ARTS INVESTMENT: Reducing barriers for people to create and participate in the arts pays dividends, says Richard Benge in his latest blog

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From Verbatim to Prison Voices

14 September 2023
"I grew up safe, nurtured, knowing I was loved. I got a good education. Auckland Boys' Grammar is right next to the volcanic stone walls of Mt Eden Prison, as it was then called. I'd look across from the playing field and wonder what it was like to be behind those small, barred windows where nothing ever moved, no face ever appeared." Read writer William Brandt's blog about his show Verbatim 

Bailee Lobb: communicating through art 

25 August 2023
Drawing from her life, Wellington video, performance and installation artist Bailee Lobb explores the many layers of her disability experience through her art. Bailee graduated from the University of New South Wales – Art and Design in 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hon), and has been creating colourful and tactile bodies of work ever since. Read more about Bailee Lobb

Recipients of Creative Arts and Cultural Wellbeing Prison Initiative

24 August 2023
The Creative Arts and Cultural Wellbeing Prison Initiative, a partnership between Manatū Taonga in partnership with Ara Poutama Aotearoa, has resulted in investment of $3 million into a dozen arts programmes to be delivered over 2022/23 to 2024/2025 across 13 prison sites. Read the list of recipients

Looking to the future of Arts in Corrections

24 August 2023
"Prison sites across the country are opening up again to visitors, volunteers, art programmes and artist tutors after they faced necessary safety restrictions due to COVID-19. So what’s changed since 2020 and the impact of COVID-19? And looking ahead, what does the future hold for Arts in Corrections programmes across New Zealand’s 18 prisons?" Read Richard Benge's blog

Applying the Fries Test in Aotearoa

15 August 2023
"Years ago the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel made a joke in a comic strip. Two women enter a cinema with simple criteria for the kind of film they want to see:  one with a scene in which two women speak about something other than men. They exit almost immediately, disappointed, unable to find anything to watch." Read Henrietta Bollinger's blog

Volunteers welcomed back to prison sites

23 August 2023
“Barbershop singing has taken me out of my comfort zone as I’m not a good singer,” wrote one man participating in a barbershop programme at Spring Hill Corrections Facility. “However, with their patient and persistent teaching styles, I’ve learned singing techniques and am part of a group harmonising system." Read more about Corrections' volunteers programme

Toi Māori to support healing and rehabilitation

23 August 2023
The vision of a small company based on the southern shores of Lake Taupō – “to empower people to pursue their potential and achieve success” – has driven its educational, tikanga-based programmes over 12 years in Tongariro Prison and the region’s Community Corrections sites. Read more about two new arts programmes in Tongariro Prison









Embracing te ao Māori: Huia O'Sullivan, Executive Director, Ngā Rangatahi Toa, explains why it's important. Watch the video and read an interview

The Arts Access Podcast: Listen to the podcasts, produced by Sam Morgan for Arts Access Aotearoa.

One to watch: Writer and spoken-word poet Helen Vivienne Fletcher performs Stick-abled: video directed, shot and edited by Rajeev Mishra.

Connecting through music: This video was made by Lala Rolls of Island Productions Aotearoa for Arts Access Aotearoa and Chamber Music New Zealand.

Access for all: This video was made by Lala Rolls of Island Productions Aotearoa for Arts Access Aotearoa


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