Using digital platforms to improve access to the arts


Participants in the Arts Access Advocates symposium

Using digital platforms to improve access to the arts

3 December 2015
Making the most of social media, blogging, video and other digital platforms was the focus of a weekend symposium on 28 and 29 November in Wellington, attended by people in the disability sector and aimed at building their digital skills to advocate for increased access to arts and cultural events in New Zealand.

Participants in the Arts Access Advocates symposiumThe symposium was organised by Arts Access Aotearoa and funded through the Ministry of Social Development’s Thinking Differently. It was the third part of a project called Arts Access Advocates: A National Partnership, which also includes a website and video about advocating for increased access.

At the symposium, participants were inspired by speakers such as Pati Umaga, Phillip Patston, Robyn Hunt, Thane Pullan and Jared Flitcroft. They also valued the opportunity to form a national network and share their knowledge, issues and experiences.

Making connections with people and ideas

Robyn Hunt described the symposium as a “constructive and valuable learning” event. “There was a lot of positive energy and a real buzz as people made connections with each other and with ideas,” she said.

Richard Benge, Executive Director of Arts Access Aotearoa, said a key aim of the symposium was to form a national network. “The symposium was about being face-to-face with like-minded advocates to explore digital platforms, and collaborate on fresh ideas and projects.”

He said the Arts Access Advocates website has already attracted blogs about the symposium, accessibility issues and ways to advocate through empowerment.

In her blog, participant Rebekah Corlett writes: “I entered this workshop not sure where I would fit in, if at all. My ideologies and senses were challenged and I left with a sense of community, belonging, and a strong grounding in who I am and where I am heading.”

Throughout the symposium, participants tweeted and posted on Facebook. These are published on



Using digital platforms to improve access to the arts


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