Conference 2022: igniting possibilities

Ngā Wāhi Auaha Creative Spaces Conference 2022 will take place over Tuesday 1 November – Wednesday 2 November 2022 and is free to all attendees, thanks to generous funding from Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Anyone interested in the conference’s content is welcome to attend.   

The conference will be 100 per cent virtual. The decision to go virtual helps remove barriers to participation such as travel and accommodation costs, and reduces the chances of major COVID-19 disruptions. 

 Arts Access Aotearoa gratefully acknowledges the Conference Advisory Group for helping guide us in the conference development process. 

 The conference’s theme of “igniting possibilities” celebrates everything creative spaces make possible: support for artists to fulfil their creative potential; the evolution of a strong, resilient and collaborative Creative Spaces Network; and new ways Arts Access Aotearoa can help advocate for the sector.


Please register online for Ngā Wāhi Auaha Creative Spaces Conference 2022 by 5pm Friday 28 October.

This is not a Zoom meeting and so you must register to have access to the online conference. You can register as many people as you like  in one registration. All you need are their names and email addresses. We welcome everyone, including volunteers, artists, staff and trustees, from all creative spaces and any other interested individuals and organisations. 

Conference programme

The programme for Ngā Wāhi Auaha Creative Spaces Conference 2022 is online. Day One starts  at 9am on Tuesday 1 November with a Mihi whakatau and welcome and concludes at  3.25pm Wednesday 2 November with a call to action by Richard Benge, Executive Director, Arts Access Aotearoa and Whakakapi  (closing) at 3.35pm. To read the programme and information about accessibility

Conference accessibility

Arts Access Aotearoa has worked to ensure this online conference is as accessible as possible. We recognise that access requirements differ from person to person, and that support to attend the conference may take many forms. 
NZSL interpretation and translation is being provided by Connect Interpreting. Most sessions will be live interpreted but several sessions have been pre-recorded. The conference platform is provided through Vimeo and only allows for open captions. These are always in view, and cannot be turned on and off. 

We have asked all conference speakers to give a brief self-description. To read the Conference 2022 accessibility notes

Conference MC and keynote speakers

James Nokise, award-winning comedian, MC, entertainer, speaker, theatre maker and playwright 

James Nokise is the MC for Ngā Wāhi Auaha Creative Spaces Conference 2022.

James is an award-winning stand-up comedian of Samoan/Welsh heritage who spends most of his time on the international festival circuit. He is the host of RNZ’s mental health podcast, Eating Fried Chicken in the Shower, and a regular columnist for When home, he can be seen on television shows Have You Been Paying Attention and 7 Days. While overseas, he has hosted the BBC radio special Day of Two Suns and has featured on the podcast series You’re Dead to Me, The Bugle and The Gargle.

The Honourable Justice Joseph (Joe) Williams, Wellington, New Zealand 

""Justice Williams’ keynote presentation will talk about the transformative power of art for social change.  

Justice Williams has an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington and an LLM (Hons) from the University of British Columbia. He became a partner at Kensington Swan in 1992 and went on to co-found Walters Williams & Co in 1994. In 1999, he became Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court and was appointed Chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal in 2004. He was appointed a judge of the High Court in September 2008, a judge of the Court of appeal in February 2018, and a judge of the Supreme Court in May 2019. Justice Williams’ iwi are Ngati Pūkenga, Waitaha and Tapuika.

 “Joe was once a member of the Aotearoa band led by Ngāhiwi Apanui. He was a charismatic performer with a big voice, but then he left to study law in Canada.” Read more about Justice Williams’ journey from the arts into law, and why he is passionate about the topic of the arts and social change.

 Anjel Newmann, Co-Executive Director of AS220, Providence, USA 

 ""Anjel will speak about her succession journey from AS220 Youth member to Co-Executive Director of AS220, and the scaffolds she and her team have created for young people to advance through the organisation. 

