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FANZA co-chair Mary Strang nominated for UK New Zealander of the Year Award

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We’re thrilled to announce that Mary Strang, FANZA co-chair, has been nominated for the prestigious UK New Zealander of the Year Award 2024. This recognition is a well-deserved nod to her outstanding contribution to the arts and her commitment to supporting the cultural exchange between New Zealand and Australia and the UK.  

Since arriving in the UK, Mary has always been involved in the arts – professionally and personally. Following a career in television journalism and communications, she has thrown her energies into bringing New Zealand’s arts to wider recognition and appreciation by UK audiences. As our New Zealand co-chair, she has driven efforts to achieve a much higher profile and support for iconic New Zealand events and individual artists across all the arts forms.

Mary said: ‘New Zealanders are justly proud of the range and vitality of our arts and cultural offering, but our artists and performers sometimes struggle to be more widely recognised and appreciated. I’ve been privileged to work with FANZA to help spread the word and have been so lucky to work with others with the same motivation.’

An early attempt to mount a New Zealand arts festival ahead of the London Olympics spurred determined support for the very successful Australia and New Zealand Festival of Literature and the Arts in both 2014 and 2015.

A board member of FANZA since its founding in 2016, she has pushed emerging and established NZ artists and performers to the forefront at every opportunity, driving cooperation and partnerships with art galleries (Royal Academy, Rebecca Hossack, JGM), theatres (Lyric Hammersmith, Gillian Lynne, Other Palace), festivals (Edinburgh Fringe, Salisbury, Harrogate), orchestras (Southbank Sinfonia) and numerous arts organisations and individual events such as the inspirational Whanau Voices performance at the Albert Hall during the pandemic.

Recognising that ongoing support is vital to the advancement of artists’ careers, Mary has ensured continuing profile for their work online through FANZA’s website, social media and regular newsletter.  

The winner will be announced at the New Zealand Society’s Waitangi Day Charity Ball in London on Friday 9 February.

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