Icelandic singer-songwriter Hera has performed at Glastonbury, won awards for her music and recorded several albums, but her "heart is in Christchurch".
She was born in Reykjavik and her family moved to Christchurch when she was 13.
The 29-year-old has made a living from music since she was 16 and said the earthquakes had "created so much goodness".
"Initially there were no venues, nowhere to go and nowhere to play," she said.
"We had to be creative with what to do, find places to play and new ways of thinking because it was pretty desolate [in Christchurch] for a long time."
After touring New Zealand after the February 2011 earthquake, Hera returned to Christchurch and is now one of the key personnel behind Fledge, an events management, film production, music and creative company.
She is positive about the wider arts community in Christchurch, comparing it to a sieve, where "all the good stuff is shook up to the surface".
"I'm still here because I want to be here. There is so much opportunity and I am constantly overwhelmed by the amount of talent we have in Christchurch."
Hera is also involved with the Artbeat programme in the Re:Start container mall, an initiative "all about bringing art and music into the central city".
She said Christchurch artists wanted to be part of the rebuild from "the ground up, not added to the city in the plan afterwards". If young people had the freedom to be creative they would stay in Christchurch, she said.
The quakes had brought about more "co-operation, communication and support".
She hoped Artbeat would continue in 2013 and said a "huge amount of submissions" from performers, artists and musicians had been received for the summer programme.
- © Fairfax NZ News