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Meet our 2020 Arts Foundation Laureates

Meet our 2020 Arts Foundation Laureates

The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi welcomes seven new Laureates to our 100-strong alumni.

Established in 2000, the Arts Foundation Laureate Awards celebrate and empower New Zealand’s most outstanding practising artists across all genres. The Award recognises their potential for an enduring career and impact on Aotearoa New Zealand, with a $25,000 untagged gift.

“In the current climate – which has devastated New Zealand’s creative industries – the Arts Foundation believe it is more important than ever that we continue to celebrate and empower our most outstanding artists – especially those whose practise has a significant impact on Aotearoa. We’re incredibly proud to see such a diverse group of Laureate recipients, who individually stand out in their respective fields and within their communities and collectively help make up the rich cultural fabric of our country. We can’t wait to see how they continue to mark their mark.” - Arts Foundation Chair, Garth Gallaway

Introducing: the 2020 Arts Foundation Laureates...


Award: The Theresa Gattung Female Arts Practitioners Award

Discipline: Poet, Writer, Performer

The voices of Tusiata Avia are infinite. Acclaimed poet, performer and children’s book writer, her poetry is revolutionary as it redefines the face of Pacific and New Zealand literature.

More about Tusiata Avia


Discipline: Musician, Author

Award: Award for music and literature

One of New Zealand’s most iconic musicians, rock god and author, famously known for his part in the post-punk music scene. Shayne Carter has inspired generations of music lovers, music makers and many in his community, he is recently an award-winning author.

Get to know Shayne Carter


Discipline: Actor, Writer, Director, Producer

Award: The Sir Roger Hall Theatre Award

From intimate encounters to large scale epics, and pioneering works for the South Asian community. His vision is to create diversity in the theatre and amplify the voices that often go unheard.

More on Ahilan Karunaharan


Discipline: Interdisciplinary Artist

Award: The My Art Visual Arts Award

Yuki Kihara is an artist and independent curator who is interested in ways that art, performance and the public interact and prompt discussions towards the understanding the complexities of humanity.

More about Yuki Kihara


Discipline: Choreographer, Artistic Director

Award: The Burr/Tatham Trust Award

Renowned Māori choreographer and director, Moss Te Ururangi Patterson brings both integrity and humility to his choreographic practice in Aotearoa and overseas. Patterson is held in the highest regard by his peers and performing arts communities in which he has worked as a dedicated, and gifted dance artist.

Get to know Moss Te Ururangi Patterson


Award: Jillian Friedlander Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Award

Discipline: Singer, Composer, Taonga Puoro Player

Ariana Tikao is a leading player of the taonga puoro, bringing to life ancestral stories through song. Writing waiata that explores themes relating to her Kāi Tahu identity and mana wahine, Tikao often draws upon historical kōrero from her ancestors.

More about Ariana Tikao


Award: Award for interdisciplinary arts

Discipline: Interdisciplinary Arts Collective

FAFSWAG is a visual arts incubator for queer indigenous creatives, working collaboratively to activate public spaces. They’re creating new narratives that represent their communities, fostering a connection amongst Pasifika people navigating their unique identities within Aotearoa.

All about FAFSWAG

Stories told thanks to Augusto and McCarthy.