Creative Kōrero, Funding

$18 Million to Support Creative Spaces

The Creative Bay of Plenty team are keeping on top of the roll-out of 2021 Ministry for Culture and Heritage funding, the expansion of the Creative New Zealand grants and support, and other opportunities for the Arts and Culture Sector in the Bay of Plenty. Here’s some breaking news regarding the opening of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s new fund for Creative Spaces and Community Arts programmes:

The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni yesterday announced the injection of $18 million to support creative spaces across the country, as the initial funding opportunity in the $70 million Te Tahua Whakahaumaru Creative Arts Recovery Employment (CARE) Fund. This is part of the larger Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme framework developed last year after the Covid lockdown. If you are a community arts organisation, our organisation can help you research these and other funding opportunities. Keep reading, explore the guidelines, and feel free to contact our Creative Bay of Plenty staff who can advise and assist you in planning a complete application.


The Creative Spaces initiative is part of Te Tahua Whakahaumaru Creative Arts Recovery and Employment (CARE) Fund. It aims to: 
  • increase participation in creative activities for people experiencing barriers to participation
  • create employment for creative professionals.

The Ministry/Manatū Taonga is seeking applications from creative spaces, that is organisations or groups whose primary purpose is to provide access to art-making activities and creative expression for people who experience barriers to participation. Such barriers might include intellectual or physical disabilities, neurological conditions, mental illness, age-related vulnerability (seniors or youth), cultural or social isolation or poverty.

There will be two funding rounds: the first round closes at noon on Wednesday 24 March 2021, and a second later round will be available for creative spaces needing more time or support to apply. The funding criteria is the same for both rounds.

Funding Available

Creative spaces can apply for funding for new roles or additional hours for existing roles to expand the organisation’s services beyond its existing client base. Creative spaces can receive up to $150,000 a year over three years. Additional, separate funding will be available for training and development – look out for more information coming soon about this.

Support from Arts Access Aotearoa

The Ministry/Manatū Taonga has partnered with Arts Access Aotearoa to provide support to creative spaces with their applications and work with funded creative spaces to share best practice and help them source longer-term sustainable funding.

Creative spaces can contact Arts Access Aotearoa directly at fundingsupport@artsaccess.org.nz.

How to Apply

To apply complete and return the application form and budget template to Manatū Taonga before applications close at noon on Wednesday 24 March 2021

Detailed instructions are in the application guide and an application checklist is in the application form.

You can view an example funding agreement which sets out the terms and conditions for successful applicants:

What are creative spaces?

Creative spaces are places in the community where people with mental health needs, disabled people, and those looking for social connection, are welcomed and supported to practice and participate in the arts and in their communities. They provide free or low-cost entry into a wide variety of art forms like visual art, drama, circus, dance, music and writing for those who face barriers to participation, which can range from intellectual or physical disability, neurological conditions, mental ill health, age-related vulnerability (senior citizens or youth at risk), cultural isolation or poverty. “These spaces are inclusive and have an important role to play in enhancing the wellbeing of people who are all too often at risk of being excluded from participating in their own communities”, states Sepuloni. “We should not underestimate the role that the arts can play in health and wellbeing nor the opportunity that these spaces provide to develop and showcase artist talent.”

For a better look at New Zealand’s creative spaces, see this 2019 Report: Understanding the Value of Creative Spaces.

For details about yesterday’s announcement, see this feature Story on The Big Idea website.

Read more about Creative Spaces on the Ministry’s website here.

Image: Western Bay Museum, Kenrick Rhys

Creative Kōrero, Funding

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