Toi Ako, Toi Ahuha, Toi Ora. Learning and creativity for the wellbeing of the arts.

Creative Learning will return in 2025 alongside the announcement of the Festival’s full lineup of events in October/November.

Our education programming for schools and students aims to reach tamariki and adult learners throughout the motu, making the arts accessible and fostering a desire to learn, appreciate and participate.

Both special matinees and public performances (with school allocation) are made available exclusively to schools and teachers in Tāmaki Makaurau. We also work with artists and artistic companies to organise pre/post-show talks, dress rehearsal and outreach/workshop opportunities, and education packs for curriculum.

Education Highlights

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ILL-Abilities at Manurewa High School, 2024. Image by Michael Telford.

In 2024 the Festival was able to offer a comprehensive Creative Learning programme for students, community and industry groups to engage more deeply with our artists and their works. Students and their teachers were given the opportunity to experience the best homegrown theatre, dance and music, carefully selected to add value to the school curriculum, with ticket prices ranging from gratis to $25.

For AKLFEST 2024 this included:

  • The participation of more than 45 schools and 1,600 students. 
  • 13 live in-person events, five of which were dedicated school matinees.
  • More than 150 young people from high schools, dance schools, the University of Auckland and Unitec attended a range of dance/visual/audio/circus-based workshops held directly with artists.
  • A further 35 attendees took part in a Festival workshop with ILL-Abilities dancers at Kohuora Correctional Facility in South Auckland – a first for the Festival.
  • A pilot programme for student ambassadors was introduced with the intent of demonstrating the many pathways available to rangatahi to enter the arts. Four students were given access to as many opening nights and outdoor events as possible, including backstage tours, and were tasked with taking footage of what they saw and experienced for the Festival’s social media accounts.

Support Creative Learning

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Students enjoying complimentary snacks at the performance of Afrique en Cirque. Charlie's Tropical Juice supplied by AKLFEST Partner The Better Drinks Company. Image by Jinki Cambronero.

Are you an individual or organisation interested in becoming a partner with the Festival and its Creative Learning initiative? To help us continue to deliver a world-class education programme, contact

We are always striving to do more, and accept donations towards Creative Learning.

There are simple ways to assist with direct, tangible results – read more about the ways your support makes it happen, or make a donation today in just a few clicks:

Main image: a schools performance of Bee Story in Aotea Square, part of Creative Learning 2023. Image by Jinki Cambronero.


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