As a city councillor I attend a huge number of events covering the arts, culture and heritage beat for our city.
I'm writing a monthly piece here to share my inside knowledge with you and encourage us all to give something new a go.
I'll look at what's coming up and give you some reference points to figure out if that's something you might like to take a look at. So, I might say that if you liked Downton Abbey then try Bridgerton.
I did say that – to my mum. She's still recovering and I can't look my dad in the eye, but I think the idea is a good one. The views expressed are my own, not the artists or venues and definitely not those of Palmerston North City Council.
Speaking of venues, I'll be covering some old friends and introducing some new favourites. One of our Palmy treasures is Centrepoint – the only regional professional theatre in New Zealand – and their March show doesn't need a cultural reference point as it is one. Potted Potter repeats last year's mad dash through all seven Harry Potter books, on stage until March 14.
I saw it last time and have already seen it again. Recommended for all Potter fans, any age.
A new(ish) favourite is Snails Artist Run Spaces. On Thursday, March 25, Kāpiti-based sloth dub hop band Seaside Sloths are playing at Snails with support from Meri Haami. If you like Gorillaz you will like these guys. Door sales $10.
An old friend is Te Manawa, whose exciting event programme supports our diverse community. This month you can check out two events that bring that to the fore.
Drag at Te Manawa is cabaret for all the Drag Race/Ru Paul fans out there. Starring local former reality TV star Rhubarb Rouge, with some very glamorous friends, get your drag fix on Saturday, March 13.
I've not seen Rūrangi but it's here because one of the producers, Max Currie, is homegrown talent. This homecoming movie sits at the intersection of sexuality, gender, te ao Māori and environmentalism. It's not like anything else so be brave and check out this groundbreaking transgender drama on Friday, March 26.
Tickets for events at Te Manawa are available through Eventfinda.
As I write we've just moved back to Covid-19 alert level 2. Our theatres and performance spaces are organised and will continue to operate with scanning in, social distancing and limiting numbers. Please support them. They need you.
March in Palmy means Summer Shakespeare, who are working hard to adapt to the changing Covid-environment and bring you a show. A Midsummer Night's Dream (new dates following the L2 announcement: March 10-13) will be beautiful, hilarious, silly, confusing and probably cold (it's outside by the river). Entry by koha, rug up warm and bring a chair.
We're lucky to live in a city where there's so much going on. Let's get ahead of the programme and experience everything Palmy has to offer.
+ Councillor Rachel Bowen chairs Palmerston North City Council's Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee. The views expressed here are her own.