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Arts Access Awards celebrate artistic contributions


Date: news embargo until
6.30pm Tuesday 29 July 2014
Attention: Arts reporters | Chief reporters

Arts Access Awards celebrate artistic contributions

A “clever and quirky artist”, a former comedian committed to social change, an innovative art space engaging with its local community, two festivals and prison arts leaders were recognised tonight (subs: 6.30pm 29 July) at the Arts Access Awards 2014, presented at Parliament by Arts Access Aotearoa.

The Arts Access Awards 2014 were hosted by Hon Christopher Finlayson, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, in the Banquet Hall of Parliament. The seven recipients are:

Philip Patston, Westmere, Auckland, presented the inaugural Arts Access Accolade by award patron Dame Rosie Horton, acknowledging his life-long commitment to diversity in the arts and creativity
Robert Rapson, Hutt Valley, awarded the Arts Access Artistic Achievement Award 2014, recognising his outstanding achievements and contribution as a ceramic artist with lived experience of mental illness
You Can See Me Everywhere Project, involving six Christchurch organisations, awarded the Arts Access CQ Hotels Wellington Community Partnership Award 2014, recognising an outstanding partnership and community project that promotes diversity, enables inclusion and creates opportunities for disabled people to participate in all aspects of the annual Body Festival
New Zealand Festival, Wellington, awarded the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2014, recognising its commitment to developing its audiences by being accessible to the Deaf and disabled communities
Dudley Arthouse, Lower Hutt, awarded the Arts Access Creative Space Award 2014 for its outstanding contribution in providing innovative opportunities for its artists and interacting with the local community
Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, Auckland, awarded the Arts Access Prison Arts Community Award 2014, recognising its outstanding contribution in working with the Department of Corrections and sponsoring community projects involving the gifting of prisoners’ carvings and artworks to schools, civic buildings and parks
Sandra Harvey, prison art tutor and education facilitator, Northland Region Corrections Facility, Northland, awarded the Arts Access Prison Arts Leadership Award 2014 for her outstanding contribution in using the arts and education as a tool to support prisoner rehabilitation.

The annual Arts Access Awards (formerly known as the Big ‘A’ Awards) are the key national awards in New Zealand celebrating the achievements of individuals and organisations providing opportunities for people with limited access to engage with the arts as artists and audience members. They also recognise the achievements of an artist with a disability, sensory impairment or lived experience of mental illness.

Richard Benge, Executive Director of Arts Access Aotearoa, said that one in four people in New Zealand – more than one million – live with a disability or impairment.

“That’s a lot of people, who all have the right to enjoy the arts as artists, participants, audience members and gallery visitors,” he said. “Tonight’s Arts Access Awards celebrate artistic achievement, and the people and organisations in our diverse communities making the arts accessible to everyone in New Zealand.

“This year’s inaugural Arts Access Accolade acknowledges an exceptional leader who has mentored this organisation, sharing his wisdom, generosity, life experience and good humour. We salute, you, Philip Patston.”

Highly Commended certificates

Highly Commended certificates were also presented in several of the award categories. These were:
Lisette Wesseling, Wellington, Arts Access Artistic Achievement Award 2014, for her achievements as a professional classical soprano and contribution as a voice teacher and braille awareness consultant at the Blind Foundation
Circa Theatre, Wellington, Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2014, for its audio described and sign interpreted performances
A3 Kaitiaki Ltd, Dunedin, Arts Access Prison Arts Community Award 2014, for its contribution to reducing re-offending through the use of tikanga and Māori cultural arts
Jason Carlyle, Christchurch, Arts Access Prison Arts Leadership Award 2014, for his contribution to prisoner art as a driving force behind two charity auctions of prison art
Wiki Turner, Hawkes Bay, Arts Access Prison Arts Leadership Award 2014, for her commitment to using tikanga, harakeke and te reo Māori to support the healing and rehabilitation of prisoners and young offenders at Hawkes Bay Regional Prison.

Arts Access Aotearoa advocates for people in New Zealand who experience barriers to participation in the arts, as both creators and audience members. Its key stakeholders are people with physical, sensory or intellectual impairments; mental health service users; and the community and professional arts sectors. It’s also the key organisation in New Zealand facilitating the arts as a tool to support the rehabilitative process of prisoners.

Arts Access Aotearoa receives core funding from Creative New Zealand and has a contract with the Department of Corrections to support and advise on its arts activities and programmes.


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