Creative Communities Scheme

Funding to support community arts & culture projects in Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty

Applications for Creative Communities Scheme WESTERN BAY DISTRICT opened on Tuesday 27 April 2021 and close Thursday 20 May 2021.

Submissions can only be made for projects that take place within the boundary of the Western Bay of Plenty district for this round.

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What is the Creative Communities Scheme?

Creative New Zealand spends over $3.2 million each year supporting around 1,800 projects through the Creative Communities Scheme (CCS). Creative Bay of Plenty, on behalf of Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty Council, administers the CCS for our districts.

CCS aims to increase participation from the local community in the arts sector, support the diversity of local cultural traditions and encourage and engage young people to participate in local arts. ‘Arts’ is broadly defined to mean all forms of creative and interpretative expression.

Who can apply?

Any individual or group can apply on the basis that the individual is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.

Usually two rounds of funding are allocated each year, however an additional round for Western Bay of Plenty district only is open from Tuesday 27 April 2021 to utilise funds remaining from the previous round.

The average size of a CCS grant is around $2,000 per project.

What are the criteria?

Your project must have both creative components and community engagement components and must focus on at least one of the following:

  • Participation – create opportunities for local communities to engage with, and participate in, arts activities
  • Diversity – support the diverse artistic cultural traditions of local communities
  • Young people – enable young people (under 18 years) to engage with and participate in the arts.

There are five local priorities that the assessors will be mindful of. If you can demonstrate alignment with at least one of them, your project will be more likely to receive funding. They include projects that are visionary, vocalise creative pursuits, add to vibrancy, increase the value people attribute to the arts and that make the arts more sustainable. Details of these priorities can be found on the inside front cover of the application form.

How do I make an application?

  1. Download the application guide and read it before completing your application – it has lots of tips to support your success.
  2. Download the application form for Western Bay of Plenty district and complete it.
  3. Gather supporting documentation such as quotes and letters of support – these are important components of the application.
  4. Email your application form and supporting documents to
  5. If you have trouble accessing a computer or require assistance completing your form online, please get in touch:

What happens next?

  • Once you have submitted your application, it is given to an independent panel to assess.  The panel will decide whether your project receives funding or not, and how much money will be granted.
  • You may be asked to present in person to the panel in support of your application.  If so, we will contact you to confirm your speaking time and let you know the areas in which the panel is seeking additional information.
  • When assessment decisions have been confirmed, Creative Bay of Plenty will get in touch with you to advise the result of your application.

I need help with my application…

Free presentations on the application process and criteria are being held as follows:

  • Via Zoom:  2-3pm, Tuesday 4 May 2021
  • Via Zoom:  5.30-6.30pm, Thursday 6 May 2021

To register for a workshop and receive the Zoom link, email

If you have difficulty with any stage of your application, please get in touch with our funding advisor, Annie Hill, on email

Be inspired…

Find out more about what makes a strong community arts project, resources to develop your project, funding and support.

Community Arts

What got funded?

Creative Communities Grant Recipients

April 2021

  • Tauranga Zinefest – $6,000
  • Bay of Plenty Symphonia – $1,759
  • Okorore Nga Toi Maori Gallery & Studios – $3,240
  • The Incubator Creative Hub – $2,575
  • Te Puna Quarry Park – $2,500

See all recipients for April 2021

Project Completion Reports

For projects that have previously received CCS funding and are now completed, a completion report must be filled in and emailed to within two months of the project end.

Download Project Completion Report

MYTH BUSTER 1: “I’m too young to apply and won’t be taken seriously.”
MYTH BUSTER 2: “The focus is on visual arts.”
MYTH BUSTER 3: “I’m not good enough to apply.”
MYTH BUSTER 4: “I have to be an established artist/organisation/business to apply.”
MYTH BUSTER 5: “I can’t claim my time.”
MYTH BUSTER 6: “I have to be an arts organisation to apply.”