Carla van Zon
Carla van Zon has been involved in the arts in New Zealand and internationally for over 40 years. Having been involved in the festival since it started in 1986, Carla was both the Executive Director (1996–2000) and Artistic Director (2000–2006) of the New Zealand International Arts Festival. In 2013 she was Artistic Director of the Auckland Arts Festival and again in 2015–2017). Between her two directorships at festivals Carla was the International Manager for the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.
Carla grew up in a dance family. Her mother, Boukje van Zon, ran a creative dance school from the 50s in Auckland for over 40 years. Carla went on to study dance, gaining an MA in Dance and Arts Administration from George Washington University in the USA as well as a broad range of professional experiences in the arts.
She has worked with a variety of theatre & dance companies, venues, the New Zealand Film Commission, producing New Zealand work and Co-Directing the New Caledonia New Zealand season for the Government of France, managing Te Kanikani O Te Rangatahi (which became Taiao) and Douglas Wright, and managed New Zealand’s presence at Venice Biennale 2009. Carla has initiated and produced commissioned works by many NZ choreographers, including Michel Parmenter, Raewyn Schwabl, Sue Jordan, Warwick Broadhead, Peter Te Tau, Jamie Bull and Ali East.
As well as leading and mentoring many other artists, and challenged, enriched, educated and excited audiences. Carla is currently on the board of the New Zealand Dance Company.
Carla has received the following:
• Awarded ONZM in the 2000 Queens Birthday Honours for services to the arts
• Voted Arts Wellingtonian of the year 2005
• 2016 awarded a life time achievement award at the Auckland Theatre Awards
• Next Woman of the Year Arts and Culture 2017
• Over the period she was Executive Director and Artistic Director for the NZ International Festival of the Arts, the Festival won four national tourism awards and was the winner of the Gold Business Award for best Business in the Wellington region.