18 Jul 2012
This content is tagged as All Artforms .
WOMAD, New Plymouth’s annual outdoor festival of music, art and dance, was presented with the Big ‘A’ Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2012 tonight in the Banquet Hall at Parliament by Arts Access Aotearoa.
Now in its tenth year, WOMAD boasts an audience of more than 40,000 over its three days. Its nomination was supported with accolades from many members of the disabled community, praising the welcoming and accessible WOMAD experience.
Judges said that “WOMAD gets accessibility in every way and is a benchmark for what other organisations can aspire to”. They praised the festival’s accessibility policy, which “puts community participation, consultation and access at the heart of everything it does”.
The annual Big ‘A’ Awards are the key awards in New Zealand celebrating the achievements of individuals and organisations providing opportunities for people with limited access to engage with the arts. This year, the Big ‘A’ Awards introduced two award categories: the Big ‘A’ Artistic Achievement Awardand the Big ‘A’ Prison Arts Community Award.
Richard Benge, Executive Director of Arts Access Aotearoa, paid tribute to the often unsung heroes working in communities throughout New Zealand to enrich people’s artistic lives.
“The arts offer a window to self-expression and creativity, lifting our spirits and connecting us to our communities,” he said. “It’s important to acknowledge leaders in the community and professional arts sectors who provide opportunities for people with limited access to engage in the arts. As tonight’s recipients demonstrate, everyone benefits.”
The five other recipients are:
The six recipients were selected by a panel of judges comprising Minnie Baragwanath (Chief Executive, Be. Accessible); Rachel Leota (Assistant General Manager – Service Development, Department of Corrections); Rachel Mullins (Inclusive Communities Co-ordinator, Christchurch City Council); Erwin van Asbeck (Manager, Toi Ora Live Arts Trust, Auckland); Stephen Wainwright (Chief Executive, Creative New Zealand); and Richard Benge (Executive Director, Arts Access Aotearoa).
Highly Commended certificates were also presented in several of the award categories. These were:
Arts Access Aotearoa receives core funding from Creative New Zealand and has a major contract with the Department of Corrections to support and advise on the arts as a tool in the rehabilitation process of prisoners.