John and Jo Gow have a passion for art, theatre and for the natural outdoor environment. They bring these interests together at their privately owned Connells Bay Sculpture Park on Waiheke Island. Jo was born in Uganda and, after studying nursing, pursued a number of positions in the hospice, counselling and exchange-student areas. John trained as an accountant and spent most of his career financing musical theatre throughout the world. The shows he funded include Cats, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera and many others. They have two children who, with their partners, along with their their four grandchildren, share their love of art, theatre, landscaping, philanthropy, family and friends.
John and Jo also have a strong belief in philanthropic gifting being undertaken during their lifetime and have for a number of years supported a wide group of arts and theatre related projects including the Auckland Art Gallery www.aucklandartgallery.com; Auckland Arts Festival www.aucklandfestival.co.nz; The Arts Foundation www.thearts.co.nz; Artspace www.artspace.org.nz; Lend Lye Foundation www.lenlyefoundation.com; Sculpture on the Gulf www.sculptureonthegulf.co.nz; Tautai Trust www.tautai.org; The Big Idea www.thebigidea.nz; The Venice Biennale; www.nzatvenice.org; Indian Ink www.indianink.co.nz; Silo Theatre www.silotheatre.co.nz and Q Theatre www.qtheatre.co.nz. They also support a number of individual artists and community organisations.
What they particularly enjoy with their philanthropic programs is the relationship that they develop with each organisation or artist. That is their ultimate reward along with mentoring or support they can offer. They are happy to discuss any aspect of philanthropy with interested parties.