20 Jan 2023

Toi Whakaari names 2022 FAME Trust winner

Toi Whakaari names 2022 FAME Trust winner

The Acorn Foundation and the trustees of the FAME Trust are pleased to announce the selection for the 2022 Emerging Practitioner Award recipient at Toi Whakaari. This institution 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.

Aspiring performing arts manager Michael Lyell-O’Reilly was nominated by his peers at Toi Whakaari and was chosen as the recipient for the 2022 Emerging Practitioner Award. He previously studied at the University of Auckland in 2020 where he learned key academic skills that have enabled him to understand how to analyse and organise his work processes.

Michael shares what winning the FAME Trust Emerging Practitioner award means to him, “This award will make a massive difference to my life as a performing arts practitioner; it's giving me the resources I need for the tools and equipment that keep me safe while I learn and work and allows me to pursue courses that will broaden and strengthen my skillsets. I'm so grateful for this new support and excited to see what I can learn and achieve with it.”

Michael explains that as a trans person, he has an interest in seeing how performing arts management can better support diverse people. That is why he intends to use his independent practice research project to explore how managers and technicians can adapt creative processes to support diverse art and diverse people. Next year, Michael will be part of a small team putting a show into the Kia Mau festival, supporting high-quality, exploratory indigenous art made by emerging artists.

Dr Sean Coyle, head of Design and Arts Management shares his thoughts on Michael being selected, “I am so pleased that Michael has been awarded this prestigious and life changing award. Through his time so far at Toi, Michael has managed to demonstrate amazing leadership skills and a true dedication to his production craft. This award will allow Michael some financial respite, allowing him time and resources to dedicate to his learning journey as he moves towards entering the arts industry as an emerging manager to watch.”

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