A “clever and quirky artist”, a former comedian committed to social change, an innovative art space engaging with its local community, two festivals and prison arts leaders were recognised tonight at the Arts Access Awards 2014, presented at Parliament by Arts Access Aotearoa.
The Arts Access Awards 2014 were hosted by Hon Christopher Finlayson, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, in the Banquet Hall of Parliament.
The seven recipients
Philip Patston, Westmere, Auckland, presented the inaugural Arts Access Accolade by award patron Dame Rosie Horton, acknowledging his life-long commitment to diversity in the arts and creativity. Read more
Robert Rapson, Hutt Valley, awarded the Arts Access Artistic Achievement Award 2014, recognising his outstanding achievements and contribution as a ceramic artist with lived experience of mental illness. Read more
You Can See Me Everywhere Project, involving six Christchurch organisations, awarded the Arts Access CQ Hotels Wellington Community Partnership Award 2014, recognising an outstanding partnership and community project that promotes diversity, enables inclusion and creates opportunities for disabled people to participate in all aspects of the annual Body Festival. Read more
New Zealand Festival, Wellington, awarded the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2014, recognising its commitment to developing its audiences by being accessible to the Deaf and disabled communities. Read more
Dudley Arthouse, Lower Hutt, awarded the Arts Access Creative Space Award 2014 for its outstanding contribution in providing innovative opportunities for its artists and interacting with the local community. Read more
Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, Auckland, awarded the Arts Access Prison Arts Community Award 2014, recognising its outstanding contribution in working with the Department of Corrections and sponsoring community projects involving the gifting of prisoners’ carvings and artworks to schools, civic buildings and parks. Read more
Sandra Harvey, prison art tutor and education facilitator, Northland Region Corrections Facility, Northland, awarded the Arts Access Prison Arts Leadership Award 2014 for her outstanding contribution in using the arts and education as a tool to support prisoner rehabilitation. Read more
The annual Arts Access Awards (formerly known as the Big ‘A’ Awards) are the key national awards in New Zealand celebrating the achievements of individuals and organisations providing opportunities for people with limited access to engage with the arts as artists and audience members. They also recognise the achievements of an artist with a disability, sensory impairment or lived experience of mental illness.
Right to enjoy the arts
Richard Benge, Executive Director of Arts Access Aotearoa, said that one in four people in New Zealand – more than one million – live with a disability or impairment.
“That’s a lot of people, who all have the right to enjoy the arts as artists, participants, audience members and gallery visitors,” he said. “Tonight’s Arts Access Awards celebrate artistic achievement, and the people and organisations in our diverse communities making the arts accessible to everyone in New Zealand.
“This year’s inaugural Arts Access Accolade acknowledges an exceptional leader who has mentored this organisation, sharing his wisdom, generosity, life experience and good humour. We salute, you, Philip Patston.”
Highly Commended certificates
Highly Commended certificates were also presented in several of the award categories. These were:
Lisette Wesseling, Wellington, Arts Access Artistic Achievement Award 2014, for her achievements as a professional classical soprano and contribution as a voice teacher and braille awareness consultant at the Blind Foundation
Circa Theatre, Wellington, Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2014, for its audio described and sign interpreted performances
A3Kaitiaki Ltd, Dunedin, Arts Access Prison Arts Community Award 2014, for its contribution to reducing re-offending through the use of tikanga and Māori cultural arts
Jason Carlyle, Christchurch, Arts Access Prison Arts Leadership Award 2014, for his contribution to prisoner art as a driving force behind two charity auctions of prison art
Wiki Turner, Hawkes Bay, Arts Access Prison Arts Leadership Award 2014, for her commitment to using tikanga, harakeke and te reo Māori to support the healing and rehabilitation of prisoners and young offenders at Hawkes Bay Regional Prison.