Creativity is important every day - it’s hard to imagine the world turning without it.
But Aotearoa has become part of a global community making sure that it gets its moment in the sun - and you’re invited to be part of it.
World Creativity and Innovation Week (WCIW) is celebrated from 15-21 April - culminating with its own United Nations recognised World Creativity and Innovation Day.
For the second year, New Zealand is officially taking part - one of 121 countries registered - to show off the unique and vibrant creative heart of our nation.
New Zealand’s first year performance was highly commended by the event’s international organisers - giving us as a creative collective a strong launchpad for this year’s edition.
"This is a very creative and innovative place," WCIW’s New Zealand Ambassador Amy Malcolm states. “For a creative, it’s a chance to celebrate the role they play in their community, in society, in business, in education - and why they think creativity and innovation is important.
“It’s also an opportunity to connect to this growing international community of creative and innovative people, to find out what others are doing, to reach out to get involved in other people's activities and vice versa.”
If they weren’t doing so already before the pandemic, virtually every creative knows the importance and power of posting their ideas, mahi or performances online.
But WCIW gives them the opportunity to help it reach a global audience of those actively seeking out creative endeavours.
It’s about putting your creativity in the right place to be found - a portal or platform to the world. There's even a dedicated social media team with a mission to share what gets registered globally who are reportedly keeping a close eye on what's happening on our shores.
The University of Auckland’s Centre for Arts and Social Transformation celebrating WCIW. Photo: Supplied.
Malcolm explains “If you were looking for a place to discover what’s happening creatively in New Zealand - or looking to connect with creative academics, creative performers or musicians - this is a place where you could find it.
“This is an opportunity to show the world what we’re doing in terms of Māori and Pasifika art - for New Zealand to show its breadth of creativity. It’s a window into our creativity for people to come and find it, then people can reach out and connect.”
That’s precisely what happened last year - New Zealand creatives were given the opportunity to be part of other nations’ artistic expression.
Malcolm enthuses “there’s a whole lot of exciting things happening all over the world in different ways. Everything from symposiums to podcasts, to interviews and events that are open to everybody - you can register and attend any event in any country in the world.”
Well, it’s pretty easy - there’s a good chance you’ve done most of the hard work already.
While you can create something bespoke for WCIW, it’s also what Malcolm describes as a “repository of all things cool and creative”, where you can simply register kōrero, performances and creative outlets previously recorded or created over the past 12 months.
Muhammad Waqas's link to his 51 - love, peace and unity artwork from 2021's WCIW is still accesible.
It doesn’t have to be from the week or the day to celebrate WCIW.
That gig you live streamed during Level Four? Yep. Your Zoom conversation with artists friends about how you claw out of a creative rut? Absolutely. Your personally choreographed dance solo that you haven’t had the courage or platform to share with the world yet? Definitely. A link to your website to view your latest pieces? For sure.
The WCIW website is home to a catalogue of creativity and conversation that can be viewed - including from last year’s celebrations.
Already organisations like The Arts Foundation, The University of Auckland’s Centre for Arts and Social Transformation, Te Ora Auaha and Christchurch-based classical musical duo Yuuki Bouterey-Ishido and Tianyang Han have uploaded their material or listed their events on NZ’s 2022 page.
Yuuki Bouterey-Ishido. Photo: Supplied.
“My advice for people is to get on board and try it,” Malcolm offers. “You don’t need to get too serious and create a huge event just for this - find something that you are wanting to do, are already doing or have already done, register it and use it as a connection.”
It’s not everyday you can use one destination to check out the creative vibe in Armenia, Senegal and El Salvador - when you check out New Zealand’s offerings, you’re one arrow click away from seeing what Nicaragua has to offer.
It also helps tackle big issues, like a business school in Kiev appealing for people to attend a Zoom to discuss how to find ‘innovative ways to develop the country after Russia's unprecedented military invasion of Ukraine.’
Malcolm declares “If you are a creative in New Zealand, this is a great week to just sit and see what’s going on in the world - literally the world - of creativity - involve yourself in things over the seven days.
“It’s about New Zealand coming together and saying we are a creative nation and we should celebrate this. It’s a day (21 April) to be a catalyst, it’s a day to attach yourself to creativity because you’re trying to get on board with it.
“If you are passionate about it - this is your day. This is our day to make connections, to celebrate, to tell people what you do and find out what other people do.”