21 Dec 2020

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Supporting business and artistic transformation with Creative New Zealands Adaptation Fund

Results of Creative New Zealand’s Adaptation Fund have been announced today. This one-off fund is part of the $25 million in new money announced for Creative New Zealand by the Government in May, to support a 12-month programme of investment through to June 2021.

A total of over $6.7million has been distributed amongst 35 organisations.

The Adaptation Fund was established as part of Creative New Zealand’s wider COVID-19 response to support transformation or significant development of the business models and/or artistic practice of organisations in its Tōtara and Kahikatea programmes as well as those Māori and Pacific arts organisations that expressed interest in participating in the developmental Te Puāwaitanga programme.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to tautoko and invest in these pivotal projects that will support the arts sector not only to respond to the challenges, but also the opportunities presented by COVID-19. These projects will significantly increase the organisations’ abilities to adapt to the changing environment, increase their reach, deepen their engagement with audiences and provide stability to arts practitioners at this critical time,” says Acting Arts Council Chair Caren Rangi.

The key themes that came through the successful projects were:

  • new ways of working in response to the opportunities represented by COVID-19
  • business transformation
  • digital transformation.

The projects focus on digitisation and digitalisation; developing and enhancing their online presence and experimenting with immersive technology; providing support for artists’ live performances via new production models; as well as transforming business systems and services through technology.

Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright says, “The responses to the Adaptation fund reflect the ambition of arts leaders to catalyse their enterprises in a COVID-19 context, which is exactly what this fund was intended to do.”

“The projects vary in scale and nature, but all enable the organisations to respond to and engage with the community, whether that’s externally using online channels or internally by enhancing their in-house capability. The most transformative project is from Black Grace -funded to develop an immersive digital dance experience for audiences—the first in the New Zealand arts world to do this, I believe. We’re excited about the powerful potential of all 35 projects to find new ways to expand their reach and continue to deliver high quality arts experiences.”

The 35 successful projects strongly align with Creative New Zealand’s 10-year strategy for creating value for New Zealanders through the arts as well as its other key strategies such as the Investment strategy Te Ara Whakamua 2018–2023 (especially in terms of ‘diversity and reach’ and a ‘resilient arts sector’), Te Hā o ngā Toi – Māori Arts Strategy 2019-2024 and the Pacific Arts Strategy 2018-2023. The outcomes will deliver to the organisation’s Public Value Chain, in particular: ‘Engagement in the arts improves the lives of New Zealanders’, ‘Distinctive and dynamic NZ arts that reflect the diversity of who we are and grow our reputation’ and ‘The arts sector contributes to prosperous and resilient communities’.

See the full list of funded Adaptation Fund projects