Close on the heels of a heavily subscribed $29 million emergency response to COVID-19, Creative New Zealand has announced further funding to help the arts sector adapt in uncertain and unpredictable times.
Creative New Zealand will devote the additional $25 million in new money announced by the Government in May, to a 12-month programme of investment through to June 2021. The programme, with some funds opening in early August, includes investment in critical infrastructure and new opportunities to support the arts sector, which is working to survive, adapt and seek new ways to engage the public in a COVID-19-impacted environment. Further information on the opportunities and processes, including a 12-month funding calendar, will be provided on 10 July.
The $25 million will be in addition to Creative New Zealand’s usual annual investment, which will be confirmed by the Arts Council at the end of August. By this time, Creative New Zealand expects to also have a better understanding of its role in supporting aspects of the Government’s $175 million wider arts and music recovery package.
Creative New Zealand’s initial COVID-19 Emergency Response Package, which closed at the end of May, has a total of $29 million earmarked to support artists, practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations suddenly impacted by COVID-19. The package attracted an unprecedented level of demand in terms of applications, depleting the organisation’s financial reserves. The organisation will finish processing these applications in mid-July.
The $29 million was part of a total $76.5 million invested in the sector across the 2019/20 financial year, a massive 60 percent increase on the previous year’s investment (2018/19).
“In these past few months, we’ve invested more than ever before, drawing heavily on our reserves because we saw the need. We’re excited to have this additional $25 million from the Government and we intend to invest the lion’s share in this programme as we know it will continue to be a very uncertain time for our arts community,” says Arts Council Chair Michael Moynahan.
The 12-month programme is designed to deliver to Creative New Zealand’s strategic outcomes (Stronger arts; Greater public engagement with the arts; and Stronger arts sector, including building resilience), and to align with the features of its Investment Strategy Te Ara Whakamua 2018–2023, Te Hā o ngā Toi—Māori Arts Strategy 2019–2024 and Pacific Arts Strategy 2018–2023.
“Working to our strategies, which were developed in consultation with the arts community, ensures that we continue to recognise and respond to the needs of the arts in Aotearoa New Zealand within a challenging and changing environment,” says Michael.
As part of the programme, Creative New Zealand is adapting its regular Arts Grants programme, offering some special opportunities for artists, and continuing its support of the Creative Communities Scheme.
The 12-month programme will also offer new opportunities that will:
- incentivise local and regional stakeholder investment in the development and presentation of local arts activity outside the main centres (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) (Ngā Toi ā Rohe – Arts in the Regions Fund)
- support arts groups, organisations and individuals to deliver a regular or continuous programme of activity over a 12-month period and/or producing or presenting a significant event or project (Annual Arts Grants)support organisational transformation or significant development of business models and/or arts practice with a focus on digitalisation (Adaptation Fund for Tōtara and Kahikatea organisations)
- support organisations to address their development priorities in 2021 to increase their sustainability (Capability Fund for Tōtara and Kahikatea organisations)
- provide the second phase of funding for Tōtara and Kahikatea organisations to address the on-going financial impact of Covid-19 in addition to their contracted activity.
“In delivering this new 12-month programme, we’re also incorporating lessons learnt from Phase 1 of our COVID-19 response, by providing opportunities for support that remain efficient, effective and flexible, as well as sustainable for our organisation,” says Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright.
Creative New Zealand will continue to support individual artists and practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations, as they transition into a COVID-19-impacted ‘new normal’, recognising there will still not be enough funding to meet the increasing demand.
“Demand for arts funding, particularly in the contestable grants space, has been intensifying for some time – well beyond our ability to meet all requests – and rose above all expectation earlier this year, with an unprecedented number of applications to our COVID-19 Emergency Response Package,” says Stephen.
“Even with the $25 million one-off funding boost this year we will not be able to satisfy all requests for support, so we’re looking at how to best manage demand – while also improving the experience for applicants – by reviewing our processes.”
Creative New Zealand will provide more information on upcoming opportunities and processes, including the funding calendar, on 10 July ahead of several funds opening in early August (including Arts Grants). The organisation is planning to communicate directly with the sector in the coming weeks through online forums and will promote these on social media and through its sector newsletters.
Creative New Zealand is also reviewing and re-purposing its international programme due to continued uncertainty related to international travel and will update the sector in August on its plans.
Creative New Zealand continues to work with Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture & Heritage and other government agencies to understand what role it can play in supporting other initiatives announced in late May, including the further $175 million for the Government’s wider arts and music recovery package, and funding for Mātauranga Māori and Pasifika Festivals.