Media Release Wednesday 31 July, 2002
Legal Art Wins Creative Nz Award
A programme that aims to reduce graffiti vandalism in Christchurch has won a major Creative New Zealand award.
The Christchurch City Council’s Legal Art Programme won the Community Participation category of the 2002 Creative Places
Award. The programme won praise for its ability to turn the negative experience of graffiti into something very
positive, for its acceptance by the community and for being an exciting project that other Councils can learn from.
The programme works to reduce graffiti by encouraging young people to participate in legal art activities. In doing so,
it aims to promote respect for graffiti artists and their work and reduce the incidences of graffiti vandalism.
The Council’s Legal Art Co-ordinator Sharon Williams says the award recognises the commitment of the programme’s
co-ordinators, mentors and graffiti artists who have worked so hard together on legal art projects throughout
“When the young graffiti artists and their supporters are on a project site, they discuss the project with people in the
street. They’re engaging each other, asking questions and getting answers. The result is that people feel part of a
community; it’s empowering and motivating,” she says.
Since the launch of the programme in 2001, 29 legal art projects have been completed in Christchurch. These have
involved more than 150 young people and 50 youth offenders. A number of mentors have also been trained.
The annual Creative Places Award is awarded in seven categories from which an overall winner is selected. The awards
have been running since 1998.