Let’s Talk About HIV Awareness in Aotearoa

Press Release – Elephant Publicity

Let’s Talk About HIV Awareness in Aotearoa

b.Terongopai.t Presents
PUĀWAI FESTIVAL
November 27 – December 2
(In association with Body Positive, Positive Women Inc and The New Zealand AIDS Foundation)

Bringing together some of the city’s most impressive minds, the Puāwai Festival returns to Auckland from Monday 27 November to Saturday 2 December to champion honest and authentic representation of HIV in Aotearoa. The week full of events is timed to honour World AIDS Day on December 1.

Combating the sense of shame and self-recrimination, too frequently associated with HIV, the Puāwai programme this year has expanded with six new performance venues which provide safe and integrated spaces for one and all to be comfortable, visible and to share their own stories. During the Festival each organisation will hold spotlight events, The NZ AIDS Foundation will work alongside Q Theatre and Family Bar, Body Positive invite everyone to the Tin Room, and Positive Women Inc will present four days of activity at Garnet Station, with more events at Basement Theatre, drawing attention to this important conversation within our community.

Providing the highlight of the programme on the eve of World AIDS Day is the charity cabaret fundraiser The Upside Down Gala. Celebrating life with joyous abandon, this spectacular evening of storytelling, comedy, and song has brought together a stellar cast including Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Jackie Clarke, Caitlin Smith, Neil Thornton, and more. The Wintergarden at the Civic Theatre offers a full glitz and glamour cabaret event (including music from Broadway hits to kiwi classics!), with all proceeds going to the NZ HIV Wellness Fund supporting New Zealanders living with HIV, HIV prevention and education

Positive Women Inc move into Garnet Station for the 2017 programme, presenting Wahine Toa across three nights to reflect the more diverse face of HIV experience in New Zealand. A verbatim show centred on women who have a direct connection to HIV, each night will present the personal stories of Gloria Van Grafthorst, Kate Leslie, and Judith Mukakayange, performed by a trio of actors in a moving series of presentations. Garnet Station will also open its doors during the day for a series of workshops offered to those who identify as female. The three sessions will be community focused, welcoming anyone who would like to celebrate mana wahine allowing all participants to vocalise their individual experiences, with the programme closing with a spoken word staging on Saturday for a celebration of voices from all corners to close the festival.

Body Positive also return to the festival in 2017 with a community discussion forum focused on gay men, sex, and recreational drugs, held at Tin Room. Based on monthly open-mic sessions in the UK, Let’s Talk About Sex will allow attendees to talk about their own experiences without stigma or shame in a genuinely safe space.

Steven Oates will MC the Whakapapa panel at Basement Theatre in a tuakana/teina framework, sharing stories from the last 30 years of the lived experience of HIV in New Zealand. A chance for discussion, education, and open conversation. Panelists are still to be announced.

With World AIDS Day falling during the festival week on Friday 1 December, the NZ AIDS Foundation will be fundraising with two events under the Puāwai banner. Playing at Q Theatre, BRIEFS will donate $2.50 of every ticket sold to their performance on World AIDS Day to the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, with banners and bucket collections to draw attention to the cause around Q Theatre for the day. The party will continue after the performance, with the Ending HIV Red Party at Family Bar bringing the community together for a night of rambunctious celebration. Featuring performances from a few of Auckland’s most fabulous Drag Queens with a few extra surprises on the night! Come dressed in your best ‘red’ outfit and be in to win some cool prizes. All funds raised from the events will support kiwis living with HIV and fund Hiv prevention programmes.

Now entering its third iteration of the concept, Puāwai Festival began as an idea sparked from a conversation in 2015 between Mark Fisher of Body Positive and Borni Te Rongopai Tukiwaho of b.Terongopai.t Presents who wanted to explore a different way to mark World AIDS Day in New Zealand. Taking up the challenge of raising both awareness and funds through the performing arts, Puawai also crosses genre boundaries with theatre, cabaret, comedy, spoken word, and panel events all having a place in the diverse programme.

Presenting a week of diversity and multi-faceted appeal, Puāwai Festival reflects the true nature of the experience of HIV, here in Aotearoa.
PUĀWAI FESTIVAL 2017
Whakapapa – Panel event hosted by Steven Oates
Tuesday 28 November, 7pm
Basement Theatre
Koha entry

Voices – Workshops
Wednesday 29 November – Friday 1 December
Garnet Station
Wednesday: Sexy Voices with Louise Bochier, 11-2pm, koha
Thursday: Finding Your Voice with Caitlin Smith, 11-2pm, koha
Friday: Using Your Voice with Caitlin Smith, 11-2pm, koha
Saturday: Spoken Word Workshop with Renee Liang, 1-5pm; Presentation: 6:30-7:30
Koha entry

Wahine Toa – Performance presented by b.Terongopai.t Presents and Positive Women
Wednesday 29 November – Friday 1 December, 7:30pm
Garnet Station
Tickets: $18 concession, $25 full
To purchase tickets, please contact Garnet Station.
W: http://garnetstation.com/
P: 027 4493 953
E: tinytheatrenz@gmail.com

Let’s Talk About Sex – Panel event and bar night presented by Body Positive
Wednesday 29 November, 7.30pm
Tin Room
Koha entry
The Upside Down Gala – Charity Fundraiser
Thursday 30 November
Civic Theatre Wintergarden
Tickets: $25 – $85
To purchase tickets, please contact Auckland Live
W: https://www.aucklandlive.co.nz/show/puawai-festival-the-upside-down
VIP Hosting: doors open 5:30pm
Gold
$85pp/$800 table (10) 6-7pm: includes hosting, wine, food,
Caitlin Smith pre- show entertainment and full show
General admission: doors open 7pm
Silver $55pp/$500 table 7:30pm: includes drink on arrival and show
Bronze $35pp/$300 table 7:30pm: includes show
Concession $25pp/$200 table 7:30pm: includes show

BRIEFS: Close Encounters – Performance
Friday 1 December, 7.30pm
Q Theatre
Tickets: $69 – $99
Season runs Nov 22 – Dec 9; $2.50 from every ticket sold to the Fri 1 Dec performance will be donated to the New Zealand AIDS Foundation
To purchase tickets, please contact Q Theatre.
W: qtheatre.co.nz/briefs-close-encounters
P: 09 309 9771
E: boxoffice@qtheatre.co.nz

Spoken Word Staging – Performance
A presentation of the workshopped pieces from the Voices sessions
Saturday 2 December, 6:30-7:30pm
Garnet Station
Koha entry
ends

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