A collage of images from the Artist Spotlight videos on YouTube. Clockwise from top, Santalma from Cultural Conversations, Jen from Studio2, two members of Inclusive Performance Academy of Canterbury, Mokena Spooner Hokianga from Pablos Art Studios, and Hugo from Voice Arts

A video campaign by Arts Access Aotearoa is highlighting the value of creative spaces and the artists who attend them. The campaign’s key message is that creative spaces provide a safe, inclusive place where people can create and participate in the arts.

Creative spaces are organisations throughout New Zealand where people who experience barriers to participation can make art, or participate in artistic activities such as theatre, dance, circus, music, film, and creative writing.

The Artist Spotlight videos are hosted on Arts Access Aotearoa’s YouTube channel. To date, they feature participants and staff from Pablos Art Studios and Voice Arts in Wellington; Studio2 in Dunedin; Cultural Conversations in Nelson; and the Inclusive Performance Academy in Christchurch.

One of the campaign aims is to support creative spaces to make videos, promoting the impact of their work and reaching a wider audience. Lachlan Giddens, a Victoria University student and intern at Arts Access Aotearoa, led the campaign.

As well as creating the Pablos Art Studios and Voices Arts videos, Lachlan also wrote a step-by-step instruction guide explaining how to create and edit the videos.

Importance of creative spaces

In the Pablos Art Studios’ video, artist Mokena Spooner Hokianga talks about his painting, called Sunflowers, and describes the importance of Pablos Art Studios.

“The painting represents the qualities and values that I hope to embody as a practising artist,” he says. “It also complements the values that Pablos Art Studios has. A very nurturing, bright, bubbly, friendly place, and a place that I’m very grateful to be a part of.”

And in the Studio2 video, artist Jen talks about the tee-shirt she painted and is wearing, and what she likes about the creative space.

“I have friends and I like making pictures. Studio2 helps me try something new,” she says.

Feedback from creative spaces

Megan Brady, Co-facilitator of Studio2 and the video-maker, says: “These videos are such a lovely way to promote and connect to fellow creative spaces!”

Kate Hiatt, Creative Spaces Advisor, Arts Access Aotearoa, says the videos are providing a “wonderful weaving” of stories.

“What a kete for creative spaces,” she says. “One of the things I love is that they are all so different – yet obviously part of a suite of videos.”

The response to Arts Access Aotearoa’s call for expressions of interest was enthusiastic:

  • “Wow. This sounds like a fantastic initiative. Please mark Glass Ceiling Arts Collective down as seriously interested.” – Charlotte Nightingale
  • “Yes please! Pick us! We would love, love, LOVE the opportunity to showcase the talents of our students with disabilities. That would be an amazing opportunity for our team.” – Mel Smith, Circability Trust

If you are a creative space and would like to participate in the Artist Spotlight video campaign, please email Iona McNaughton.

Video campaign highlights value of creative spaces


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