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Star-studded online event to celebrate Heretaunga

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COVID-19 may be keeping us all in our bubbles at home, but that hasn’t stopped local arts organisations partnering with Hastings District Council to create a star-studded online event this coming Sunday, May 10.

Called ‘Mīharo’, which means amazing or marvellous, it will feature national and international artists with a connection to Heretaunga, in an event designed to bring the community together, within each of our bubbles.

Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre has worked with Arts Inc Heretaunga, Harcourts Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival and Council to create Mīharo, which will stream live on Facebook and YouTube at 4pm, this Sunday.

With music, dance, poetry, story-telling and much more, there’s sure to be something for everyone’s tastes, including guest performances by singer Hinewehi Mohi, international opera star Phillip Rhodes, blues guitarist and singer Thomas Oliver and many more.

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says Council wanted to connect our community, celebrating what makes Heretaunga special, and the arts was an obvious way to do that.

“This is such a wonderful place to live, full of talented people who have shown how
resilient and caring they are while we’ve all been in lockdown. As a council, we wanted to thank our community for their strength and celebrate the hope we all have as we come out of this challenging time.”

Internationally-recognised blues artist Thomas Oliver says he’s stoked to be involved in Mīharo.

“One positive that we can take from the restrictions surrounding COVID-19 is the greater focus on our own communities. This show is a representation and a celebration of our community."

Deepthi Sreejith, of the Hawke’s Bay Indian Cultural Centre, is also performing on Sunday.

"I am very delighted to be a part of this concert. To me, my ankle bells started ringing from silence. Bringing all the artists together in this digital visual platform to show our solidarity in times of distress is like a rainbow in the clouds."

The event will be hosted by Hastings ambassador Henare O’Keefe, from a solo bubble on the Toitoi Opera House stage.

“This concert is about our rebirth as a community – it’s as if we’ve been reborn,” he says. “It’s an opportunity to celebrate and, indeed, be Hastings Proud!”

Mīharo will be streamed live on Council’s Facebook and YouTube channels at 4pm on Sunday, May 10.

There will also be an opportunity for people to donate to local charitable service providers via a website link.

Head to the Facebook pages, @hastingsdc, or @toitoivenues or @hawkesbayartsfestival, for more information and artist announcements.

Photo: Opera star Phillip Rhodes will be joining the line-up.

4 May 2020

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