Ara Institute award winner selected by FAME Trust
The FAME Trust and the Acorn Foundation have selected the winner for the Emerging Practitioner Award at the Ara Institute of Canterbury. This programme is one of seven top-rated performing arts schools in New Zealand which are each granted an annual $10,000 scholarship to offer promising students who have completed at least one year of tertiary study.
Creative artist Tōmairangi Paterson-Waaka is just completing her second year of study in the NASDA Musical Theatre programme. She is of Te Arawa descent and was born in Rotorua and raised in Hamilton before returning to Rotorua to excel in the arts at Rotorua Girls’ High School. Tōmairangi served as the Arts Prefect in Year 13 and starred in a variety of shows at school and in the community. She was named a Rotorua Young Achiever by the Rotorua Energy Consumer Trust in 2020 for her commitments to the arts, leadership, school and community.
Sara Brodie, Programme leader at NASDA said, “Tōmairangi is the first to arrive and last to leave at NASDA. She has worked hard to achieve every challenge thrown at her during her training. She has a real fire within her which shines in performance. She is driven, disciplined, and charismatic. She is involved in a number of arts projects in Ōtautahi, outside of the school. There is no doubt in my mind she will become a future leader within the profession.”
Tōmairangi won the lead role of Velma Kelly in Chicago, NASDA’s second year musical performance. Outside of school in Canterbury, Tōmairangi has made numerous contacts in the industry, performing in music videos, working in community theatre, television and in a starring role in Piki Films’ movie Te Motu as Polly.
“As a Māori creative artist I'm looking at developing a theatre company to create a safe space for emerging Māori and Pasifika artists to be able to immerse themselves fully within both their culture and their craft. This award will help me inspire our younger rangatahi within the performing arts community by helping me in my final year of studies,” said Tōmairangi.