PĀNUI PĀPĀHO MEDIA RELEASE: Arts Access Aotearoa
Arts Access Aotearoa is launching its first podcast series, featuring champions of accessibility in the arts and profiling disabled artists.
Called The Arts Access Podcast, it is produced by Sam Morgan, Digital Content Developer at Arts Access Aotearoa. A recent Massey University graduate, Sam has a degenerative eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa. He completed his BA Honours degree in music technology, recording a series of audio lessons.
This led to a placement through Work and Income’s Mainstream programmes at Arts Access Aotearoa to develop a podcast series and boost the organisation’s digital content.
“I didn’t want to be on the benefit. I wanted to work and be independent,” Sam says. “Going into work has been overwhelming and exhausting but it has felt incredible. I'm super-privileged where I landed because Arts Access Aotearoa is all about accessibility. It’s a great fit for me and I’m pleased I can contribute my digital skills.”
A new episode of The Arts Access Podcast will be released every two or three weeks. The series covers a range of topics about the arts, culture and accessibility. There are interviews with artists and leaders at creative spaces; people working in the Arts in Corrections space; champions of arts accessibility; and disabled artists.
Focus on service users, not service managers
Sam says he wants to focus more on the people who use services rather than the people who manage them.
“So, for example, it’s important to get the perspectives of artists on why they go to creative spaces and how they impact their lives,” he explains. “It’s good to give the artists themselves a platform to share their own creative practice in their own words.
“I think that sometimes, people who identify as disabled or who have issues with their mental health aren’t seen as ‘serious artists’. But really, everyone’s a serious artist if that’s what they love to do and what drives them.”
Sam says producing podcasts is “a really great opportunity” for him to make content more accessible to people who are blind or have low vision.
He and his friend, Jesse Austin-Stewart, have also received funding to make a podcast about assistive music technologies, which he says could be a spin-off series from the Arts Access Podcast.
The Arts Access Podcast will be available on all major streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Apple Podcasts. The first episode, Creative Resistance: the Women’s Art Initiative, will be streamed on Thursday 1 September 2022.