18 Nov 2013

This content is tagged as Multi-Artform .


New Christchurch arts venues get green light

An innovative project to bring artists back into central Christchurch will be realised thanks to a $443,000 funding boost from Creative New Zealand and The Canterbury Community Trust.

ArtBox, providing gallery and studio spaces for visual artists, and BeatBox, offering rehearsal studios for musicians, will form part of the new Boxed Quarter on the corner of Madras and St Asaph Streets.

‘’Christchurch artists have shown remarkable initiative and innovation post-quake. Supporting them now by providing much-needed exhibition and rehearsal space will also help increase the vitality of the city,’’ says Creative New Zealand’s Chief Executive, Stephen Wainwright. 

ArtBox has been awarded $100,000 from Creative New Zealand and $150,000 from The Canterbury Community Trust. BeatBox will receive $150,000 from Creative New Zealand and $43,000 raised by the Heart Strings project (details below). ArtBox and BeatBox have also received strong support from a wide range of local businesses.

“The Boxed Quarter is an excellent example of how central and local government and the private sector can work together to achieve positive results for the city and its community,’’ Mr Wainwright says.

“Both ArtBox and BeatBox ticked a lot of boxes for us in terms of meeting the criteria of our Events Development Fund,’’ says Tracey Chambers, Chairperson of The Canterbury Community Trust. ‘’We are committed to supporting and partnering with organisations within the arts community that are building events which have a long-term view to enriching our community locally and sending a strong signal to visitors to the city that Christchurch is ‘back in business’.

“By funding these projects, our vision is to work with Government and other funders to restore some cultural vitality back into our city and build on our pre-earthquake reputation as an arts innovator and initiator,” she says.

The first ArtBox gallery spaces, run by CPIT (Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology), opened February 2012. The additional funding will enable the completion of the complex, including a courtyard and spaces for exhibitions, and studios.

“The importance of the grant from Creative New Zealand and the Christchurch Community Trust is huge. It's a major investment in the ArtBox project and will mean that we are now in a position to start planning for the artists’ studio pavilion,” says CPIT’s Student Project Manager, Martin Trusttum.

BeatBox is an initiative of the Christchurch Music Industry Trust and will provide three state-of-the-art rehearsal spaces and a music community hub. The funding boost will enable it to open in early 2014.

“BeatBox has been a project of absolute blind faith and hard work for the past two years from a bunch of dedicated local music industry bods with a passion for making Christchurch music something the world wants to hear,’’ says CHART Chairman, Neil Cox.

“From everyone at CHART we are so relieved and eternally grateful to Creative New Zealand and Heart Strings for providing ‘the final mix’ to this unique project, along with The Canterbury Community Trust who has been a long-time supporter of ours. The void between bedroom recordings and great live music on stage in the CBD can now be filled at BeatBox .’’

Notes to editors

The arts in Christchurch: Recent Creative New Zealand audience research shows Christchurch people support and value the arts more than ever. Over a quarter (27%) of respondents said they appreciate Christchurch’s cultural offerings more than they did before the earthquakes, 38% said they attend cultural events in order to feel part of the community and 41% said they attend partly to support local arts organisations and venues. 

The Canterbury Community Trust: The Trust has provided funding of $335,000 in 2013 for Christchurch arts initiatives, via its Event Development Fund.  The fund is part of the Trust’s $25million Special Fund, created as a one-off earlier this year to address the social and economic impact of the 2011 earthquakes in its funding regions.  The Trust has also approved funding of more than $1million to numerous arts and events programmes through its annual Arts and Heritage sector funding. The Trust provided $100,000 to BeatBox in 2012.

The Heart Strings project: The Christchurch earthquake marked the end for many historic buildings but for local musician Jason Pickering and his father Bruce, it was the catalyst for an idea. Seven ‘’Heart Strings’’ guitars were made of donated timber from these buildings and auctioned, raising $111,000. The profits went to support Art Beat, the three-month long multi-arts festival in central Christchurch and the remainder to BeatBox.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Rebecca Lancashire Senior Communications Adviser

Creative New Zealand M +64 (0) 27 677 8070


For further information about Heart Strings, contact: