10 Aug 2016
Building new audiences by welcoming disabled people to its classical music concerts has made Chamber Music New Zealand a worthy recipient of the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts for All Award 2016.
The Arts Access Awards 2016, held in the Banquet Hall of Parliament tonight (subs: 6.30 pm 10 August), celebrate the achievement 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 disability, sensory impairment or lived experience of mental illness.
Since 2012, Chamber Music New Zealand has been presenting workshops and “relaxed performances” for people with intellectual disabilities. In 2014, it expanded the programme to include touch tours and audio described concerts for blind and partially sighted patrons.
The judging panel praised the commitment of Chamber Music New Zealand in providing a welcoming environment and responding to the accessibility needs of disabled people. The relaxed performances, in particular, were considered “ground-breaking”.
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, we celebrate the achievements and contribution of people and communities who make Aotearoa New Zealand a rich, diverse and creative country.”
The seven other recipients are:
- Circability Central, Central Auckland, awarded the Arts Access Creative Space Award 2016, for its diverse circus activities where all members of the community can gain new social and physical skills in an inclusive space.
- RoadSafe Hawke’s Bay, awarded the Arts Access Corrections Community Award 2016, for its graphic design project with the Youth Unit in Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison. Working with a graphic designer, nine young offenders created road safety resources that focused on changing people’s behaviour and attitudes, and increasing knowledge around road safety.
- Equal Voices Arts and partners University of Waikato, Deaf Aotearoa and Bill Hopkins, Hamilton, awarded the Arts Access CQ Hotels Wellington Community Partnership Award 2016, for a partnership between Deaf and hearing communities resulting in an acclaimed bilingual theatre work called Here at The End of My Hands.
- David Cameron, Gisborne, awarded the Arts Access Artistic Achievement Award 2016, for his outstanding achievements and contribution to traditional and contemporary Māori arts. Paraplegic and a wheelchair user since 1977, David is a recognised leather worker, painter, ceramicist, and tutor in his preferred artform, uku (Māori clay ceramics).
- Northland Region Corrections Facility, Kaikohe, Northland, awarded the Arts Access Corrections Leadership Award, for the breadth of its achievements, its education outreach, innovative practice, and focus on the arts and culture as a tool supporting prisoners’ rehabilitation and reintegration into the community on release.
- Glen McDonald, Wellington, awarded the Arts Access Accolade, for her life-long passion for creativity, community and inclusion, and her contribution to the Wellington community and Vincents Arts Workshop.
- Dionne Christian, Arts and Books Editor at the New Zealand Herald, awarded the inaugural Arts Access Media Award for her leadership and excellence in reporting on accessibility and the arts.