13 Jul 2015

This content is tagged as Multi-Artform .


Arts Access Awards celebrate artistic contributions 2015

Christchurch’s Isaac Theatre Royal CEO, a musical pioneer of Samoan music, an innovative art space engaging with its local community, a vibrant group of Pacific women and prison arts leaders were recognised on 1 July at the Arts Access Awards 2015, presented at Parliament by Arts Access Aotearoa.

The Arts Access Awards 2015 were hosted by Hon Maggie Barry, Minister for Culture and Heritage, in the Banquet Hall of Parliament. The seven recipients are:

  • Neil Cox, Christchurch, was awarded the Arts Access Accolade by award patron Dame Rosie Horton, acknowledging his work upgrading the historic Isaac Theatre Royal’s accessibility, after the Christchurch earthquakes.
  • Pati Umaga, Lower Hutt, awarded the Arts Access Artistic Achievement Award 2015, recognising his outstanding achievements and contribution to empowering other people with disability to be involved with music and the arts.
  • Everybody Cool Lives Here and Active, Wellington, awarded the Arts Access CQ Hotels Wellington Community Partnership Award 2015, recognising an outstanding partnership, encouraging emerging artists from the theatre community to support young actors in the creative process.
  • Auckland Live, Auckland, awarded the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2015, recognising its commitment to developing its audiences by community involvement and e-learning opportunities for their staff.  They have increased access through venue design and renovation.
  • Artsenta, Dunedin, awarded the Arts Access Creative Space Award 2015 for its breadth of projects and involvement with the local community. One of the first creative spaces in New Zealand, Artsenta celebrates its 30 year anniversary next year.
  • Mary Ama and the Pacifica Mamas, Auckland, awarded the Arts Access Corrections Community Award 2015, for their energy, passion and commitment to the Pacific community and the cultural dimension they bring to art projects that benefit the rehabilitation of offenders at Spring Hill Corrections Facility. 
  • Waikeria Prison, Waikato, awarded the Arts Access Corrections Leadership Award 2015 for the impressive range of arts activities undertaken by the prison over the last year and the overall commitment by staff to providing innovative arts projects that benefit rehabilitation for offenders.

The annual Arts Access Awards are the key national awards in New Zealand celebrating the achievements of individuals and organisations providing opportunities for people with limited access to engage with the arts as artists and audience members. They also recognise the achievements of an artist with a disability, sensory impairment or lived experience of mental illness.

Richard Benge, Executive Director of Arts Access Aotearoa, said that one in four people in New Zealand – more than one million – live with a disability or impairment.

“That’s a lot of people, who all have the right to enjoy the arts as artists, participants, audience members and gallery visitors,” he said. “Tonight’s Arts Access Awards celebrate artistic achievement, and the people and organisations in our diverse communities making the arts accessible to everyone in New Zealand.

Highly Commended certificates

Highly Commended certificates were also presented in several of the award categories. These were:

  • Michael Krammer, Christchurch, Arts Access Artistic Achievement Award 2015, for his passion and commitment as a dancer and tutor.  Through his artistic achievement he has given back to children with learning disabilities.
  • Auckland War Memorial, Auckland, Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2015, for the Dementia project and Infowave initiative.  Progressive projects, bringing increased community access to the museum.
  • Northland Region Corrections Facility, Kaikohe, Arts Access Corrections Leadership Award 2015, for its leadership and innovation in education, as well as the development of community partnerships through art projects.
  • Pablos Art Studio, Wellington, Arts Access Creative Spaces Award 2015, for the high quality of the exhibition experience for their artists to engage with the public.
  • Arts Integrated, Christchurch, Arts Access CQ Hotels Wellington Community Partnership Award 2015, for creating a high quality training programme, built from grass roots efforts. This training programme was established through a committed partnership with Hagley Community College and created an opportunity for young adults to develop their skills in acting.

Arts Access Aotearoa advocates for people in New Zealand who experience barriers to participation in the arts, as both creators and audience members. Its key stakeholders are people with physical, sensory or intellectual impairments; mental health service users; and the community and professional arts sectors. It’s also the key organisation in New Zealand facilitating the arts as a tool to support the rehabilitative process of prisoners.

Arts Access Aotearoa receives core funding from Creative New Zealand and has a contract with the Department of Corrections to support and advise on its arts activities and programmes.