Introducing The Pantograph Punch's New Board Members

We're thrilled to welcome Puawai Cairns and Jess Smith to our board

Because you can never have too many incredible wahine on your board.

You might remember (you probably don't) that we established a board earlier this year, and along with that we appointed cultural-sector badass Courtney Johnston as our chair. This week, we're delighted to welcome two more amazing members to our board, Puawai Cairns and Jess Smith.

Puawai Cairns is currently Acting Head Mātauranga Māori at Te Papa. She's worked as a curator on exhibitions like Gallipoli: the scale of our war and Ko Rongowhakaata: the story of light and shadow and has a particular interest in increasing and enhancing Māori representation and participation across the heritage sector. Elsewhere, Puawai is a board member for Atamira Dance Company and the National Army Museum. 

She says: "I see The Pantograph Punch as a vital player in developing critical voices within the cultural landscape in New Zealand, and want to use my time on the board to support the growing number of strong Māori and Pacific writers finding a platform for kaupapa Aotearoa on The Pantograph Punch, and to tautoko the organisation's vision for its future.”

Coming from an arts family, Jess Smith grew up in the dance studios and rehearsal rooms of Tāmaki Makaurau. Her first paid job was as a programme seller for the Opera at the Aotea Centre in 1992. She has since gone on to work with many of our leading arts organisations, venues and practitioners, as a publicist, marketer, tour manager, programmer, producer and general manager. These include Pacific Underground, ATAFA Productions, Watershed Theatre, The Edge (Auckland Live), Aotearoa Young Peoples Theatre (Massive Company), The Naked Samoans, the Topp Twins and Auckland Arts Festival. Jess has been Executive Director at Silo Theatre since August 2010.

"The Pantograph Punch is an essential expression of Aotearoa," says Jess. "It's a platform that exemplifies the very best in critical thought leadership, championing our shared histories and contemporary realities through unbiased, informed and robust discourse. It provides us with an opportunity to expand our collective understanding of cultural, social and intellectual paradigms and I believe, is one of very few organisations actively achieving in this space. Importantly The Pantograph Punch points sharply to the future - like a bright star, it is a space that my children can find themselves reflected - as young people growing up in Tāmaki Makaurau who identify as Samoan, Pākehā and Chinese. It will be an absolute privilege to support and contribute to The Pantograph Punch story. Our arts environment is unequivocally stronger for it.”

We're delighted to welcome Puawai and Jess to the board, and can't wait to make some magic with them next year.

Aroha nui,
The team at The Pantograph Punch

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The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

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