows is extraordinary, and is testament to the impact it has had across some of the most prolific writers of our time. It has enabled writers such as Witi Ihimaera  to write classics, such as Bulibasha, which he wrote in Menton in 1993. These opportunities are important and add to the depth of New Zealand literature."

Book clubs around the country have joined the fundraising effort with donations received from all regions. Participating clubs have donated an average of $120, made up of smaller donations from each club member. Chair of the Winn-Manson Menton Trust, Richard Cathie says "The combined efforts of Book Clubs is making a significant impact on the overall fundraising effort. They recognise that the Fellowship has fostered the creation of a broad range of New Zealand literature, inspired by Menton".

"We have started out strong, and we are very encouraged by the support received to date. The hard truth is that without public support, the Fellowship won't be able to continue. And it has to. We feel strongly that New Zealand writers must continue to experience living and writing in Menton in the future."

A target of $800,000 would ensure that the Fellowship could be awarded every two years for all time, without corporate funding. "We would prefer that the Fellowship continue to be awarded annually, but that will depend on the level of support. $800,000 raised would enable us to set up a permanent fund, generating sufficient revenue to fund a Fellowship every two years - we are over half way there."

Members of the public are encouraged to play a critical part in supporting New Zealand literature for now and future generations, by making a donation. All donations over $5 qualify for a 33% tax credit. Donations of $300 or more will also qualify for patronage of the Arts Foundation.

Donations can be made online at www.thearts.co.nz, by email admin@thearts.co.nz, or by calling the Arts Foundation on (04) 382 9691.

Media Contact

Stephanie Alderson
Marketing Manager, The Arts Foundation of New Zealand
(021) 560 114 | Email

Richard Cathie and 2014 Fellow, Mandy Hagar were interviewed this morning on Nine To Noon - the interview can be found here .

List of past Fellows

2014 Mandy Hager
2013 Greg McGee
2012 Justin Paton
2011 Chris Price
2010 Ken Duncum
2009 Jenny Pattrick
2008 Damien Wilkins
2007 Stuart Hoar
2006 Dame Fiona Kidman
2005 Ian Wedde
2004 Bill Manhire
2003 Tessa Duder
2002 Jenny Bornholdt
2001 Catherine Chidgey
2000 Stephanie Johnson
1999 Elizabeth Knox
1998 Maurice Shadbolt
1997 Roger Hall
1996 Owen Marshall
1995 Fiona Farrell
1994 Vincent O'Sullivan
1993 Witi Ihimaera
1992 Maurice Gee
1991 Nigel Cox
1990 Lisa Greenwood
1989 Lloyd Jones
1988 Louis Johnson
1987 Russell Haley
1986 Michael Harlow
1985 Michael Gifkins
1984 Rowley Habib
1983 Allen Curnow
1982 Michael Jackson
1981 Lauris Edmond
1980 Marilyn Duckworth
1979 Philip Temple
1978 Spiro Zavos
1977 Barry Mitcalfe
1976 Michael King
1975 David Mitchell
1974 Janet Frame
1973 James McNeish
1972 C K Stead
1971 Margaret Scott
1970 Owen Leeming