Some believe in fate, while others would call it luck. Whichever Alana James believes in, she’s extremely pleased to have her name drawn as the Youth Representative on the Nelson Arts Council.
In this role Alana, along with seven adult committee members, are part of the Local Art Funding Scheme. With a budget from the Nelson City Council, they must decide which arts projects and events to divide the funding between. “It was quite difficult because at the last meeting, even after we’d given people less than they’d asked for, we were still well over our budget and we can’t have any leeway,” Alana said.
The Youth Representative role helps the younger generation to have more say and adds a different perspective to the committee. Alana is in her second year of being part of the Nelson Youth Council, which offers this extra position to members. She said it was an interesting opportunity, at the time thinking, “I like arts, maybe that’ll be a fun thing to do. So I put my hand up and I got picked!” Alana described that she is a part of this committee to encourage everything, because she knows that so much can be done within the local arts community.
Being part of the Arts Council makes sense for Alana, as she is greatly involved in the arts in her day to day life. Phoenix House Dean Sam Maitland describes her as a very talented student. “Her ambition has always been in the arts and this position is a real statement to her abilities, enthusiasm and drive.” For Alana, the arts isn’t just school subjects, credits or self expression. It isn’t just enjoyment or a hobby: the arts is her passion.
By student reporter Carmen Puklowski