The Rotorua Arts Village was buzzing with interest and anticipation as families and locals learnt more about creative hobbies they could pick up in the city.

The Rotorua Arts and Community Expo on Saturday had more than 30 stalls of local arts and community groups and organisations.

Tori Williams, Rotorua Museum events and engagement co-ordinator, was one of the stallholders at the weekend's expo.

At the stall she gave people an update on the Rotorua Museum and talked about upcoming events.


On Saturday June 9, 10am to 2pm, the museum is hosting the annual Top Art exhibition which showcases some of New Zealand's top secondary school visual art portfolios.

It also has the last two Craft Revival Cafe classes coming up where people enjoy wine and nibbles while they learn to tie-dye or knit, she says.

"We were also able to chat to people that might be interested in joining the 'Outside the Walls Tours' volunteer guides, as a new 12-week training course starts on May 30.

Tori says the expo was a great opportunity for people to come to one place and find out about all types of groups involved with arts and culture.

"It was good to chat to the community and answer any questions about the museum they had."

She says she would take part in the expo again, as it is a good way to keep engaged with the community.

Arts Village general manager Mary-Beth Acres says they had an amazing day with more than 800 people there, including about 100 volunteers.

"We had a stunning ukulele performance by Jane Solly's students and a really enjoyable Taiko performance by Kiwi-Racco.

Two of the Kiwi-Racco members give a high energy Taiko performance. Photo/Lisa Casey
Two of the Kiwi-Racco members give a high energy Taiko performance. Photo/Lisa Casey

"It was great to see families and locals coming through to check things out and get involved.

"The weather was a bit dicey, so we had a cosy time inside but it was fantastic and everyone had such great community spirit."

She says a couple other highlights included Karen Hansen's wonderful face painting and a shared lunch with their volunteers afterwards.

"The duration was perfect - the traffic kept coming through steadily and it was an easy commitment for people to make."

Mary-Beth says they had a lot of great feedback, and for many of the stallholders this was the best 'open day' style event they have attended at the village in some time.

"We will definitely repeat it. We are so grateful to the support from Creative Communities Rotorua who have made it possible through their funding.

"It was a wonderful support and meant we could create a good, safe and well resourced event and get the word out there."