Professor Jack Richards – a generous Patron
Posted on 18 December 2014
Professor Jack Richards is an internationally renowned Linguist specialising in second and foreign language teaching with a long history of supporting the arts. His generosity was recently recognised by the NZ Arts Foundation who awarded him the 2014 Award for Patronage.
Professor Richards has a keen interest in the arts, particularly, in music, having studied piano for many years. He has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation since 2011 following a meeting with Dame Kiri when she outlined her vision for assisting young NZ singers focused on creating their own international careers. In 2013 he was named a Patron of the Foundation.
At that time he said “Patronage can play a crucial role in helping people to achieve their potential – as it did for me when I was a Ph.D. student. I often get requests for support from young singers who are focused on overseas study. In the past I have had to make decisions that were difficult for me to make without proper advice. I was therefore delighted when Dame Kiri invited me to work with her through her Foundation, since I can rely on her and the Foundation to make informed decisions about the kind of support best suited for emerging opera singer’s needs.
“Singers who receive the Foundation’s financial support can not only count on Dame Kiri’s mentoring and advice, but also benefit from the guidance that is available through her colleagues – world class singers and voice coaches. I was fortunate to witness this unique type of mentoring in action when I spent a day at Dame Kiri’s home. On that occasion she had a small group of students and was joined by some of her professional colleagues to share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of opera singers. It was an inspiring experience. By contributing to the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation I am able to provide financial support safe in the knowledge that it will have a greater impact than anything I could offer on my own.”