17 April 2003

Arts Access Aotearoa

Arts Access Aotearoa Annual Report 2003

Full 2003 Annual Report

Chair’s Overview

This has been an amazing year for Arts Access Aotearoa and I am proud to have been the Chair from the end of March. It started with a bang with the Celebrating Creative Spaces Conference in February which will be covered in detail later in the annual report. To say that it was magical is an understatement. There were exciting, stimulating people from throughout the country and from overseas. Delegates came from every corner of New Zealand: from Northland, Gisborne, Raglan, Hawkes Bay, Nelson, lots from the West Coast, Invercargill and, of course, the big cities. But that wasn’t enough – refugees, people with every imaginable disability, managers of Creative Spaces, artists, politicians, public servants and health and justice workers from public and private sectors were also present.

Calling it a celebration gave a party atmosphere, as did having shoes painted for the steps of Parliament as a symbol of social inclusion. A reception at Government House also added to the sense of excitement and fun. As well as that, there was the hard work of sharing ideas and building capacity in our sector. A rewrite and update of the publication Creative Spaces – Art Spaces for People on the Margins was distributed at the conference. The conference underlined the fact that Creative Spaces are here to stay, and to grow, and are a vital part of Arts Access Aoteaora’s strategy for bringing access to creativity for those who don’t normally have access.

For me the excitement started even earlier in February, when I attended the second Synergy: Art, Health and Design World Symposium, as a representative from Arts Access Aotearoa. Our Executive Director was to be one of the keynote speakers and having all her expenses paid left room for me to be an Arts Access Aotearoa delegate and it was a stimulating event. I was grateful to Arts Access Aotearoa for the opportunity to attend and gain some international insights, and also to share the story of our youth arts centre in Christchurch.

It was my turn in July 2003 to make a presentation about our work at Arts Access Aotearoa to
the Diversity in Health Conference 2003 in Sydney. I talked about being “creatively healthy”
which celebrated our work again in an international forum. No sooner had the Celebrating Creative Spaces Conference happened than we were at full steam to fi nish our Creative Solutions and Social Inclusion book, hold our On Arrival exhibition, launch our publication Celebrating Cultural Diversity, and entertain the South African delegation. Each event had its own magic and contributed to one of the most extraordinary years Arts Access Aotearoa has experienced.

Work with South Waikato, Wellington, Rotorua, Christchurch and Far North District Councils
also provided highlights and this report acknowledges the impact Arts Access Aotearoa are
having in this important advocacy area of our work. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Chris Finlayson for his time as Chair and his overseeing of the conference and supporting the team for the fi rst three months of the year.

I also wish to acknowledge my fellow Trustees, Sai Lealea, Nick Judson, Neil Sinclair and
Jimmy Wallace, who were with the Trust for the full year. The Trust welcomed Belinda Vernon
in July 2004 and is appreciating her input. I also wish to thank our patron, Mel Smith, who
continues to provide valuable time and support to the Trust.

Congratulations are due especially to Penny and the staff who were all quite spectacular
– our publications are of the highest possible professional standard and our events were
well managed. The atmosphere of team work and mutual support in the offi ce and with our
programmes has been wonderful.

During the year I attended a planning day with the full staff – this event was of particular
interest to me and as Chair I took a facilitating role, to ensure the line between governance
and management was maintained. It was a pleasure to watch the staff interact during the
day and see ideas for the new strategic plan being formulated for the Board of Arts Access
Aotearoa to study.

The other achievement by the staff that I wish to acknowledge was the input from our seconded
staff member, Glenys Bremner. During her six months with Arts Access Aotearoa she added
an exciting and, at times, different perspective, and for that I wish to thank her. She has left
behind a broader platform for us to build on in the justice area. 

No Arts Access Aotearoa overview would be complete without my thanking both the Associate
Minister of Arts Culture and Heritage – Hon Judith Tizard for her dedication to Arts Access
Aotearoa and Creative New Zealand for their continued support for our objectives. We have
successfully negotiated a further three year multi-year funding agreement for 2004 – 2006, at a slightly higher level. With that we are delighted. We have made a commitment to continue to provide a service that is professional and accountable.

Thank you to all those that have made this year a very enjoyable one for me and I have pleasure
in presenting this report.

Dr Sue Bagshaw
19 March 2003

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