The Coromandel Peninsula's long reputation as a haven for artists is being reignited.

A new programme being launched by Creative Coromandel will offer mentoring to budding artists in the region, which they say while a beautiful location to live and work, has remote and isolated communities.

"This can prove challenging for artists of all disciplines, who may not always have the opportunity to work alongside or learn from other artists in their field, nor find ways to gain exposure for their practice outside of their communities," says Jan Wright, chairwoman of He Mana Toi Moehau Trust/Creative Coromandel.

Creative Coromandel sits across all arts on the Coromandel, and has distributed funds to many creative groups in the past including the Whangamata Arts Collective.

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It has called on the expertise of Master Certified Coach and Papa Aroha resident, Linley Rose, to facilitate the 'pARTner Up Mentoring Programme' which, for the first time, will connect creatives with experienced artist mentors.

Linley is a globally qualified and experienced coach and mentor, with close to 10,000 hours of experience coaching clients and training coaches.

She says those undertaking the programme will be encouraged to step outside their existing comfort zones.

"Mentoree's will be inspired to set goals around developing an art practice that is financially sustainable, making their art more visible on a broader stage, resolving a creative block or finding their artistic 'voice' at a higher level," she says.

The pARTner Up is a nine-month commitment starting 27 June to 30 September and from October to March 2021 with a break over December and January.

All artistic forms are covered by Creative Coromandel but successful applicants will be paired based on the mentors are available.

Jan Wright says the aim is to support creatives to make the very personal, and often quite daunting, transition from 'good' to 'great'.

"It's of utmost importance to us that our creatives are supported and encouraged to engage in their artistic practice, and feel confident in their abilities to set and achieve long-term career goals.

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"But not everyone wants to make a living from the arts, so this programme is also for creatives who feel driven to become the best they can possibly be in their practice."

The Whangamata Arts Collective held its AGM on Tuesday where setting a new date for the popular Easter Open Arts Studio Tour, which had to be cancelled due to lockdown, will be among its new committee's first tasks.

Lynne Robinson who remains on the committee, says Whangamata and Tairua have "a huge amount" of creativity with people doing many forms of art.

"If you make it Arts with a capital A and plural - it's a whole bigger group. We haven't really got music under our collective as strongly as we wanted to but it's very interesting how many creative people live in this town and the environs around here and Tairua."

Bernie Ross is a trustee of Creative Coromandel and ex-chairwoman of the Whangamata Arts Collective. She says it is an exciting time for people to upskill in the arts.

"The whole purpose of this programme is to drive the arts on the Coromandel. It will be a wonderful opportunity for a local artist to have a leg up. We're looking for people to learn what to do. It's fantastic," she says.

Thames-Coromandel District set up Creative Coromandel in 2016 and mayor Sandra Goudie says the mentoring programme will enhance the arts and creativity for economic benefit.

"TCDC supports the arts sector as a significant contributor to this district's social wellbeing by providing opportunities for economic benefit for our residents through arts and culture tourism."

- If you're interested in applying for a space, either as a mentoree or mentor, contact Kerryn Wakelin on info.creativecoromandel@gmail.com to request an application form. Applications close at 5pm on June 21. For more information, visit Creative Coromandel's website and follow it on Facebook.