We are beyond thrilled to announce Cat Ruka is the new Executive Director at Basement Theatre!
Cat Ruka (Ngāpuhi, Waitaha) is an acclaimed indigenous creative and arts leader based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa. Cat holds a Bachelor's degree, Post-Graduate Diploma and Master's degree all from the University of Auckland's Dance Studies programme. She is currently conducting her PhD research in Decolonial Arts Leadership and has presented her research internationally. Trained in choreography, performance art and indigenous studies, Cat's artistic practice is unique to Aotearoa. Her body of award-winning performance works have toured nationally and internationally, offering relevant discourse into global conversations around contemporary indigenous identity. In addition to her artistic practice, Cat has a rich background in arts leadership. She was the Performing Arts Programme Leader at MIT's Faculty of Creative Arts where she worked for 10 years, out of which she also developed her own independent mentoring practice for Māori and Pasifika rangatahi artists. More recently, Cat was Artistic Director of Tempo Dance Festival; New Zealand's premiere dance event, where she made a huge impact in the development of the festival's cultural equity. She has developed education programmes and digital strategies for the acclaimed creative youth organisation, Ngā Rangatahi Toa. Cat also does freelance work for not-for-profit arts organisations such as strategy writing and creative consultancy, and has sat on a number of boards within NZ's arts sector.
Together with the board, Basement carried out a unique recruitment process to find their new ED, led by a group of “Heart-Hunters” including Rosabel Tan, Graham Tipene, and Lagi Maama (Toluma’anave Barbara Makuati-Afitu and Kolokesa Uafā Māhina-Tuai). The process also involved members of the community as part of the decision making process around the new appointment. We want to thank everyone who was involved in this incredible process for their love, commitment and hard work.