Creative New Zealand sponsors access award
7 February 2011
Creative New Zealand is sponsoring a new award in Arts Access Aotearoa's Big 'A' Awards 2011 to recognise an arts organisation or company that has gone to extraordinary lengths to become more accessible to the disabled community.
Arts Access Aotearoa is calling for nominations to the Big ‘A’ Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award, open to arts organisations and companies able to demonstrate they have improved their access to disabled audiences during the 12 months preceding the nomination closing date of 25 March 2011.
The new award was inspired by Arts For All: opening doors to disabled people, published in late 2009 by Creative New Zealand in partnership with Arts Access Aotearoa. Aimed at artists, arts organisations and venues, it provides practical and long-term ways to increase access to the arts, market events to the disabled community and build new audiences.
Subsequent workshops were held in partnership with local authorities in Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Auckland.
Stephen Wainwright, Chief Executive, Creative New Zealand, says Arts For All and the ongoing work being done to increase access is making a significant contribution to two of Creative New Zealand’s priorities: that New Zealand’s diverse communities participate in the arts and that New Zealanders are able to experience high-quality arts.
“The publication and workshops have motivated many arts organisations and companies to improve their access and reach new audiences: for example, arts organisations in Wellington are working together to share resources and to address access issues, such as including New Zealand Sign Language in performances,” he says.
A significant project
Richard Benge, Executive Director, Arts Access Aotearoa, says Arts For All has developed into a significant project.
“Access to the arts is fundamental to everything we do,” he says. “This new award category will enhance our Big ‘A’ Awards – the only national awards celebrating the often unsung work being done throughout New Zealand to provide artistic opportunities for people with limited access.”
The Big ‘A’ Awards are presented each year at a special ceremony in Parliament. This year’s awards have four other categories. These are:
- Big ‘A’ Creative Space Award, celebrating the outstanding contribution and impact of a creative space providing access to the arts for people with limited access opportunities
- Big ‘A’ Community Partnership Award, recognising a mutually beneficial partnership between two or more organisations/formal structures actively engaged in a community arts project
- Big ‘A’ Prison Arts Leadership Award, recognising the outstanding contribution of art tutors, prison staff, contractors or volunteers in the rehabilitation of prisoners through the arts
- Big ‘A’ Winton and Margaret Bear Young Artist Award, recognising and supporting the development of a talented young artist (21 years or under on 30 June 2011) in the Great Wellington region, who faces barriers in pursuing his/her artistic potential.