06 Apr 2023

Large scale outdoor photographic exhibition celebrates 20 years of local generosity

Large scale outdoor photographic exhibition celebrates 20 years of local generosity

The Acorn Foundation has unveiled a special photographic exhibition on The Strand in the heart of Tauranga, to celebrate 20 years as the Western Bay of Plenty’s local Community Foundation.

The exhibition was unveiled on Tuesday April 4th and Acorn Foundation CEO Lori Luke says the photos were captured in partnership with UNO Magazine and their award-winning photographer Alan Gibson to celebrate the extraordinary generosity of Acorn's donors and the lasting impact of their gifts on our local community.

“We are incredibly grateful to Alan for capturing the impact of our donors’ generosity over the years in such a stunning collection of images,” says Lori. “We would also like to thank the sponsors of the exhibition: UNO Magazine, Downtown Tauranga, Tuskany  Agency, Energy Services Tauranga, and CS Signhouse. It has been a truly collaborative project.”

Acorn Chair, Lesley Jensen, says “Each beautiful photograph tells a unique story, showcasing the work of various community groups funded by Acorn over the years. Yet together, the photographs speak to the power of human connection – hence the exhibition’s name: Enduring Connections.”

UNO magazine Co-Director Rebecca Meyer says they were thrilled to have the opportunity to present a collection of images to capture some of Acorn’s work for the wider community to enjoy. 

"UNO magazine prides itself on presenting the best of the Bay's community in a way that speaks to our readers through its creative and talented photographers and writers.  Alan is the perfect photographer for this Acorn Foundation project, with the exhibition so successfully highlighting the heart and soul of a select group of the Bay's charitable organisations.”

With over $13 million distributed to the community since its inception in 2003, and more than 425 donor funds, the Acorn Foundation has a lot to celebrate. Acorn is one of 17 Community Foundations across New Zealand with a unique model of giving, whereby donations are pooled, invested, and the returns distributed annually to causes named by donors.   

The photo exhibition features 20 of the more than 290 charitable groups in the WBOP who have received funding from Acorn, spanning groups focussed on the arts, environment, youth, food insecurity, homelessness, health, diversity and more.

Western Bay of Plenty Mayor, James Denyer, was one of the local dignitaries at the exhibition unveiling on Tuesday evening and says the exhibition captures an essence of the expansive work of Acorn.

“It is amazing to think that these photos are just a snapshot of the effort so many local people put in, day in, day out, to make our region a better place,” he said. “We are very lucky to have the Acorn Foundation and their generous donors supporting our communities here in the WBOP.”  

The exhibition is located on the Strand in Downtown Tauranga and is on until the end of May.

Read more about 20 years of the Acorn Foundation here.

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