ASB & Pride Artist Seed Fund

ASB & Pride Artist Seed Fund

The Pride & ASB Artist Seed Fund supports Queer art through micro-grants enabling artists to test ideas, develop a project, and take risks. For this first year we are delighted to be able to support 4 projects in visual art, performance and playwriting to undergo a resourced development process. 

This fund is made possible with the support of ASB.

The Artists:

val smith (Pākehā, they/them) is a choreographic artist residing and working on the whenua of Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara within Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland. Their work explores queerness and transness through performance, critical somatics, and friendship-based collaboration. Recent projects address Indigenous/settler-colonial relationships and queer*trans experiences of place, belonging and togetherness in collaboration with Forest V Kapo (Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Raukawa): Feathered Messages (2023); Songs with Birds (2022); ill grow back (2020). val is an Arts Foundation Laureate (2019) and was recently awarded an Outstanding Doctoral Award - School of Art and Design, Auckland University of Technology for their PhD entitled Promiscuous Emplacements, which investigates more-than/human relationality.Their current projects explore transgender approaches to communicating with plants in performance, drawing on ritual, divining, and spell-making (from a Pākehā Celtic perspective).

Manu Vaea (they/them/she) is Tongan and identifies as Leitī, the Tongan third gender. Their creative work responds to themes of cultural transformation, seeking to assert queer Pacific identities into social and cultural visibility. Manu has experience across a range of artforms, including illustration, poetry, performance and music, and they’re currently acting for the first time in the Neon/Prime TV show Not Even, written by Dana Leaming. Manu also received the Creative New Zealand and Massey University Arts and Creativity Award at the 2019 Prime Minister's Pacific Youth Awards.

Murdoch Keane began performing one woman shows for the other children during lunchtimes at kindergarten - twenty years later and this desire to put on a show for those around him has not ceased. Upon graduating from Te Kura Toi Whakaari in 2021 he has gone on to helm his independent theatre company Resistant Productions and was part of creating esteemed works such as She's Crowning (2022) and Minnie and Judy(2023). Notes on Camp is his latest venture and is a love letter to the stories which have shaped him. Murdoch dreams of re vitalising theatre for his generation and creating naughty work in a healed world.

Marc Conaco is a queer Bisaya artist, graphic designer, zine-maker and amateur farmer currently based in Tāmaki Makaurau. His work centres on reclaiming pre-colonial Bisaya culture and histories with a special interest in his queer ancestors (the babaylan), pre-colonial futurism and world-building.


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