Charlie McDermott, Auckland-based performing arts manager, producer and actor, has been awarded the Hynds Creative Entrepreneur 2013 Award by the Arts Regional Trust (ART).
The award, which comes with a the nicely sum of $10,000 cash, is a recognition of McDermott’s work in the Auckland performing arts scene, both through his work as the self-described ‘Chief Malarkey’ or general manager of The Basement and as a passionate advocate of the creative sector in a number of different mentoring roles.
“Charlie is a creative entrepreneur in the truest sense. He is constantly innovating and reinventing ways of doing things, and is not afraid to try things out and to test out his ideas. In the current context, he is creating new models of audience engagement around The Basement that can be replicated in Auckland and around the world.” says Rob Garrett, one of the judges.
Fellow judge Peter Shand says he is impressed by the way McDermott brought new audiences to Auckland’s performing arts sector. “Charlie is not only a skilled practitioner and leader in his field, but most importantly an enabler and connector of people, a community builder,” he says.
“He inspires and motivates others through his drive and passion, and is an innovator who is not afraid to try (and fail), as true entrepreneurs do. The way Charlie works really aligns with the values that ART holds dear; being innovative, creating a legacy for Auckland and beyond, building and growing talent and excellence,” adds Shand.
McDermott doesn’t hide his excitement about the award, saying he is “honest-to-God high-fiving over-the-moon” about receiving it. “While it's a blessing and an honour to work in an industry that I love and truly believe in, it's really great to get a bit of a back-slap occasionally, too! I am so thankful to everyone who has helped me get to this point, this really is a back-slap for all of us,” he says.
McDermott will put the cash prize to good use with the money going towards a Masters in Arts Management in New York in 2014. “I can't wait to return armed with a worldwide perspective and fresh ideas to help our arts community take it to the limit, and beyond.”