30 Jul 2014
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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 last night 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:
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 were also presented in several of the award categories. These were:
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.
For more information, contact details and images:
The recipients know they have received an award or Highly Commended citation.
For feature stories, in-depth radio and television interviews, please contact Iona to discuss your deadlines.
Please also contact Iona if you would like the recipients’ contact details. Official photographs from the awards ceremony will be available by 8.30pm on 29 July.
Communications Manager, Arts Access Aotearoa Access Aotearoa
T: 04 802 4356 | 021 799 059