Case study: Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
4 October 2011
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth is the inaugural recipient of the Big 'A' Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award. A key benefit of receiving the award is that it's encouraged the gallery to continue its journey of ensuring accessibility, says its Communications and Experience Manager, Felicity Connell. Plus there's nothing like having the spotlight on you to ensure you stay focussed!
The Govett-Brewster is owned and operated by the New Plymouth District Council and Felicity says the award also recognises the Council’s commitment to accessibility.
The Council has a Disability Strategy and the Govett-Brewster’s accessibility policy is based on the strategy’s three strands: that its services, facilities and assets are accessible to all people; that staff are aware of disability in the community and receive appropriate training; and that staff are active champions of an inclusive society.
As to the barriers and challenges of involved in being accessible, Felicity says: “In a word – time! We don’t lack for enthusiasm, good will and ideas but sometimes finding the time to put ideas into action can be a challenge.
“Connecting and communicating with all our different audiences can also be a challenge. But again, it comes down to time.”
Looking ahead, Felicity says that building the new Len Lye Centre is a wonderful opportunity to get it right from the outset. “My aim is to go beyond just ensuring the Len Lye Centre is compliant with Building Code requirements, and seeing it lead the way in using architecture, interior and exhibition design to enhance accessibility for all our visitors.”