Working with our sectors to provide the strategic vision and future pathways to strengthen accessible and inclusive arts is an essential part of Arts Access Aotearoa’s work. Without evidence we would find it impossible to advocate effectively for improved funding and support for a sector that delivers accessible and inclusive arts for wellbeing and creative expression.

Kakakano Youth Arts Collective, presented its Highly Commended certificate in the Arts Access Holdsworth Creative Space Award 2020I’m pleased to say we have completed an exciting strategic plan for the creative spaces sector in Auckland. It’s called Empowering Auckland’s Sector of Creative Spaces and Art Programmes: Strategic Plan 2021-2023 and we can now share it with you.

We are supported by Foundation North and Creative New Zealand to deliver the project Empowering Auckland Creative Spaces Sector. This project, led by Gary Silipa, set out to deliver this strategic plan for Auckland’s creative spaces sector by the end of 2020.

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

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

We had excellent support from Auckland creative spaces and are looking forward to conducting a similar research project across the rest of the country in 2021.

Long-term development and sustainability of creative spaces

The Empowering Auckland strategic plan supports the long-term development and sustainability of creative spaces and arts programmes that deliver for people who face barriers to participation.

We will progress the five strategic priorities and 20 actions from the strategic plan over the next two years in collaboration with strategic partners and Auckland’s creative spaces. The priority areas are:

  1. Recognition of value
  2. Sustainable funding
  3. Strengthened capability
  4. Co-ordinated voice
  5. Accessible and visible sector.

Key action points in this plan relate to working with central government for additional funding for creative spaces, including additional outreach into communities. Some areas such as working with central government have already been a focus this year and we have appreciated the opportunity to advocate to the Government, particularly around COVID-19 recovery funding. 

Background and survey results

The need for a strategic plan for the Auckland creative spaces sector was identified in Arts Access Aotearoa’s 2017 report Creative Spaces in Auckland: A review of inclusive arts organisations, based on research in the sector. This report found that the value of creative spaces and arts programmes is not measured and, therefore, not valued, Because of this, creative spaces are overlooked for funding and investment, and can missout on advocacy and support.

The survey behind this new strategic plan was conducted in the final quarter 2020 with 24 creative spaces and art programmes in Auckland There was an 88 per cent response rate.

The survey results are captured in a companion document A Sector Seeking Support in 2020 and Beyond: Auckland’s Creative Spaces and Arts Programmes.

A Sector Seeking Support in 2020 and Beyond: Auckland’s Creative Spaces and Arts Programmes 

A Sector Seeking Support in 2020 and Beyond: Auckland’s Creative Spaces and Arts Programmes

We look forward to activating the plan alongside creative spaces, associate organisations, friends and funders through visits, meetings, events and strengthened creative activity over the next two years of the strategy.

The White Room Creative Space’s exhibition in Parliament’s Bowen House

The value of creative spaces to people’s health and wellbeing was obvious last night at the opening of The White Room Creative Space’s exhibition, Look, in Parliament’s Bowen House exhibition space in Wellington. Many of the nine White Room artists, who had travelled from Christchurch for the opening, spoke to Hon Poto Williams, who launched the exhibition.

Nine White Room artists with Hon Poto Williams at the opening of the Look exhibitionThe Minister had visited The White Room’s website and read out quotes by three of the exhibiting artists:

  • “I have been painting for a long time and if Jacinda Ardern came to see my work, I would tell her that my work speaks for me.” – Chris McFarlane
  • “The chance to show my work in Parliament is the equivalent of being invited to a tea party at Buckingham Palace.” – Gary Buchanan
  • “So people and politicians can see my work and what I do.” – Grace Dodge

Arts Access Aotearoa consistently evaluates the effectiveness of its programmes and projects, including monthly analysis of our website and social media platforms. After the presentation of our first online Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards 2020, analysis showed that:

  • the Arts Access Aotearoa website had 1044 views on the night of the Awards (13 October)
  • the Awards 2020 webpage had 1337 views from 1–21 October
  • the Awards 2020 video on YouTube (also on the website) had 290 views from 13–21 October
  • Facebook post engagement from 23 September–20 October was 2501 (up 50%).

Analysis of our website also shows that the Donate webpage had 118 views from 1 –21 October. We had an great response to our $25 for 25 years fundraising campaign, launched on the night of our online Awards presentation. A big thanks to everyone who has already donated. You can be sure your donations will be used wisely to support our work in increasing access to the arts for everyone in Aotearoa.

As we head towards the end of 2020, I invite you to make a donation. As always, I welcome your feedback about our mahi (E: T: 04 802 4349).


Strategic vision for Auckland’s creative spaces


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