The biggest concentration of people working in New Zealand's creative sector can be found in the Waitematā Local Board area. However, what the area has been lacking is enough fit-for-purpose space to create.
In 2018, the Waitematā Local Board Arts and Creative Spaces Stocktake and Needs Analysis Report revealed that local artists had been struggling to find suitable and affordable creative spaces despite there being plenty of sites.
Waitematā Local Board responded by contributing towards the cost of an art space coordinator responsible for connecting creatives to spaces and arts services.
The role was awarded to independent arts agency Monster Valley, run by filmmaker and creative Karl Sheridan.
Once Monster Valley took on the role, they got to work creating Space Hub, a platform dedicated to connecting artists with diverse spaces across Waitematā.
“Since the launch of Space Hub, we've seen some great projects go ahead. One was the use of vacant shops at St Kevin's Arcade on Karangahape Road. Rather than these sitting empty in between tenants, an artist was offered the space to use as they wish for a minimum of two weeks.
“Schemes like this offer artists the rare opportunity to have a shop front in the centre of town for an extended period,” says Karl.
“Looking forward, we’ll be developing Space Hub to operate as a two-way street. At the moment it’s designed for creatives to find diverse spaces; however to increase the use of available spaces we’re developing a system that allows spaces to get in touch with artists when their space is available for free or at a reduced rate for a set period of time.
“This two-way street model means we should see more vacant spaces being used creatively, and in turn, increase people's desire to get out and about in the city.”
Check out the Space Hub website to find out more.