For this final blog of the year, I’ve looked back over photos I still had on my phone and elsewhere to share with you. These photos speak to some of the people, events and work that have been significant to Arts Access Aotearoa Putanga Toi Ki Aotearoa in 2019.
What drives our work is the belief that all people in Aotearoa will have access and inclusion to the arts and cultural creative expression. On behalf of our board, staff and volunteers thank you sincerely for playing your part and I hope you have a well-deserved break, if that is possible.
FAREWELL AND WELCOME: Staff changes at Arts Access Aotearoa are not an everyday thing. However, this year we said farewell to Claire Noble (who has been volunteering with homeless children in Zambia) and welcomed Stace Robertson to take over the Arts For All Network. Stace is seen here with me at Claire’s fun farewell, along with Iona McNaughton (Communications Manager) and Dawa Devereux (Business Administrator). Please email Stace for accessibility advice for your gallery, production, event and live performance venue and join the Arts For All Network. Email Iona to promote your story or accessible event, and for all general enquires, please email Dawa.
VIGIL: 15 March will be remembered by everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand for many reasons, mainly for the shocking and senseless loss of precious lives. I took this photo at the Wellington vigil, which was one of many around the country where people gathered to express their grief and offer support. At Arts Access Aotearoa, we seek to reduce the barriers to arts and cultural expression. We are committed to strengthening our efforts to build an inclusive, stronger community where racism or terrorism cannot take hold.
ARTS IN CORRECTIONS NETWORK: Around the country Chris Ulutupu, the Arts in Corrections Advisor, connects Corrections staff and local artists and advocates to the best opportunities for arts and rehabilitation in Corrections’ facilities. I attended this one in Wellington where we let off a bit of steam after sharing examples of best practice, planning and exploring opportunities. Please email Chris for all advice and opportunities for Arts in Corrections.
LEADING IN THE COMMUNITY: Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards are our main opportunity to highlight the achievements and stories of leaders who work “above and beyond” to provide access to the arts. Here is a delightful moment when Hinewehi Mohi accepts the Arts Access Holdsworth Creative Space Award 2019 at Parliament. Look for the call for nominations for the 2020 Awards early in the new year. You can self-nominate or nominate others. For any information about Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards 2020, please email Stace.
CREATIVE SPACES NETWORK: Around the country more creative spaces have been gathering for regional engagement network meetings, led by Jenny Hutchings, Creative Spaces Advisor. Ellyn Rose at Pablos Art Studio and others were responsible for the All Access exhibition at Thistle Hall in Wellington. Please email Jenny to join the network and for any advice about your creative space.
And finally ...
END OF YEAR MESSAGE: Messages (visual and sometimes quite literal) pop up that encourage and nurture me to continue this work and be present with those closest to me and my wider community. Here is one I stopped to photograph in a shop window that I hope will inspire and nurture you at the end of 2019.