IGNITE Programme awards MAINZ scholarship to young Aucklander

  IGNITE founder Savina Fountain (left), scholarship recipient Alexis Rowe (centre), Programme Manager - MAINZ Kingsley Melhuish (right) at the IGNITE graduation

IGNITE founder Savina Fountain (left), scholarship recipient Alexis Rowe (centre), Programme Manager - MAINZ Kingsley Melhuish (right) at the IGNITE graduation

Twelve young Aucklanders have graduated from the 12-week youth initiative IGNITE, with one of the lucky participants being awarded a MAINZ Scholarship.

IGNITE launched in 2016, pairing teenagers with Kiwi music industry heavyweights as their mentors, giving them the unique opportunity of gaining knowledge and practical experience in event management.

After a year-long hiatus, IGNITE returned in 2018 and once again offered spots to young people aged between 15 and 18, as well as running a pilot programme in music production, pairing four young people up with three of the best producers and engineers in New Zealand Music.

Throughout the 12 weeks, the participants took part in a number of mentoring sessions, seminars and workshops, venue and studio visits and work experience, all aimed at giving them 'behind the scenes' experience in working in music and events. 

At the end of the programme, those in event management successfully ran a series of all ages shows in Auckland, generating more than $3,000 in donations for charity (Mental Health Foundation, Youthline, NZ Music Foundation and RainbowYouth).

The four young people, who took part in the music production stream, produced three songs with the guidance of their mentors. The songs were produced for emerging local artists and all are in the works for commercial releases.

On the night, 17-year-old Alexis Rowe was awarded a MAINZ Scholarship to study a Diploma in Music and Event Management.

"Alexis is a very passionate young woman. She's a quick learner and grabbed every opportunity presented to her as well as volunteering at every Josh Smith event for her peers. It's a great attitude she'll carry into this industry and I have no doubt she has a very big future ahead of her," says IGNITE's founder, Savina Fountain.

Alexis was mentored by Josh Smith, the Artist Liaison Manager at Rhythm and Vines and tour manager for Netsky, who he is currently on tour with in the US and Europe.

Josh was very impressed with Alexis and enjoyed mentoring her through the programme. "I landed to the news and was so happy to hear she won! Alexis is intelligent and a hard worker, I’m sure she will make the most of the scholarship and future opportunities that come her way!”

IGNITE was made possible thanks to NZ Music Commission, MAINZ and Creative Communities.