02 Oct 2019
A theatre project giving a voice to homeless people, a music therapy centre providing life-changing benefits to its clients, an artist who uses his art to engage people in social and environmental issues, a ballet company building new and diverse audiences, and leadership in delivering arts programmes in prisons were recognised tonight (subs: 7.00pm 11 September) at Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards 2019, presented in Parliament by Arts Access Aotearoa.
Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards 2019 were hosted by Hon Kelvin Davis, Minister for Corrections, in the Banquet Hall of Parliament. This year’s Arts Access Accolade was presented to Wellingtonian Robyn Hunt, an award-winning communicator and accessibility expert.
Unlike the other award recipients, selected by a judging panel, the Arts Access Accolade is chosen by Arts Access Aotearoa’s staff and board. Executive Director Richard Benge says that over many years, Robyn has been an invaluable sounding board for Arts Access Aotearoa.
“We deeply appreciate Robyn’s wisdom and generosity in guiding Arts Access Aotearoa’s mahi,” he says. “Having Robyn on your team means expert advice and action. As a former Human Rights Commissioner, she epitomises the core belief of Arts Access Aotearoa – that access to the arts is a human right.”
The six other recipients are:
- Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre, Auckland, awarded the Arts Access Holdsworth Creative Space Award 2019, for the impact of its programmes delivering music therapy to people with emotional, intellectual and physical challenges; its expansion into Northland and the Hawke’s Bay; and its clearly articulated vision and policies.
- Ruth Ratcliffe, Otago, awarded the Arts Access Corrections Māui Tikitiki a Taranga Award 2019, for her leadership and long-standing Forum Theatre programme at Otago Corrections Facility, inspiring positive change in the prisoner participants and building bridges with the wider community.
- Hobson Street Theatre Company for its project That’s What Friends Are For, awarded the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Community Arts Award 2019, for an outstanding project that provided a platform for people who have experienced homelessness to tell their stories and foster understanding and conversations with the public.
- Royal New Zealand Ballet, Wellington, awarded the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2019, for its leadership and commitment to building new audiences by making ballet accessible to diverse audiences. This includes blind and low vision patrons, Deaf people, children in low-decile schools, and prisoners.
- Yaniv Janson, Raglan, Waikato, awarded the Arts Access PAK’n’SAVE Artistic Achievement Award 2019, for his outstanding artistic achievements in both New Zealand and internationally, along with his commitment to using art to engage people in social and environmental issues.
- Arrin Clark, kaitiaki of tikanga, Northland Region Corrections Facility, awarded the Arts Access Corrections Whai Tikanga Award 2019, for transforming the site into a Māori therapeutic community focused on rehabilitation and integrating tikanga across everything so the men are empowered to reconnect with their culture, gain a sense of identity and make positive change.
The annual Te Putanga Toi 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, we celebrate the achievements and contributions of people and communities who make Aotearoa New Zealand a rich, diverse and creative country.”
Highly Commended certificates
Highly Commended certificates were also presented in several of the award categories. These were:
- Te Ara Korowai Wellbeing Centre, Kāpiti Coast, Arts Access Holdsworth Creative Space Award 2019, for the impact it is having across its community, with exceptional outreach and participation.
- Everybody Cool Lives Here, Wellington, Arts Access Holdsworth Creative Space Award 2019, for the way it empowers and develops artists, supports their ongoing career development, and challenges the arts sector to think differently about diversity.
- Annah Mac, Otago Corrections Facility, Arts Access Māui Tikitiki a Taranga Award 2019, for the Kowhai Project, which she developed and has delivered in all South Island prisons. Over ten weeks, prisoners develop a range of skills from playing a ukulele to singing, writing and recording songs, and the business of music, to build upon the rehabilitation benefits of music making.
- Nic Scotland, Hawkes Bay, Arts Access Māui Tikitiki a Taranga Award 2019, for the standard of her art and education programmes in Hawkes Bay Regional Prison, strengthened through Whanaungatanga, and her award-winning work with the Youth Unit.
- Gisborne International Music Competition in partnership with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Jolt, Gisborne, Arts Access Creative New Zealand Community Arts Award 2019, for a project that enabled mainstream and learning support students to participate in a high-quality music and dance residency.
- Te Whare Toi o Ngāruawāhia – Twin Rivers Arts Centre, Ngāruawāhia, Arts Access Creative New Zealand Community Arts Award 2019, for a collaboration with local schools that provided access to a high-quality art project where young people explored environmental issues and cultural themes through the design and creation of large murals.
- Circa Theatre, Wellington, Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2019, for its efforts over time to increase its accessibility by providing relaxed, sign interpreted and audio described performances.
- Lusi Faiva, Auckland, Arts Access PAK’n’SAVE Artistic Achievement Award 2019, for her long-established dance career, outstanding advocacy for inclusive dance, and commitment to continue learning, teaching, collaborating and contributing.
- Rue-Jade Morgan, Dunedin, Arts Access Whai Tikanga Award 2019, for his knowledge of tikanga, his application of traditional mau rakau and its values to the modern world, his integrity and the depth of his impact on men in Otago Corrections Facility.