20 Dec 2022

Shifting the Narrative Through Leadership

A light-skinned Māori man with energetic eyes framed by heavy eyebrows, wearing a salt and pepper beard, with short cropped hair and a  blue/black polkadot shirt. He is smiling.A light-skinned Māori man with energetic eyes framed by heavy eyebrows, wearing a salt and pepper beard, with short cropped hair and a  blue/black polkadot shirt. He is smiling.

Kia ora tātau

As we look back on our 2022 haerenga it’s clear that we are shifting the narrative. Our journey has been supported by a plan, the people to do it, and passion and purpose to see it through.

The holiday season is a time of giving. I’m excited to share the news that our Tuesday Creative and Saturday Contemporary class weekly dance programme for 2023 will be free of charge for participants. It’s been a focus of ours for a while now to recognise that financial accessibility for many in our community is a constant barrier. As a way of continuing to honour our kaupapa, we’ve removed class fees for 2023. Our thanks to our sponsors for helping us make that dream a reality.

So, if you’ve thought of doing a class with us but money was too tight to mention, now it isn’t. To register for our classes, click here. Get in quick as venue space will limit class numbers.

I’m even more excited to witness the creation of new work under our kaupapa, opening new opportunities to continue to make our mark in Aotearoa and take us global, playing our part in showcasing our extraordinary disabled artists and creatives, our hau tipua toi.

Below I wanted to share with you my reflections on our leadership journey:

Mana Hautūtanga - Honouring Leadership

It is no secret we’ve flipped the script on disability-led arts, but more than that we’ve built and honoured a kaupapa built on strong values underpinned by our Five Pillars of Disability Consciousness and Three Strands of Strength. For more about us and our disability-led philosophy see www.touchcompass.org.nz/about.

A hybrid horizontal/vertical leadership is here to stay at Touch Compass. Acting with a collective consciousness where Org and Ops leadership supports Artistic leadership may be revolutionary for some but it’s our day to day now. Recognising the independence of our artistic leaders while retaining their ownership, guidance and influence over the works Touch Compass is developing, requires a new way of thinking. Here are my takeaways:

*Communication is Leadership.

Transparent and free-flowing information from person to person and from project team to project team keep us aware and engaged.

* Trust is leadership.

We have a foundation of trust. We influence, support and engage based on reciprocity of that trust.

* Relationships are leadership.

Our relationships are like a river in which influence flows inward and outward in every direction.

* Strengths are leadership.

Our leadership group brings unique strengths to the table and each has a distinctive voice and presence that is recognised and valued.

* Time and s p a c e is leadership.

We honour everyone’s #criptime and #cripspace, making every effort to bend time and space to bodies and minds to ensure collective navigation of decisions and actions.

* Teamwork is Leadership.

Accomplishing the vision together in the pursuit of strength.

Bottom line, we don’t have a ‘vertical’ or ‘horizontal’ leadership model, we have a Touch Compass leadership model, which is as unique and diverse as the people and performances that come from us.

It’s been my honour to play my leadership part in supporting our hau tipua toi.

Kua tae ki te wā ki te titiro whakamuri ki te tau ātaahua me te angitu. He tau i tino angitu nā koe! Ko te tūmanako ka kite, ka kōrero, ka āwhina me te tohutohu anō i a koe i te tau 2023. He tau hou e tāea ai e tātou te maha o ngā mea ātaahua me ngā mea hou. Nō reira kia mau tonu te titiro ki a mātou!

Time now to look back on a beautiful and success-filled year. A year that has been so successful because of all of you! We look forward to meeting, talking to, connecting and sharing with you again in 2023. A new year in which we will do many extraordinary and new things. Watch this space - watch us!

JT

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Our November newsletter is out!

Nau mai haere mai to our November newsletter! Rehearsals! Productions! Archives! Education, international news, #a11yArts recordings! And last but not least, we have a very quick survey to help us as we enter into our 26th year!

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