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“Be strong. Be kind. We will be OK.”

24 March 2020
"Kia ora koutou, creative space leaders and colleagues," writes Jenny Hutchings, Creative Spaces Advisor at Arts Access Aotearoa. "As creative space leaders, we know that the health-giving values of social connection and inclusive community, nurtured through art-making in the company of others, are vital to the wellbeing of our artists ...

"Let’s strengthen communication between creative spaces locally and nationally and share, as we do in regional networks, our strategies for responding to the current health alert and the ways we are supporting our artists’ wellbeing. Keep in touch: there is a wealth of collegial support available in our community ...

Your calm, reassuring presence will be a strength to your colleagues and the people you support and while as a team you think of creative ways to engage artists even though your creative space will be closed, be sure to prioritise you own health and wellbeing.

And please, reach out to your creative spaces community. To quote Jacinda: “Be strong. Be kind. We will be OK.” Read Jenny's blog

Toi Ora artist Liam O'Halloran

A CREATIVE ATMOSPHERE: Toi Ora in Grey Lynn, Auckland provides a creative space and learning opportunities for people using mental health services in Auckland. Artist Liam O’Halloran says: “I like Toi Ora because the atmosphere is creative. Painting at home just isn’t the same.” Read more about Toi Ora 

About creative spaces

Creative spaces are organisations and places where people who experience barriers to participation can make art, or participate in artistic activities such as theatre, dance, circus, music, film and creative writing. Barriers to participation include intellectual or physical disability, neurological conditions, mental ill health, age-related vulnerability (elderly or youth at risk), cultural isolation or poverty. Creative Spaces organisations provide space, resources and assistance in ways that will lead to self-expression, empowerment and self-development through making art or participating in artistic activities.  There are many creative spaces communities throughout New Zealand. Some encourage an informal, drop-in approach while others prefer a structured approach, with programmes and workshops in writing, visual and performing arts.

Read more about the history of creative spaces

Creative spaces are dynamic places, using a range of approaches to achieve similar outcomes.

Read more about these approaches

Read "Small voices tell profound truths" by Sylvie Bolstad, founder of Artmakers in Hamilton

Report of survey findings

A report, Understanding the Value of Creative Spaces, presents key findings from a survey of creative spaces, intended to provide key decision-makers and agencies with information about the sector to better understand how the sector operates, the services it provides and to whom. Hon Carmel Sepuloni, Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage, Minister for Social Development and Minister for Disability Issues requested that the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the Office for Disability Issues and the Ministry of Social Development, with assistance from Arts Access Aotearoa, undertake a study on creative spaces to provide information about the sector. The report was released on 9 July 2019.

Creative spaces pānui

Sign up to receive your Creative spaces pānui here.

News, events, opportunities and tips

Arts Access Aotearoa can help you promote your creative space and reach a larger audience. We write news stories and post these on the website and, sometimes, on The Big Idea, Creative New Zealand, Ministry of Culture and Heritage, and Scoop websites. We also promote these stories on social media. Please email Iona with your newsworthy stories and artists. Also let us know if you want to be listed in the creative spaces directory and have any useful tips, resources, opportunities and events to share. 

You can post your accessible arts events on the Arts Access Aotearoa events calendar and we will broadcast it to other relevant what's on sites.


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