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Your high five events for Wednesday 21 November

This daily feature lists a selection of Wellington events today that are free or cost less than $20.00 (usually). You may want to check previous entries for recurring events. And there are many more options in the What’s On, Active/To Do, and Community sections of The Wellington App.

The 13th annual Mary Potter Hospice Strawberry Festival is on at Midland Park from 9.00am to 4.00pm at Midland Park. There’ll be chocolate dipped strawberries, live music, a pop-up strawberry themed op-shop and volunteers ready and waiting to serve you up a delicious Sundae for Good for just 6 each. Why strawberries and ice cream? Strawberries celebrate life – they’re a super food and are a symbol of summer – what’s not to love? The Mary Potter Hospice Strawberry Festival helps the organisation raise between $40,000 to $60,000 across three festivals in November, plus helps to raise awareness of Mary Potter Hospice and keep it free for the community.

Frontispiece and title page of Richard Bird in the bush by Mollie Miller Atkinson (Reed, 1944)

Join the Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection from 5.30 to 7.00pm for festive drinks and nibbles at Te Ahumairangi Ground Floor, National Library, followed by a talk – Of Bush and Birds: New Zealand as ‘Fairyland’ –  from literacy consultant and children’s literature researcher Kay Hancock, about her research into New Zealand picture books of the 1940s and 1950s. Kay will share her discoveries of stories of a ‘fairyland’ New Zealand, populated with creatures of the bush, both real and imagined, and exploration of how New Zealand children were portrayed in picture books prior to the 1960s. The Dorothy Neal White Collection is a research collection of children’s books that were enjoyed by young New Zealanders before 1940. The Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection support the work of this and other children’s literature collections held in the National Library of New Zealand. A gold coin donation from non-members would be appreciated.

Talk Wellington are holding an evening of celebration and city shaping korero at Prefab Hall, 14 Jessie Street, from 6.00 to 8.00pm. Enjoy special guest, comedian James Nokise, and food drinks and music, and find out how Talk Wellington are opening people’s eyes to how cities work – and could work better –  while helping them secure their future with a crowd funding campaign.

Traditional academic research, with its narrow disciplinary specialisation and its exclusive languages, is often described as akin to living in an ivory tower, removed from, and immune to, the reality of lived experience. Few academics have done more to open their work up to the world than Professor Richa Nagar (University of Minnesota), who has grounded her academic research in the political struggles and experiences of activist and artistic communities. With the help of these partners, she has evolved a complex language and research style that makes room for poems, diaries, songs, plays, and stories, alongside formal academic writing. In the VUW Provost Lecture: Knowledge, Movement, Justice, Professor Nagar will share insights from her academic life and read parts of her new book, Hungry Translations: Relearning the World Through Radical Vulnerability, which focuses on her work with three communities—the Sangtin movement of small farmers and manual labourers in rural North Indi, the Parakh theatre group in Mumbai, and her undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Minnesota. It’s a free lecture at Rutherford House, 33 Bunny Street from 6.00 to 7.00pm, but you are asked to register here.

From November through to January, Fidel’s Cafe in Cuba Street is hosting a number of free entry events each week to create some fun in the sun. There’s live music every Thursday from 7.00pm, and pop-up Wednesday Markets from 5.00 to 8.00pm on 12 December and 16 January. And tonight from 7.00pm there’s the first Speed Dating Night, hosted by Sir Wilde and Lady Boursier (repeated on 19 December and 23 January) with cheeky $8.00 cocktails and beers, cheesy tunes and a whole lot of banter.

The New Zealand School of Dance is presenting remarkable choreography in Graduation Season 2018, marking the 20th anniversary of the School’s Director, Garry Trinder. The season at Te Whaea: National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, brings together the hard work of accomplished students and distinguished tutors in two outstanding productions of classical ballet and contemporary dance, alternating each night throughout the season of 12 performances. Experience the next generation of dance talent from opening night tonight at 7.30pm, through many performances through to Saturday 1 December. Times, dates and booking details here.

The 2018 STAB commission from BATS Theatre, a prestigious award given annually to artists who are making innovative performance work, was awarded this year to Actual Fact, which opened last week and runs at 8.00 to 9.15pm, Tuesday to Saturday until 1 December at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Terrace. The performance takes audiences on an immersive journey, with BATS transformed into a wrap-around, ever-changing video, aural and sonic landscape, with ever-shifting and altering viewpoints. Actual Fact’s co-directors and co-performance designers, Meg Rollandi and Isobel MacKinnon, most recently worked together on the highly acclaimed My Best Dead Friend, which is currently touring arts festivals in Australia and New Zealand after winning the Melbourne Fringe Tour Ready and 2018 NZ Fringe, Best of Fringe awards. Book your tickets here.