Unleash Your Stories: Zak Devey

Unleash Your Stories is a series of community stories with the intention of bringing light upon projects that have been developed in Unleash Space or the Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Today’s story is about Zak Devey and his amazing journey from a scholarship psychology and sociology student to a cofounder making his mark at a national level.

Zak Devey is a humanistic thinker with a mission to realize creative equity in New Zealand. Beneath the surface, Zak is a published short prose writer who has observed that young creatives are often separated from resources which can lead them to success. Today, Zak will be sharing his entrepreneurial journey and his experience with the Centre of Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

As creative individuals themselves, Zak and his fellow team members experienced immense difficulty finding opportunities to display their creative pursuits. Fuelled by this difficult experience, Zak was inspired to start an organisation that made opportunities more accessible to youth, so that they would not have to face the same challenges that he once did. Additionally, Zak’s vision was to go further beyond and celebrate the unspoken creativity in minorities and underprivileged communities. Henceforth, Youth Arts New Zealand was born.

The core team consists of CEO and Founder Matthew Goldsworthy, co-founder and Creative Director Harrison Sugrue, and Zak himself, co-founder and Director of Communications. Since January 2019, they have added four new team members across New Zealand and have secured funding to scale their events nationwide by the end of the year.       

Youth Arts New Zealand have already set multiple programmes in motion with the intent of empowering creative youth. Currently, they have facilitated 8 Creative Open Mic Nights at MoveSpace in Dominion Road, a young artists series called Paint this Piano, a youth-centred and led concert experience by the name of The Thing About Music, and Strange Summer Streets – a month-long youth musician series in the heart of Britomart. The team has current plans of expanding and improving infrastructure in the ongoing year of 2019.

“As an alumnus of Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, I have to offer thanks to the space for showing me the part my hands play in molding the status quo – and what those hands can do to facilitate opportunities for others.” – Zak Devey.

The YANZ team encourages young people to share their creative dreams and projects so that together, they can turn them into a reality. Reach out to the team at hello@youtharts.co.nz or check out the organisation’s Facebook page and Instagram page.