What is a Positive Legacy

This month we say goodbye to the wonderful Robbie Whyte as Broker for the UDB service in Wellington, and welcome Laurie Foon. In his farewell blog Robbie writes on legacy.

What is a positive legacy? Is my legacy more positive than John’s?

John Key was so very close to having a Kyle Lockwood designed flag as his timeless legacy. Would that have been a good thing? I think so, it would have made our country look a little naff, and in some way justified the $26million plus spend on the referendum. At least then we could have said that there was a majority - however big or small - in favour of the change. What we have now, is a positive/negative legacy. One that will be marked clearly in left leaning political history as a failure. One that will be ignored by the right. A $26 million referendum that flopped. Beautiful.

I've just stepped away from Letting Space's Urban Dream Brokerage after what has been an incredibly valuable experience for me, both personally and professionally. Having the opportunity to work with the powerhouse team of Mark, Helen, Sophie and Tamsin has been an inspiring time. I have seen TEZA 2015 come through conception into reality, UDB Dunedin thrive as a successful remote pilot, numerous Wellington and Dunedin projects. And I've seen a lot of the interior of the community, social and public art landscape.

What an insight it has been, meeting new people across Wellington, a lot of whom I will continue to build relationships with going forward. This is a big part of my decision to move on: this early part of my career is the time in which I should be taking risks, making mistakes and most importantly making art! So I am making the effort to take some of my own advice - from my last blog - and add value to my own personal practice and Wellington’s art/cultural landscape.

I am going to think about my own words in the context of my own practice: how I “might expand my ideas and engage a public or community in a meaningful way.”

Working on the Urban Dream Brokerage has, for many reasons, been personally and professionally valuable. What has been of the most value to me though, is knowing that I have contributed to the broader conceptual agenda of Letting Space and the Urban Dream Brokerage model.

I amdeeply committed to positively developing the arts industry. Advantaging and championing artists where they might not be able to otherwise. Providing space and a platform to realise ideas that may change the way we perceive our culture, society and the arts. What an incredibly privileged position to have held, a beautiful thing to be a part of.

My legacy might not be large or great, but it is a small contribution to something that IS truly great - the kaupapa that Letting Space works tirelessly to distribute - doing everything possible to increase access to space and build opportunities for artists and community groups to take risks, innovate and present their ideas to the public. However nuanced or radical these ideas might be, having the power to present ideas, for artists to be able to disseminate work is one of the most exciting things that I have been involved in to date. That is for certain.

With all of my fingers, toes and any other possible body part crossed, by the time that you are reading this, there will be another wave of projects being presented through the Urban Dream Brokerage. Thanks to the generosity of property owners and the ambition of the artists/groups involved in these projects, we will have created - for a small moment in time - pockets of a more liveable city. Alternative spaces and projects working on the fringes of our neo-liberal society. A legacy that I have contributed towards.

Maybe a more positive legacy than throwing away $26million dollars? Only time will tell.