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A collage of images from the Arts For Health creative space in Hamilton
Arts For Health’s commitment to providing an accessible creative space to those with limited access to make art was recognised in Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards 2020 on 13 October when it won the Arts Access Holdsworth Creative Space Award. The award carries a prize of $3000. Read more about Arts For Health 
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. These organisations and groups 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

Strategic vision for Auckland’s creative spaces

Arts Access Aotearoa has completed a strategic plan for the creative spaces sector in Auckland. This plan supports the long-term development and sustainability of creative spaces and arts programmes that deliver for people who face barriers to participation. It's  supported by Foundation North and Creative New Zealand to deliver the project Empowering Auckland Creative Spaces Sector. Led by Gary Silipa, this project set out to deliver this strategic plan for Auckland’s creative spaces sector by the end of 2020. Read more about the Strategic Plan and the survey results that informed the plan

Download the Strategic Plan:

Empowering Auckland’s Sector of Creative Spaces and Art Programmes: Strategic Plan 2021-2023 (.pdf)

Empowering Auckland’s Sector of Creative Spaces and Art Programmes: Strategic Plan 2021-2023 (.docx)

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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