The fifth Northland Youth Summit Arts Festival 2018 kicks off next weekend, drawing together rangatahi from Mangawhai to the Far North.

Held at NorthTec in Whangarei, 80 attendees aged 12-24 are encouraged to enjoy two noho marae overnight stays on campus while attending daily workshops on September 5 and 6. The festival culminates in a final presentation on Friday September 7, at which youth get to gain professional experience while publicly expressing their kaupapa.

The big reveal will be held at NorthTec, where presentations will showcase the video, music, theatre performance, dance and movement, visual print arts, 3D digital arts, film and photography which the participants have created over their three days. Parents, caregivers and wha¯nau are encouraged to attend the finale.

Creative Northland event coordinator Lenny Murupaenga described the Youth Summit Arts Festival as a platform for young people to develop confidence to speak up about the issues and future aspirations that matter to them.

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Lenny was a mentor for the mural workshop at the 2017 summit/festival. He said last year's event had a ripple effect throughout the community – 'hence why so many people have registered so easily this year'.

The sponsors are a who's-who of organisations with a stake in getting the best outcome for youth in the region. Led by Creative Northland, with NorthTec acting as educational sponsor and Creative New Zealand the main financial sponsor, the summit/festival will also feature Elections NZ helping get young attendees enrolled to vote.

Te Wa¯nanga O Aotearoa, whose campus adjoins NorthTec, is another sponsor. Te Wa¯nanga offers youth a pathway through the Toi Maori Arts Department through to study at NorthTec.

Whangarei Youth Space will help facilitate activities and Te Puni Ko¯kiri is a fellow sponsor.