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Meg William - New Zealand Festival

The person charged with ensuring the Festival remains an energising creative force in the Wellington region.

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Wellington’s flagship arts event, the biennial New Zealand Festival, did a lot to kick start the “absolutely positively Wellington” renaissance of the 1990s that transformed the region from brown cardigan capital to creative powerhouse. But like all successful arts events, maturity brought the challenge of keeping things fresh for the New Zealand Festival.

The person charged with ensuring the Festival remains an energising creative force in the Wellington region is 34-year old Meg Williams, who has bold plans to revolutionise the way the Festival operates, including a greater role for artists and staging a variety of other events during the two year New Zealand Festival cycle.

The organisation already runs the Jazz Festival and the Lexus Song Contest but Williams says she wants to expand the repertoire of events to engage younger audiences and broader demographics. Perhaps we can expect more of the approach that saw this year’s Festival opening event, A Waka Odyssey, attract an estimated 20,000 people to the waterfront with 200,000 tuning in to view the Facebook live video.