Emma Bugden has been appointed strategic lead of creative industries and arts for Whanganui & Partners.

Bugden was due to start on April 20 but has been brought in early to support local artists affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The cancellation of events like Artists Open Studios and the Auckland Art Fair cut off important revenue streams for local artists," Bugden said.

"It's crucial for the sector that these artists are connected to other opportunities.


"I'm reaching out to local artists and hoping to facilitate some opportunities at a local level, as well and making sure our artists are aware of, and able to access, support from the Central Government."

Bugden has extensive experience in the arts industry, where she has worked two decades as an artist, consultant, curator and advocate.

She has worked as senior curator at the Dowse Art museum, director of Artspace and managing curator for SCAPE Public ART 2019 in Christchurch.

Bugden has lived in Whanganui for four years with partner Frank Stark, the outgoing director of the Whanganui Region museum, and their daughter.

In Whanganui she has been a member of the public art steering group for the Whanganui District Council, the Keynote Speaker for the CoLab glass conference in 2019 and co-founder of the Whanganui Small Publishers Group.

"Whanganui is a fantastic place to bring up a family as well as an active hub for creative activity in many forms," Bugden said.

"This place is home to internationally renowned artists and also boasts a rich grassroots community of makers, shakers and movers."