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A collage of images of NZSL interpreter Kelly Hodgins
OPENING UP THE ARTS TO DEAF PEOPLE: Aucklander Kelly Hodgins’ passion and bubbly personality shine through when she talks about New Zealand Sign Language interpreted theatre and other arts events for Deaf people. Read more 

Latest news updates

Shot Bro and saving lives

26 August 2020
Rob Mokaraka outside Invercargill Prison“I think of myself as an essential life-saving service but that's an unofficial statement,” Rob Mokaraka says in an email when he’s told that his solo show Shot Bro, due to be performed to men at Rimutaka Prison in two days’ time, has had to be postponed because of COVID-19. Described as “a healing true story about a very real fight with a bullet and depression,” Shot Bro was first performed at Rimutaka Prison back in 2016. Read Rob's story 

Unlocking potential through the arts

26 August 2020
Leonie Abe, Hawkes Bay Regional PrisonUntil eight years ago, Leonie Aben, acting Prison Director of Hawkes Bay Regional Prison, saw arts programmes in prisons as more of an optional extra, a good way of keeping prisoners occupied rather than an integral part of building self-esteem, motivation and a sense of cultural identity. “I always liked the arts but I didn’t see it as I do now, as part of the rehabilitation process,” she says. Read more 

Invercargill Prison makes Manu Tukutuku for Matariki

27 July 2020
A volunteer project at Invercargill Prison involved a group of six prisoners and two volunteers making nine Manu Tukutuku, traditional toitoi kites, for Matariki. The kites were gifted to the Invercargill Matariki Light Festival in Queens Park from 13 to 19 July, where they hung as part of the community display. Read more

Thinkit art programme in Invercargill Prison

1 July 2020
A new art programme designed to enrich creativity, and enhance self-esteem and problem-solving skills, is underway in Invercargill Prison. Thinkit is a five-week, ten-session programme that aims to help participants build skills and develop strategies to help them navigate everyday life. Read more

Arts mentors step up at Northland prison

1 July 2020
Beth Hill knew the arts mentors she helped train through the Tuakana Teina peer mentoring programme at Northland Region Corrections Facility had the skills to keep some of the arts activities going through the COVID-19 lockdown. But she was blown away by just how much they achieved during the seven weeks of Level 4 and 3 lockdown when she was unable to work at the prison. Read more

International recognition for Audio Described Aotearoa

25 June 2020
Hansel and GretelAuckland company Audio Described Aotearoa has received international recognition for its efforts in providing audio description for blind and low vision arts patrons, particularly during New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown. This includes collaboration with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, resulting in more than 1500 people around the world tuning into four audio described online ballets. Read more



Arts Access Advocates



Photo Kevin Stent/StuffCREATIVE SPACE CHALLENGES: “Part of the human psyche is more healthy and well when we’re connected with other people. For creative spaces like Vincents, making artwork comes from a deep part of yourself.” Read Andre Chumko’s Stuff article Creative spaces, desperate to expand, are on the brink of collapse

Jeremy MayallART A RECOVERY TOOL: Waikato could lead the country’s Covid-19 recovery, using art as a first responder. That’s the hope of Creative Waikato’s chief executive Jeremy Mayall who is presenting to all Waikato councils, asking them to factor art into district and city recovery plans. Read more 

ARTS AND HEALTH: Check out Antoinette Spicer's five-part podcast series on art initiatives and programmes that improve New Zealanders’ wellbeing. Read more 

THIS IS ART / HE MAHI TOI TĒNEI: The ‘This is Art / He mahi toi tēnei’ tee is proudly created in collaboration by NopeSisters and Silo Theatre, to help increase the visibility and value of our arts and our artists in Aotearoa. 25% of the profits of every shirt will be donated to Arts Access Aotearoa! Get yours at the NopeSisters online store:  NopeSisters Store - This is Art / He mahi toi tēnei

AUTISM STEREOTYPES: Wellington writer L.J. Ritchie has been frustrated at the portrayal of autistic characters in books since he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in 2002. Read more

ONE TO WATCH: Writer and spoken-word poet Helen Vivienne Fletcher performs Stick-abled: video directed, shot and edited by Rajeev Mishra.

Bronwyn Haines and Henrietta Bollinger outside ParliamentVALUE OF CREATIVE SPACES: A report presenting key findings from a survey of creative spaces aims to provide key decision-makers and agencies with more information about the sector. Read the report 

CONNECTING THROUGH MUSIC: Chamber Music New Zealand received the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2016 for its Accessible Concerts Programme, which includes relaxed performances and workshops.

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