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7 February 2024

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Investing in the home of the arts

The Symphony Centre joins with Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi in legacy partnership.

Pictured above: RCP's Jack Bourke (cultural engagement guru, Head of Strategic Development and part-time Opera singer!) with our one and only Arts Foundation General Manager Jessica Palalagi

The Symphony Centre, a vertical village of retail, commercial and residential, to be built above Te Waihorotiu (Aotea) Station and part of a world-class development poised to revitalise Auckland’s Aotea Arts Quarter has announced a partnership with The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi.

A union grounded in culture, connectivity and creativity, the Symphony Centre and the Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi will embark on a strategic partnership that sees the reinvigoration of Auckland’s home of the arts, Aotea Arts Quarter, wholly integrated with artists, the community and its patrons.

Cristean Monreal, Director at RCP, the local development management firm leading the project, says this partnership will ensure that the Symphony Centre remains inherently connected to the arts community right from the start of the project.

“Our vision for the Symphony Centre is to bring the Aotea Arts Quarter back to life in a way that is both meaningful and transformational, and this wouldn’t be possible without truly aligning with the very community at the heart and history of this inner-city neighbourhood.”

A sentiment shared strongly by MRCB, the international developer behind the $600 million precinct.

“Part of delivering this world-class project is to ensure it continues to provide a preeminent place for the arts and its patrons. We are deeply committed to the future of the arts, the future of creativity and creating a revived space that is grounded in culture and connection. Working with the Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi allows us to jointly align our vision for this area,” says Ravi Krishnan, CEO of MRCB.

Aotea Square has a rich history as a place for outstanding New Zealand artists to perform and exhibit. Across the decades, many of The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi’s whānau of exceptional artists have performed at the Dame Kiri te Kanawa auditorium or the Auckland Town Hall, presented their work on stage, on walls or in the square.

As this partnership unfolds, the development of Symphony Centre - including the refurbishment of the adjacent Bledisloe House and the public activation of The Lanes - will give back to the home of the arts every step of the way.

The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi’s General Manager Jessica Palalagi is excited to see the arts integrating with projects and brands of scale.

"It’s rare to see business developers backing the arts and creativity in such a meaningful way, and investing in creativity on a city wide scale. The development behind the Symphony Centre are genuinely walking the talk, as demonstrated in their support of Te Tumu Toi,”

A driving force behind this partnership is Jack Bourke, Head of Community and Strategic Engagement at RCP who knows first hand the value in backing the arts.

“As an opera singer, many of my formative performances were right here at the Kiri Te Kanawa theatre. During that time Aotea Arts Quarter was home to me. I am forever embedded in the arts and its community, so it is great on levels both personally and professionally to see this area come back to life.

“This partnership is testament to the future of the arts and the vested interest that Symphony Centre has in ensuring artists, new and established, continue to have a home, and such a vibrant one at that.”

About the Arts Foundation

Backing artists to make their mark. The Arts Foundation was established in 1998 to honour extraordinary New Zealand artists.