CCS helps to fund local arts projects. Each year Creative New Zealand provides funding to city and district councils to distribute in their area. The scheme supports more than 1,800 projects every year. Applications are made directly to your local council and closing dates vary.
Mostly under $2,000
To get funding through CCS your arts project must do at least one of the following:
Create opportunities for local communities to engage with, and participate in local arts activities, for example:
- Performances by community choirs, hip-hop groups, theatre companies, musicians or poets
- Workshops on printmaking, writing or dancing
- Creation of new tukutuku, whakairo or kowhaiwhai for a local marae
- Exhibitions by local craft groups promoting weaving, pottery and carving
- Festivals featuring local artists
- Creation of a community film or a public artwork by a community
- Artist residencies involving local artists or communities
- Seminars for local artist development
Support the diverse artistic cultural traditions of local communities, for example:
- Workshops, rehearsals, performances, festivals or exhibitions in Māori or Pasifika heritage or contemporary art forms
- Workshops, rehearsals, performances, festivals or exhibitions by local migrant communities
- Arts projects bringing together groups from a range of different communities
- Workshops, rehearsals, performances, festivals or exhibitions by groups with experience of disability or mental illness
Enable young people (under 18 years) to engage with, and participate in the arts, for example:
- A group of young people working with an artist to create a mural or street art
- A group of young people creating a film about an issue that is important to them
- Printing a collection of writing by young people
- Music workshops for young people
- An exhibition of visual art work by young people
Your project must also:
- Take place within the city or district where the application is made
- Be completed within 12 months of funding being approved
- Benefit local communities
- Not have started or finished before CCS funding is approved
- Not have already been funded through Creative New Zealand’s other arts funding programmes
You can be an individual or a group. Individuals must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.
If you have already received CCS funding for a project, you must complete a report on that project before making another application, unless the project is still in progress.
What costs can I get funding for?
- Materials for arts activities or programmes
- Venue or equipment hire
- Personnel and administrative costs for short-term projects
- Promotion and publicity of arts activities
How much can I apply for?
There is no limit to how much you can apply for, but most CCS grants are under $2,000.
Look at previously funded projects on your council website to get an idea of what sort of projects have been supported in the past and the average amount granted.
How often can I apply and how are decisions made?
Local councils have up to four application rounds per year. Your application will go to an assessment committee of people from your area. They are appointed for their knowledge and experience of the arts and local communities.
What types of projects can’t get CCS funding?
- Fundraising activities
- Developing galleries, marae, theatres or other venues or facilities
- Local council projects
- Projects which are mainly focused around other areas e.g. health, education or the environment and that only have a very small arts component
- Arts projects in schools or other education institutions that are the core business of that institution or that are normally funded through curriculum or operating budgets
What costs cannot be funded?
- Ongoing administration or personnel costs that are not related to the specific project
- Costs for projects already started or completed
- Travel costs to attend performances or exhibitions in other areas
- Buying equipment, such as computers, cameras, musical instruments, costumes, lights or uniforms
- Entry fees for competitions, contests and exams
- Prize money, awards and judges’ fees for competitions
- Buying artworks for collections
- Debt or interest on debt
Search 'Creative Communities Scheme' on your council website for:
- An application form
- An application guide
- Closing dates
You can also call your local council and ask to speak to the Creative Communities Scheme administrator for advice on how to apply.
If your project receives CCS funding, you must acknowledge the assistance of the scheme on any promotional material, using the local CCS logo. See the CCS logos and guidelines
If you are a CCS administrator, contact:
Ph: (09) 373 3066
The CCS Festival Fund is a one-off funding boost from Government, to support established festivals that celebrate the life experiences, stories, cultures, and regional identities of New Zealanders, that continue to be impacted by the effects of COVID-19 in 2023.
These funds are intended to help the sector adapt and thrive as we move away from the effects of COVID-19 and to further improve access, equity, and arts participation for all New Zealanders. These funds are also intended to provide opportunities for the development of a resilient and sustainable arts sector.
Councils across the country will distribute CCS Festival Funds through their usual Creative Communities Scheme funding rounds. You can apply using the CCS application form, ensuring you include the word festival in the title or project description. CCS funding round dates will be available on your council’s website. If you have any questions, please contact your council’s Creative Communities Scheme manager.
To apply, your festival must have been delivered at least once in the previous five years (this may include digital presentation). Please make sure you include evidence of previous delivery in your application.
A festival (for the purpose of this fund) involves an integrated programme of events and activities featuring one or more artforms, from any cultural tradition, that takes place within a defined area or region over a designated period of time.
CCS Festival Funds can support eligible festivals that are delivered within 12 months of the grant notification. As this is a one-off fund, festival grants will only be distributed in your council’s CCS funding rounds between August 2023 and May 2024.
Festivals can apply for operational, commissioning, development, and presentation costs. There is no maximum amount a single festival can apply for, but you should talk to the CCS Manager at your council about their average CCS grants amounts, and their specific plans for this one-off fund.
Tips for a strong application
A strong application should demonstrate how your festival:
- Celebrates the life experiences, stories, and cultures of New Zealanders
- Improves access, equity arts participation
- Provides opportunities for the development of a resilient and sustainable arts sector
Note: All standard CCS guidelines and eligibility requirements also apply to this fund