The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s commitment to making ballet accessible to diverse communities around New Zealand was recognised in Parliament on September 11 when it received the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2019.
Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards 2019, held in the Banquet Hall of Parliament, celebrate the achievements of individuals and organisations providing opportunities for people with limited access to engage with the arts as artists and audience members.
Stephen Wainwright, Chief Executive of Creative New Zealand, applauded the RNZB’s ongoing commitment to improving its accessibility and engaging with diverse communities.
“The RNZB’s commitment to developing new audiences is a great example for other companies wishing to grow in this area,” he said. “Also impressive is its comprehensive accessibility policy and documentation of audience growth.”
Over the past 18 months, the RNZB has undertaken several initiatives to make ballet more affordable and accessible to everyone.
Initiatives include touch tours and audio described performances for blind and low vision patrons; relaxed performances for people with sensory, communication or learning impairments; a sign interpreted tour of the RNZB’s headquarters for Deaf people; free or low-cost events for children from low-decile schools; and workshops for women and men in Arohata and Rimutaka Prisons.