The new cultural philanthropy organisation, the Crystal Arts Trust, has assumed the sponsorship of the Best First Book awards at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
Longstanding patrons of the arts James and Rosetta Allan formed the Crystal Arts Trust (named after their late, much-loved dog Crystal) earlier this year with the aim of making a difference to the arts in Aotearoa New Zealand by providing financial support to emerging writers, visual artists and musicians.
“I have always believed that the arts are fundamental to our humanity,” says Trust executive director James Allan. “In 2016 my wife, Rosetta Allan, received a Creative New Zealand Arts Grant which enabled her to accept the St Petersburg Art Residency to research and write her second novel in Russia. I experienced first-hand how receiving financial support to develop a creative career provides a sense of validation, encouragement, and empowerment to keep pushing forward. “From that moment, I had a desire to make a long-lasting contribution to the arts in Aotearoa New Zealand. That time has finally arrived,” says James.
To provide enduring support, the Crystal Arts Trust plans to cultivate partnerships with an array of arts, cultural, and corporate
organisations from across the country. Its board, comprising Rosetta Allan, Dr Gayle Morris, and Dr Paula Morris, will work to ensure that artists receive the support they need to thrive, develop their career, and build a stronger and brighter future for the arts in Aotearoa New Zealand.