BAYCOURT COMMUNITY AND ARTS CENTRE: This centrally located Downtown Tauranga events and performance venue was more than well used in June. And, it was used by a very large cross section of the community. It was wonderful to see the range of youth and young people’s events held there as well as the more usual orchestral concerts, performances and exhibitions. This venue is easily accessible from the main transport routes around Tauranga and in the evenings there is free parking within easy walking distance. Over Queen’s Birthday weekend I called in and the foyer had been transformed by members of the incubator arts collective:- vintage furniture and accessories created several displays and sitting rooms. Later in the month I was there for the youth performances: school groupings in the X space and the row of portable toilets standing sentinel on the lower level. Great venue and part of the Downtown Tauranga Arts Precinct – think Library, Art Gallery, Creative Tauranga Community Gallery all within two minutes walk. This of course moves nicely along to the outstanding performances of the youth and young people around the Bay of Plenty

YOUTH PERFORMANCE AND CREATIVITY: When events like those recently seen at Baycourt (ASB Stage Challenge, Fresh Moves and Smokefree Rockquest, the Otumoetai production of Guys and Dolls) and PROJECT the Hip Hop competitions held at Bethlehem College you realise the huge upcoming layer of talent in the community. But this isn’t all – the creativity in this layer of our community is everywhere and ongoing. Last month I noted the outstanding level of the artwork entered in the school sections of the Pukehinahina Commemoration art competition. In earlier editions I’ve also commented on the examination boards of art students displayed in the Tauranga Art Gallery. There are nearly always articles in local print media about the diverse creative activiies of the younger community. Yesterday I was shown two short films created by a very young member of our local community. Tauranga is perceived as a retirement haven, the home of the elderly but buzzing away out there is this huge younger talented and creative layer. Remember this when you are deciding what you might want to go and see. Don’t close your eyes to this younger level of excellence.



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