Visit highlights diversity and creativity

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Delightful meeting . . . Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni (right) and Dunedin South MP Clare Curran (centre) talk with Studio2 artist Julia Young at the weekend. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Getting to know a diverse range of Dunedin artists was all in a weekend’s work for Associate Arts Minister Carmel Sepuloni as she celebrated Creative Spaces Week with a visit to the Dunedin Fringe Festival over the weekend.

an important part of building our arts communities and supporting people’s broader wellbeing,

She and Dunedin South MP Clare Curran met about 30 friends of the Dunedin Fringe Festival at an informal morning tea on Sunday and visited Studio2, where artists with disabilities showed their work.

Studio2 has a piece in the Fringe entitled “And then .”, which involves community story-telling.

Ms Sepuloni also visited Artsenta, a creative space that supports mental wellbeing through arts and has a sculpture work in the Fringe.

She spoke to Otago Access Radio about what she had seen and heard during the morning, including her Studio2 artist Julia Young, who runs a radio show on OAR with her three toy lemurs.

In her radio interview, Ms Sepuloni congratulated the Dunedin Fringe Festival on its partnership with the Dunedin Multi Ethnic Council for its first Fringe in the Octagon street party to celebrate artistic and cultural diversity on International Race Relations Day, Saturday, March 21.

She said the date was particularly poignant, being so soon after the anniversary of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Ms Sepuloni was hoping to make it back to Dunedin during the Fringe in March to sample some of the arts on offer, including both high-quality acts and the more experimental.

Ms Sepuloni is Minister of Social Development and of Disability Issues and is Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, and for Pacific Peoples.

She said the weekend trip brought together all her portfolios because they all had social inclusivity and recognition of diversity at their heart.

ArtsAccessAotearoa and a network of creative spaces throughout New Zealand is celebrating Creative Spaces Week 2020 until this Sunday to increase public awareness about their value to people’s mental health and wellbeing.

join ArtsAccessAotearoa in celebrating the impact that accessible and inclusive creative spaces provide,Sepuloni said.

The Dunedin Fringe Festival runs from March 19-29.