 Anjel is a Black American artist, social designer and educator/facilitator from Rhode Island, USA. Leveraging values of hip hop and a range of disciplines/philosophies, Anjel’s work is about co-creating spaces that centre people who are most impacted by systems of oppression: to reimagine and design a future that is as magical as it is just, ripe with possibility and wonder. Anjel specialises in using design principles to support organisations to transform from the inside out, with empathy and storytelling at the centre.,

 Anjel is a strategic thought partner to College Unbound’s Provost and Vice President for Administration & Innovation. She also teaches art, design and social justice classes for local colleges and universities. In addition, she facilitates conversations between groups of grassroots organisers and organisations, bringing people together to collaborate in new and meaningful ways. Her work as an artist is directly influenced by her work as a social designer, educator and facilitator.  

 Caroline Bowditch, Chief Executive Officer/Artistic Director of Arts Access Victoria and the Creative Lead of the Alter State Festival, Melbourne, Australia  

""Caroline’s keynote address will be “In conversation” with Erin Gough. 

 Caroline Bowditch enjoyed an acclaimed career in the UK for more than 16 years as both a performance maker and industry leader. She is a consultant on accessibility and inclusive practice internationally, and is regularly invited to mentor local, national and international artists. Her performance works include Leaving Limbo Landing (2012); Falling in Love with Frida (2014), awarded a prestigious Herald Angel award; and children’s works, The Adventures of Snigel and Snigel and Friends (2016), nominated for a Total Theatre Award, Edinburgh Festival (2017).  

 Caroline returned to Australia in 2018 to lead Arts Access Victoria. Under her leadership, the organisation has developed key partnerships with major arts and cultural organisations, strengthened its financial position and been transformed into a disability-led organisation at every level of operation.

 Arts Access Victoria’s vision is cultural equity for all Deaf and disabled people, and Caroline’s leadership is grounded in delivering on this vision in the years ahead. 

Her strong advocacy has resulted in significant reform of funding programmes for Deaf and disabled artists. She also oversaw the development of a new strategic plan at Arts Access Victoria and led the organisation through a successful transition to hybrid delivery throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  

 Erin Gough, Disability Activist, Wellington, New Zealand 

""Erin’s keynote address will be “In conversation” with Caroline Bowditch. 

 Born in South Africa, Erin spenttheirhigh school anduniversity years in Christchurch beforegraduating with an LLB (Hons, First Class) and a BA (Sociology)and movingto Wellington in 2015.Theyhaveextensivelegal, policy andadvocacy experience, both in and outside of government. 

 A former trustee of Arts Access Aotearoa and current co-chair of Creative New Zealand’s Accessibility Advisory Group, Erin has a keen interest in the arts both as an audience member and a writer.  

Erin is a proud disabled, queer activist committed to challenging and dismantling ableism and other forms of oppression, and is always learning from other activists, both in Aotearoa and around the world. 

Megan Thorn, Managing Director, Exult, Hamilton, New Zealand 

""Megan will speak on the topic of “sustainable funding”. 

 Megan has more than 20 years’ experience in facilitation and developing, designing, and delivering training. Community and non-profit organisations are her passion, working with people who make a real, positive difference in their communities.

Megan focuses on the business end of what you do: governance, raising funds, raising profile, creating a great vision and a strategic plan to achieve it, and growing great volunteer teams. She has a knack for delivering useful information in an engaging and thought-provoking way, most importantly sharing practical ideas you can implement in your organisation to help you raise funds. Read more about Exult

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Creative spaces team

KATE HIATT, Creative Spaces Advisor | Kaiārahi a Toi Whakawātea Tangata
T: 04 802 4349
HANNAH DAHLKE, Creative Spaces Funding Advisor | Kaiārahi Kohi Moni 
T: 027 216 5816
NEIL WALLACE, Creative Spaces Funding Advisor | Kaiārahi Kohi Moni 

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