Interact 2015 – disability festival attracts crowds

In 2015, the IHC Foundation provided funding to Interacting Theatre to run InterACT2015 – a three-day disability arts festival showcasing performances, classes and workshops in Auckland.

The festival was held for the fifth year running at the Corbans Estate Arts Centre in Henderson in October. It attracted 200 performers, 3750 visitors and reflected the diversity and multi-cultural flavour of Auckland.

Interacting Trust Chair Rod Wills said the free workshops and classes held each day of the festival were full. Workshops were held in drumming, dance, community circus, hip-hop, group singing, Zumba and face painting. Formal classes with art educators were held twice a day.

Interacting community film-maker Hank Snell made a 10-minute documentary during the festival, assisted by festival participants.

The Gala Night performance featured the Variety Voices Choir, singer Caitlin Smith, Johnny Mateson and Confusion, Mutes from Mars, and the new show Once Upon A Court Case by Interacting Disability Theatre.

Rod Wills said organisers assessed the impact of the festival by counting the numbers of people at the site over the three days, but the reality was that many people were involved across the disability sector and in the wider community for months in preparation for the event. He said the festival had become a regular part of the year’s arts activities and coming back to the community arts centre was like a homecoming each year for many participants.

The following film was made by participants of the three-day event.