The University of Otago and Six60 have partnered up to offer scholarships to performing arts students, as well as the chance to live in the iconic Dunedin flat the band lived in back in the day.
In a statement today, the university announced it’s signed an agreement today that will see four $10,000 scholarships offered each year to aspiring performing arts students.
“The successful candidates will also get to take up residency at the famous flat on Castle Street, after the band purchased their former home with the intention of housing aspiring performing arts students,” the statement said.
According to website propertyvalue.co.nz, the six-bedroom, two-storey property built in 2000, last sold on March 16 this year for $1.7 million.
The band started in Dunedin as a group of Otago University students before enjoying unprecedented success for a New Zealand band.
As part of the scholarship, there would also be “some potential mentoring opportunities between Six60 themselves and the award winners”.
Lead singer Matiu Walters says the band is ecstatic to be giving back to a place that gave them their big break.
“Our roots have always been in Dunedin and at 660 Castle Street,” he said.
“Owning the house and being able to preserve its mana is something we have always dreamed of, but being able to realise it now is incredible.
“The university has always been as important a part of the Six60 story as the house, so to be able to partner with Otago, give back and create an opportunity for the next generation to start their journey is something we are really excited about.”
Acting vice-chancellor Professor Helen Nicholson says Otago University is delighted to be working alongside the band on this initiative.
“We know that Dunedin and the University of Otago is a key part of the Six60 story and we are very pleased to be able to work with the band to create new opportunities for students,” she said.
“Their iconic Castle Street flat has become a north Dunedin landmark and this collaboration both recognises the flat’s significance and repurposes it to support the aspirations of our current students.
“The four scholarships and the possibilities of some mentoring from the band are exciting developments that will support some current Otago students to pursue their dreams in the music world.
“Alongside the recent construction of our state-of-the-art recording studio, this is a real boost for performing arts at Otago and underlines the very particular opportunities that we have for students here in Dunedin. We sincerely thank the band for giving back to the student community that they once called home.”