Arts publisher Contemporary HUM launches Help HUM weather the storm, a fundraising campaign on boosted.org.nz seeking donations to strengthen their foundations and withstand the precarious public funding conditions affecting arts organisations across Aotearoa New Zealand.
Contemporary HUM was launched in 2016 as an online platform and central hub for Aotearoa arts abroad, championing the international work of New Zealand creative practitioners through freely-accessible publishing as well as public events and multimedia partnerships.
Now in its seventh year of operation, Contemporary HUM continues to be the only platform dedicated to documentation and discussion of the work of Aotearoa artists overseas. It has commissioned over 150 publications, advertised over 850 calendar listings, and initiated 11 international partnerships, and its reach, as well as its organisation, continues to grow.
With associate editors across Europe, Asia, and Aotearoa, Contemporary HUM also became a registered charity in 2019, and in 2022 solidified its core team with two new members based in the United Kingdom. However, public funding for the arts has been hit hard in 2023, and the prospects for Contemporary HUM are looking challenging for 2024.
Contemporary HUM is now turning to the public to seek support to strengthen their foundations and secure their future as a resilient and sustainable organisation.
From 1 December 2023—31 January 2024, Contemporary HUM is seeking $30,000 to embed sustainable practices in all aspects of the organisation, including developing new funding models to diversify their streams of revenue.
“Public funding for the arts in New Zealand is being recalibrated, which is putting the entire sector under significant pressure,” says Founder and Director of Contemporary HUM Pauline Autet, “right now, we need financial support so that we can continue championing Aotearoa artists on the global stage.”
Benjamin Work, artist and board member of the Contemporary HUM Arts Trust, explains the importance of supporting the platform: “Whether it’s representing the country in a biennale, being awarded an international residency, or taking part in a group exhibition, it’s important that our communities in Aotearoa are aware of the great work happening overseas. Contemporary HUM is the only place to find that perspective.”
Feedback from the organisation’s latest Creative New Zealand Arts Grant application reinforces the continued need for this unique initiative: “Given the paucity of platforms for critical arts writing in New Zealand today, Contemporary HUM plays a significant role in the art sector. As a New Zealand organisation supporting local artists living and working abroad they occupy a unique and valuable space in New Zealand art history.”
In addition to financial contributions, which are essential, Contemporary HUM invites the public and those in the arts sector to lend their support in other ways, including: