Young Visionaries, TEZA, Letting Space, Porirua 2015. Image: Robbie Whyte


The Wellington Independent Arts Trust was established in 2009 and is a registered charitable trust.


Gaylene Preston, our chair, is a filmmaker, writer and producer. Gaylene’s award-winning work has screened extensively at international festivals and is much loved in New Zealand. Gaylene has served on most industry boards including the New Zealand Film Commission and New Zealand On Air, and has chaired Creative NZ’s Film Innovation Fund and the NZ Film and Television Awards Society. Her mentorship and advocacy skills have been central to the development of New Zealand’s contemporary filmmaking community. In 2001 Gaylene was the first filmmaker to receive a Laureate Award from the NZ Arts Foundation and in 2010 received the inaugural lifetime achievement award for outstanding contribution to documentary from Documentary Edge, a Screenwriters Mentorship Award and a WIFT NZ Award for outstanding contribution to the New Zealand Screen Industry. Gaylene is an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit for services to the film industry.

Jan Bieringa works independently primarily as a creative producer and director with feature documentaries. They include The heART of the Matter, Te Hono ki Aotearoa, The Man in the Hat and Ans Westra:Private Journeys/Public Signposts. Jan has primarily worked in and around the cultural sector and during the 90s she was Programme Director at Creative New Zealand, responsible for programming and funding short film, documentary and new media. She simultaneously initiated and worked on Film publications. Jan, with a small dedicated team, set up and ran (e)-vision Digital Media Centre for Communication Art and Technology in the late ’90s and currently is the NZ Co-ordinator for the NZ World Summit Awards.

Nick Shewring, is Co-founder and Director of BizDojo. He describes himself as a spatial design enthusiast and rebellious innovator. After pioneering start-ups centred around mobile applications, experiential marketing and working shoulder to shoulder in a full-time collaborative environment with a hub of creative minds on the redesign of Air New Zealand’s long-haul experience, Nick was struck by the intense loneliness of autonomy upon returning to freelance work. After outstaying his welcome at a number of local cafés for whom he’d installed wi-fi to operate his business, Nick partnered up with his former Skunkworks colleague Jonah Merchant to launch BizDojo’s first coworking space on Auckland’s Karangahape Road in 2009. In the six years since, the BizDojo empire has continued to grow with plenty of exciting, experimental projects.

Mark Amery was previously director of Playmarket and is well known as an arts writer, advisor, curator, developer and commentator. He has a particular interest in expanding the public commons and community involvement, from both a professional media and contemporary art perspective. Recently he has worked with the arts at RNZ and The Spinoff. Mark was part of the curatorial team at City Gallery 2000-2002, involved as a curator and editor on numerous projects, and formerly worked at New Zealand International Festival of the Arts and Artspace. He has been a member of the Wellington City Council Public Art Panel 2006-2012, 2020-ongoing and a board member of Kapiti Coast’s Mahara Gallery. He is a co-director of Letting Space and its service Urban Dream Brokerage.

Sophie Jerram’s work as a curator, artist and businesswoman has had a particular interest in issues surrounding sustainability and art’s examination of the relationship between business and the environment. Curatorial projects include, Gaining Interest, Gift of the Artist (all Artspace, Auckland), Bombs Away (Adam Art Gallery and Physics Room), Posted Love (National Library Gallery) and The Concrete Deal (James Smiths Carpark). As part of Now Future she has been running lecture series Dialogues with Tomorrow since 2010. She is a co-director of Letting Space and its service Urban Dream Brokerage.

Julian Priest is an artist who works with participatory and technological forms and recent work explores relationships to different infrastructures including time, energy, security, health and communications. He was co-founder of early wireless freenetwork community in London. He worked with independent research framework Informal and co-founded policy intervention OpenSpectrum UK to advocate an open spectrum in the public interest, in Europe and the UK. He has lectured at the Banff CentreWhanganui School of DesignA.U.T University, and Massey University. He is director of The Greenbench and has been a board member of the Aotearoa Digital Arts trust.

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