A New Home for Footnote

Footnote whānau, we have some huge news to share with you! Last month, at a Wellington City Council meeting, councillors approved the completion of a building in Karori that will, after the dotting of some important i’s and crossing of some crucial t’s, become Footnote’s brand new home. Anyone who has worked with Footnote will know that securing a new home for the company has been a necessary and ongoing project for many years. So, whilst there is still much to do, including fundraising for crucial equipment that Footnote (and the wider community) will need in this home, this is a massive moment for us as well as the wider community. To put it honestly, we are elated!


Project Background

Footnote New Zealand Dance has sustained itself over the years through the incredible generosity and hard work of our Founder and Patron, Deirdre Tarrant, who has provided security for the company at the Tarrant Dance Studios for 35 years. We acknowledge that the staircase, walls and floor of the Tarrant Dance Studios hold a lot of memories for Aotearoa’s dance community, with its familiar circular studio windows sparking memories for innumerable dancers, choreographers, musicians and others. There have been so many incredible works created in these studios.

However, for a number of years, the organisation has been in need of a larger studio space with modern facilities appropriate for its professional dancers and other brilliant creatives to develop world-class dance work with the company. The requirements for a fit-for-purpose dance studio are very specific, and with an increasing lack of space in Wellington’s CBD due to earthquake prone buildings and low commercial vacancy rates, this search has proved difficult to say the least. Indeed, Footnote has explored many options over the last 6 years in searching for a new space, but nothing has ever felt right. Until now!

The Karori Event Centre was introduced to us nine months ago and, after many site visits and consultations, it was wholeheartedly determined that this new space would provide what we were looking for in a new home. The Karori Community Centre Trust have been fundraising for the completion of this building for many years and have put a lot of effort into the development of this new building for the community. They needed the help of Wellington City Council, and a flagship tenant (that’s where we come in!), to get the project to the finish line. It’s a win-win scenario for all involved and we’re incredibly excited and proud to continue Footnote’s legacy in this brand new space.

 


Key Information

There will be a lot of information for us to share about the new space in the coming weeks and months and we are compiling some additional information at the moment, but we couldn’t wait to officially share the news with you in the meantime! We also know that there will be a lot of questions, so here are a few key points that we can share with you now:

  • The building is set to be completed by the end of 2020, which will see Footnote move into the building at the beginning of 2021 (subject to the completion of our lease and fundraising campaign).
  • The building will also be a generously-run resource for the community in Karori, as well as the wider Wellington arts community.
  • The Karori Event Centre is a brand-new building, next door to the Karori Community Centre.
  • While the building has received Wellington City Council support for completion, there is still work to be done in terms of fundraising for equipment specific to our needs as a dance company.

Thanks

There are a great many people to thank for helping us achieve this momentous next stage for the company including previous and current Footnote Board members, our Founder and Patron Deirdre Tarrant, and our funders, sponsors and partners. But there are a few people that we’d like to specifically acknowledge right now. A huge thank you to the Wellington City Council for their support and approval of this project. Your partnership unlocks a new space for art to continue to flourish in the capital. We also want to acknowledge the incredibly hard work that members of the Karori Community Hall Trust and others have put into this project over many years. We’re looking forward to celebrating with you as soon as we can, and to collaborating with the Karori Community Centre and others to ensure this building is a vibrant asset for the community.


Until we can connect again in person, from all of us here at Footnote, stay safe in Level 2 and we hope to see you soon.