Auckland Pride Festival Elevates Queer Arts With 2023 First Release Programme

Auckland Pride is proud to announce the
first wave of the 2023 programme is now live, for a full
month of celebration and connection from 1 – 26
. The Festival will include much loved
annual gatherings, new key events to mark in the calendar,
and a programme brimming with arts experiences throughout
Tāmaki Makaurau, all framed within this year’s theme of

Auckland Pride confirms the return of
key events this year with a number of changes that aim to
make the festival even more accessible, empowering
Auckland’s rainbow communities to fully immerse themselves
in the joyous queer experiences Pride has to

“It’s a privilege to present Elevate:
The 2023 Auckland Pride Festival”
says Executive
Director Max Tweedie. “Drawn from a desire to rise
above the challenges our communities face, take our Festival
to the next level, and lift up the voices of our community –
elevate perfectly encapsulates our aspirations for the 2023
Auckland Pride Festival.”

The Pride
continues to be one of the biggest events
during Pride Month and will be held in the early afternoon
of Saturday 18 February. Following community consultation,
with the aim of ensuring the March is a more effective
platform for activism as well as more accessible, the Pride
March route will now be down the iconic Queen Street. This
evolution has meant the event will also stand alone,
allowing Auckland Pride to grow both events effectively.
Then for the following and final weekend, Pride is taking
over Aotea Square on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 February with
Pride in the Square to celebrate the end of
Pride Month with a free all-ages event. With a variety of
performers, DJ’s, and musicians, alongside daytime
programming on the Saturday for rainbow families and

For the second year Auckland Pride’s
emerging Takatāpui festival Te Tīmatanga
returns. This Rangatahi led public art &
digital festival looks to celebrate the legacy, resilience,
talents and nuanced lived experiences of Aotearoa’s kāhui
takatāpui. Sitting humbly in the Albert Park Caretakers
Cottage, Te Tīmatanga is excited to open its doors to
workshops, wānanga and public programming throughout the
month. This year, Te Tīmatanga’s opening video will be
the delivery of the Creative NZ Rangatahi Takatāpui
Residency, established by Elyssia Wilson-Heti in 2022.
Auckland Pride is excited to showcase, celebrate and uplift
its first resident Kiriana Kemp (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāpuhi,
Ngāti Porou). “This is a chance to pioneer and present
my very first work, complimented by highly skilled and
diverse creatives, and to explore my reo and mātauranga all
at once”
says Kiriana.

Auckland Pride wants to
deepen their relationships and partnerships in Tāmaki
Makaurau’s arts sector – empowering a more authentic and
abundant queer arts ecosystem that nurtures emerging talent
and elevates excellence. They’re partnering with the Arts
Foundation to raise $60,000, supported by generous match
donors, to put money right into the hands of artists they
believe embody the core values of Auckland Pride’s 2023
theme. Elevate describes artists who they feel are
developing their practices in unique or exciting ways, and
are radically contributing to their communities or

Pride Elevates is more than a campaign.
It’s a celebration of present and future queer and
Takatāpui artists and their work, to acknowledge their
place in society. With these nine supported projects, the
landscape of Aotearoa’s creative soul will be shaped for a
prouder and more political tomorrow.

These nine
projects include F.O.L.A., a brand
new Festival of Live Art that celebrates the ambitious,
experimental, unconventional and challenging art of Tāmaki
Makaurau at Basement Theatre. Art
an interactive performance and visual
arts installation by Ōtautahi-based performance artist and
community activator Audrey Baldwin – just like your local
pharmacy, you’ll be prescribed with creative means to
tackle everyday woes and gripes. And JAFA Poetry’s first
ever Pride Poetry Slam, where eight
of the city’s best queer slam poets battle it out for
bragging rights and a cash prize to the charity of their

The queer arts experiences continues
throughout Tāmaki Makaurau with music, theatre, parties,
and drag including, international Canadian boundry pushing
music sensation Peaches performing at The
Powerstation, BABZ TOUR with Drag
Race Down Under’s
Spankie Jackzon, Hannah Conda, and
Kween Kong, and Misbehaviour at
Everybody’s Downtown, a late night club party

Literary festival Samesame but
returns with a full programme from 21 –
25 February with a host of discussions, poetry and more
including the launch of Joanne Drayton’s
latest book The Queen’s Wife, a poetry
speakeasy and open mic,
Tuākana/Teina panel conversation
with Aroha Awaru, Renée, Gina Cole, Laura Vincent, and
Josiah Morgan, and Show Ponies
finally makes its Auckland debut, having been
hailed by Motif Poetry as “a watershed moment for poetry
in performance in Wellington”.

Basement Theatre also
becomes a hub of queers arts, alongside F.O.L.A. is
Cxnt Vol. 1 exploring the ever
evolving relationship with divine feminist and
CLUB CXNT from House of Givenchy,
featuring activations and performances from Aotearoa
ballroom houses, DJs and categories with cash prizes, and
Concerning the UFO sighting outside Mt Roskill,
, a devised work that explores the life
and perspective of Dana, an office worker for an insurance
company and spends most of his days answering

Auckland Pride continues to partner with Q
Theatre during Summer at Q for a selection of theatre and
arts events, including The Crown parody She’s
Crowning: Rebirth
, South Asian playreading
series be:longing by agaram
productions, The Best Is Yet To Come – A Queer
Magic Show
, the story of Jeremy Rolston’s
experiences growing up in the church, accompanied by
mentalism and magic, and Jez & Jace: Lads on
, an improv comedy which provides social
commentary on the friendship between the two rural bogan
lads as they grapple with their queer identity.

there’s even more that can’t be missed including
LYCHEE BAYBEE from All My Friends
Collective, one of the first (if not the first) concept
parties celebrating Lunar New Year and LGBTQIA+ Pride
platforming creatives, artists, and performers of Asian
descent, Auckland Music Theatre’s Australasian premiere of
Brothers at Westpoint Performing
Arts Centre, ceramicist Sung Hwan Park’s BTM
at Auckland Old Folks Association, and
painter Katie Blundell’s exploration of self,
Diary Pages, at Uxbridge Arts &

This year’s Auckland Pride programme offers
up the queerest arts and community events Tāmaki Makaurau
has to offer. With over 35 exciting events, there’s even
more in the first programme release to check out now at

© Scoop Media


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