07 Oct 2012
WOMAD New Zealand, recipient of the Big ‘A’ Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2012, has increased its commitment to accessibility by providing sign language interpreters at its three-festival in New Plymouth in March 2013.
For the first time, Deaf festival-goers will be able to pre-book at the information centre during the festival for a sign language interpreterto meet them at stage performances, workshops and cooking demonstrations.
Lisa McMullan, WOMAD’s Marketing and Communications Manager, attended the WOMAD UK festival in July and was inspired by the sign interpreters she saw there. “I immediately thought: ‘Why haven’t we done this before? We can do it in New Plymouth.”
The use of sign language interpreters for the stage performances will enhance Deaf patrons’ experience of the wonderful music that is centre-stage at WOMAD, Lisa says.
“WOMAD is an event that stimulates all the senses. There is a vibrant, colourful atmosphere with the best in music, art and dance from all over the globe.
“With artists coming from 17 different cultures, and a strong New Zealand flavour, WOMAD is a once-a-year chance for everyone in New Zealand to engage with different cultures without leaving the country.”
In July, WOMAD New Zealand was presented the Big ‘A’ Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2012 as part of Arts Access Aotearoa’s Big ‘A’ Awards ceremony in Parliament.
Of its nomination, the judging panel said that “WOMAD gets accessibility in every way and is a benchmark for what other organisations can aspire to”.
Richard Benge, Executive Director, Arts Access Aotearoa, was a member of the judging panel and describes WOMAD as a “pioneer’ in providing access to arts events in New Zealand.
“I love the fact that WOMAD keeps challenging itself to find new ways to be accessible,” he says.
WOMAD New Zealand 2013 takes place at New Plymouth’s Brooklands Park and TSB Bowl of Brooklands from 15–17 March 2013. The programme will be announced on Wednesday 31 October.
As well as 30 hours of music on the six stages, WOMAD New Zealand 2013 will feature artists in conversation, live cooking demonstrations and workshops by artists, a global village, sustainable village, Kidzone and the option to camp at the adjacent racecourse.
Early bird tickets for WOMAD New Zealand 2013 are on sale from 9am on Monday 15 October through Ticketek on 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) or www.ticketek.co.nz.