Virginia Warbrick

A tohunga at the Medellin International Poetry Festival, Colombia

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Warren Warbrick is Tohunga Whakairo Rangitāne ki Manawatū. He is a freelance Māori musician, artist, oral artist and musical instrument maker. Warren is honoured to be a lifetime member of Toi Iho, one of approx. 100 living Māori artists, and the inaugural Rangitāne Arts Award recipient.

Warren is also an acknowledged bridge between cultures.

Out of the blue, Warren has been invited to participate in the 28th Annual Medellín International Poetry Festival in Colombia in July. One of only two artists from Oceania, Warren will join with 45 other poets and artists from across the world for the week-long festival.

Past New Zealand participants of the festival include CK Stead and Apirana Taylor.

Warren is working on a two-year project to fully understand the double pūtōrino - there are only three known historic examples in the world, one of which is at Te Papa. Warren is including his own collection of his work-in-progress double pūtōrino in his concurrent arts practice and will be taking one with him to Medellín. You can see a news story and images of Warren in his studio with a double pūtōrino here.

Being invited to participate in an international festival is a wonderful opportunity for Warren to connect with artists considered tohunga in their own communities. He looks forward to sharing his experiences on returning home.

We are seeking your support for Warren's international flights across the pacific, between Aotearoa New Zealand and South America. The airfare is $2800.

If we exceed the project target, your support will be directed towards other travel expenses:
Domestic flights: $249
Travel insurance: $203
Land transfers: $100
Boosted fee: $280

The festival hosts Warren in Medellín for the duration of the festival.

Other avenues for funding we have tried:

The Creative Communities Scheme only supports arts activities taking place within our city's boundaries and, at this stage, Rangitāne can only provide support in the way of educational scholarships for secondary/tertiary study i.e. not international arts activity.

- Creative NZ funding for participating in international literary festivals preferences published writers. Warren's application was unsuccessful with this fund.
- Creative NZ's Quick Response dates are incompatible with the timing of the festival, so Warren is unable to apply to that fund.

This is Warren's first Boosted campaign. Thank you very much for considering support for A Tohunga at the Medellín International Poetry Festival, Colombia.

Mauri ora!


* page image courtesy of Murray Wilson/Manawatū Standard.