At the New Zealand Festival of the Arts, we’ve been creating extraordinary encounters between artists and audiences since 1986. The New Zealanders who established the Festival were pioneers, achieving their highly ambitious goal of bringing the best live arts experiences from across the world to audiences in New Zealand. And we’ve been doing it on every even year ever since.

Now 31 years young, we continue to realise our founders’ vision, and to take it in ground-breaking new directions, inspired by our commitment to originality, excellence, and to make the world a better place through that most vital, life-giving force – art.

In 2020 artists are taking over the New Zealand Festival of the Arts, Te Taurima o Aotearoa, to make your experience more special, memorable and exhilarating. As the largest celebration of cutting-edge culture in Aotearoa, our job is to push the boundaries. To do that we’re bringing more artistic voices into the conversation.

For each of the three weeks of the Festival, we’ve invited an internationally renowned artist to be Guest Curator – selecting a signature series of arts experiences just for you. Our 2020 Guest Curators are Lemi Ponifasio, Laurie Anderson and Bret McKenzie, giving each week a distinct feel and identity. Our Guest Curator selections will live alongside other extraordinary art works from Aotearoa and the world, programmed by our Creative Director Marnie Karmelita.

Another exciting development for 2020 is the full embrace of our ever popular Writers programme. We’re expanding it from one to three full weeks of events, creating a bespoke literary salon space in the Renouf Foyer of the Michael Fowler Centre.

Meet our Guest Curators and the many artists who will join them, for a Festival of the Arts that celebrates honesty, bravery and splendour. Our goal is to create arts experiences that get people talking. In times like these, talking matters. And great art inspires important conversations, helping us see the world in sharper focus, or in a whole new light.

Our Festival ends on 15 March, the one-year anniversary of the terror attacks at the Linwood and Al Noor mosques in Christchurch. We welcome all to join the Muslim community, mana whenua and your fellow citizens for a moment of remembrance and reflection as the Festival draws to a close. Ngā mihi maioha to every single person who is connected with this Festival and stands alongside us and our artists. Your passion for art and community and your commitment to Wellington and Aotearoa inspire us every day.

This is your Festival. Come with an open heart and mind. Leave changed.

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