Scott Kennedy/ Queenstown/ My friend and fellow podcaster (which you can listen to here). A local in this parts for over 15 years and still going strong.
Who are you? What’s your story?
I’m Scott Kennedy – I’m an artist, musician, photographer, filmmaker, writer, educator, coffee addict, wine drinker, storyteller, troublemaker. Born in Canada, moved to Queenstown 15yrs ago and haven’t looked back since. For years I worked for Lonely Planet writing books for them – a long time ago I described going to Fergburger as, “less about burgers and more a right of passage”… The lines got a bit mental after that – sorry/you’re welcome. These days I play music in a couple of bands (Versificator / Dear Deer), write for The Source, work as a freelance filmmaker and teach at Queenstown Resort College.
Your work. What drives you? What makes it unique to you?
I’m lucky my work is my passion. I work as a creative person across multiple disciplines; film, music, writing… but in my head they are all a part of the same art. So from the outside in, it may look scattergun and all over the shop, but for me it’s all one song. What makes it unique to me my perspective on it – I write words to read with the rhythm of music, I create music with the narrative of a story and I make films that knit those experiences together. I feel really fortunate that my creative palate has lots of colours to play with, or at least give the viewers permission to have a laugh, learn something or dance (maybe all 3).
Tell us more about the Queenstown community you live in, why you’re there, what keeps you there and what you love about it.
I live in a Queenstown community that is full of hope and excitement for the future. When I arrived here 15yrs ago it felt like the focus in town was just on the adventure tourism boom. There wasn’t much room, time or energy left over for arts, culture or community. In the last few years that has started to change. As Queenstown has come of age it feels like there is a strong undercurrent of locals who’ve migrated here who see the value in these cultural pursuits and have made them a priority and aren’t waiting for somebody else to do it for them. What keep me here is being a part of that group – every day I’m inspired by my friends, neighbours, new arrivals and old hands who are committed to making this place better.
Favourite spot that feels like ‘yours’ and why you go there.
What do you hope the future looks like for you and Queenstown? How are you investing in your community? What worries you, what makes your heart sing?
I hope the future of Queenstown is something that all of us who’ve invested time and energy in growing the arts and culture here can be proud of. It worries me that our town as it transitions to being a little city is becoming frightfully gentrified. It’s becoming more and more unaffordable for the folks who not only make the town function, but for those that make it interesting, who are often the same people. I have no problem with people earning a good living, but the level of greed and selfishness I’m seeing these days is pretty frightening. What makes my heart sing are the young people I teach at Queenstown Resort College. These guys and girls in their early 20’s are desperate to make Queenstown home and are so keen to be a part of this place – not just be here. What they value about being here is the opportunity to be a part of the community not their ROI when they flip their second house. I’m inspired to live in a community where our investments are measured in the currency of culture, not just chasing the currency of cash. And if these folks are the telltale signs of what the future could hold – we are in safe hands.