Accessibility at the New Zealand Festival 2016

ACCESS FOR ALL: The New Zealand Festival 2016, on in Wellington from 26 February to 20 March, is offering an audio described performance of Dead Dog in a Suitcase (29 February), and sign interpreted performances of Te Pō (3 March) and Complexity of Belonging (13 March). There's also detailed information about venue access, transport options and how to book on the New Zealand Festival website.

Creative growth in California

29 January 2016
Tom di Maria and artists at the Creative Growth Center“The artists I see as contemporary artists, not artists with disabilities or even self-taught artists. Work that doesn’t relate or respond to art history: that’s how I describe what our artists do,” says Tom di Maria, Executive Director of the Creative Growth Center, in a recent article published in the New York Times. The Creative Growth Art Center is situated in Oakland, California. It’s the world’s oldest and largest art centre serving artists with developmental, physical and intellectual disabilities. Read more

Uta Plate highlights role of theatre in prisons

Uta Plate29 January 2016
German theatre practitioner Uta Plate will lead a series of forums and workshops in Wellington (10 February), Christchurch (29 February and 1 March) and Auckland (3 and 4 March) to highlight the role of theatre and creativity in prisons, in partnership with Goethe-Institut New Zealand and Arts Access Aotearoa. For the past 20 years, Uta has been running workshops and devising plays with prisoners, young people and asylum seekers in Germany and in countries such as Chile, Sweden, China, Turkey, Palestine and Russia. Read more and register your interest in attending a forum

Constructive tools for prisoners to make change

28 January 2016
Prisoners lay mosaics in the sundial garden in Puna Tatari, Spring Hill Corrections Facility“All my life, my hands have been doing destructive things. Now I can see that my hands have helped to create something beautiful,” a prisoner said when the sundial garden in the Special Treatment Unit at Spring Hill Corrections Facility was completed. He was one of eight men who had been working on the project once a week over four months in 2015. He was, says art tutor Ann Byford, very proud of what he and the other men had achieved. Read more

Auckland plans to provide access to arts 

22 December 2015
AThe cover of Toi Whitiki, Auckland Council’s new Arts and Culture Strategic Action Planccess to the arts and culture is about more than disability. It’s about prisons, and people living in remote areas or feeling socially isolated. It’s also about older people, says Martine Abel, Specialist Advisor in Auckland Council’s Community Empowerment Unit. It’s this perspective of “access” that underpins Toi Whītiki, Auckland Council’s new Arts and Culture Strategic Action Plan, launched in December. Read more

Tufuga Arts Trust dreams of bigger space

11 December 2015
Paki, an artist who attends Tufuga Arts Trust
Tufuga Arts Trust, a creative space offering two art sessions a week in Te Puke Otara Community Centre in South Auckland, has big dreams for 2016. It wants new premises where people can drop in and make art five days a week. But to make that happen, the trust needs to find a volunteer with the time and skills to apply for funding and help it move forward. Someone, says Natasha Keay, Chair of the trust, who is passionate about art and its role in mental wellbeing. Good communication skills are also essential. Read more

“Groundbreaking” Jolt Interactive dance to tour

Jolt Interactive performs Fish7 December 2015
A show featuring dance, puppetry, music and theatre, performed by Jolt Interactive, will tour to Wellington and Auckland next year. Fish was first performed with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra’s harpist Helen Webby and principal timpanist Mark La Roche in August 2015 in the orchestra’s rehearsal space – a converted warehouse on the fringe of Christchurch. Read more

Using digital platforms to improve access to the arts

3 December 2015
Participants at the Arts Access Advocates symposium
Making the most of social media, blogging, video and other digital platforms was the focus of a weekend symposium on 28 and 29 November in Wellington, attended by people in the disability sector and aimed at building their digital skills to advocate for increased access to arts and cultural events in New Zealand.The symposium was organised by Arts Access Aotearoa and funded through the Ministry of Social Development’s Thinking Differently. Read more



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