Two Big 'A' Awards to recognise prison arts
9 February 2012
The role of the arts as a rehabilitative tool in New Zealand prisons will be recognised in Arts Access Aotearoa's Big 'A' Awards 2012 with two awards: the Big 'A' Prison Arts Leadership Award and the inaugural Big 'A' Prison Arts Community Award. Nominations to this year's Big 'A' Awards are now open.
The closing date is Friday 23 March 2012. The two awards are:
- The Big ‘A’ Prison Arts Leadership Award, recognising the outstanding contribution of an individual using the arts as a tool to support the rehabilitation/reintegration of prisoners. To be eligible, the nominated person must be an employee, contractor or volunteer with the Department of Corrections, and have been involved directly in the delivery of prison arts between January 2011 and up to the nomination closing date (i.e. 23 March 2012). Previous recipients of this award are Moana Tipa, Robyn Hughes, Mark Lynds and Sharon Hall.
- The inaugural Big ‘A’ Prison Arts Community Award, recognising the outstanding contribution of a community group or organisation, working with the Department of Corrections and using the arts to support the rehabilitation/reintegration of prisoners. To be eligible, the nominated group or organisation must have been involved directly in the delivery of prison arts between January 2011 and up to the nomination closing date (i.e. 23 March 2012).
The Big ‘A’ Awards presentation will be held in the Banquet Hall at Parliament on 18 July. Last year’s awards ceremony was attended by more than 200 guests.
Supporting arts development
Arts Access Aotearoa has a partnership with the Department of Corrections to support arts development in prisons as a rehabilitative/reintegration tool.Richard Benge, Executive Director, Arts Access Aotearoa, said the Big ‘A’ Awards and its nomination process is a great opportunity for people to play a part in celebrating the work of those who support access to the arts for everyone in New Zealand.“We know through our work in prisons throughout New Zealand that there are some inspiring individuals and community groups working with the Department,” Richard says. “They deserve recognition.”
Advocating for all people to have access to the arts
Arts Access Aotearoa is a national organisation, advocating for all people in New Zealand to have access to the arts. Its key stakeholders are individuals and organisations in the community and professional arts sectors; people with physical or intellectual impairments; and mental health service users. It is also the key organisation in New Zealand facilitating the arts as a tool to support the rehabilitation/reintegration of prisoners.A judging panel, consisting of six people with appropriate knowledge and national experience, will meet to assess the nominations and decide on the award recipients.