01 Apr 2022

This content is tagged as Multi-Artform .


Arts Grants Round 4 summary

Our recent Arts Grants Round 4 funding attracted considerable interest, with many high-calibre applications received requesting more than three times the available budget.

Highlights of projects funded include a ceramics week, a professional production featuring senior community dancers, a new anthology of contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand Pacific poets and poetry and a number of literary projects supporting new and emerging writers with strong and diverse voices.

We received 199 eligible applications, with a total of $8,495,660 requested. We have offered 51 grants totalling $2,402,306 to support projects by New Zealand artists and practitioners in this funding round, across the three funding pools (General, Māori and Pacific).

As part of the additional Government funding to help the arts sector respond to the challenges of the Delta variant of COVID-19 (announced in September 2021) we had an additional $1.2 million for both rounds 2 and 3, increasing the budget to $3.6 million per round. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to boost this round in the same way and have had to return to our original budget.

“In 2020 we dug deep into our “rainy day” pūtea as part of our Phase 1 Emergency COVID-19 response, and in September 2021 we welcomed additional government funding of $5 million to support a heavily-impacted arts community,” says Cath Cardiff, Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager for Arts Development Services.

“We distributed this additional pūtea (in accordance with the agreed Government guidelines) in the last quarter of 2021 through our existing funding and investment programmes. This included increasing the budget for the Arts Grants programme budget (for rounds 2 and 3, notified in October and December 2021).”

“At this stage of the cycle we are now having to revert to original budget settings which means that we are unable to support many fine projects.”

September 2021 announcement: Creative New Zealand welcomes additional $5 million from Government to support the arts sector through Delta 

Results of the latest round (round 4)

The 51 grants totalling $2,402,306 have been offered to support projects broken down as follows:

  • General Arts: 34 projects totalling $1,342,441 were supported. $5,903,142 was requested by 154 applicants.
  • Ngā toi Māori: 10 projects totalling $604,922 were supported. $1,588,807 was requested by 29 applicants.
  • Pacific Arts: 7 projects totalling $454,943 were supported. $1,003,771 was requested by 16 applicants.


  • 25 of the funded projects supported the development of arts practice and the creation of new work.
  • 13 supported projects enabling New Zealanders to experience high-quality arts.
  • 9 supported projects enabling New Zealanders to participate in the arts.
  • 2 supported New Zealand arts to gain international success.
  • 2 supported building the resilience of the New Zealand arts sector.

See who got funded in Arts Grants Round 4 – including artforms and regional breakdown

Overall comments

Here we provide an overview of the results for Arts Grants round 4.

There were some common features in the strongest applications for this round.

The strongest applications tended to include:

  • strong COVID-19 contingency planning (clear descriptions of traffic light change impacts and a consideration of future planning)
  • clearly expressed ideas and timelines
  • projects that considered accessibility through multi-platform delivery and/or that had a long life and delivered high public value
  • fair remuneration for all contributors
  • clarity about the gap the project fills in the current arts and culture landscape
  • clearly expressed project aims
  • evidence not only of the artist’s ability, but of a team with the skills to deliver the project
  • detailed information about the people involved in the People section of the application
  • letters of intent/confirmation from all project participants in the People section of the application
  • support material that didn’t assume too much background knowledge from the assessors about the applicant, the applicant’s values and ways of working
  • clear examples of how their arts practice was to be developed by doing the project
  • concise support material directly relevant to the project
  • a detailed description of:
    • the proposed project and its goals
    • a strong project plan and how it would be carried out
    • clear and achievable timeframes.
  • letters of support that were recent, relevant and specific to the application rather than generic letters
  • thorough and accurate budgets, using the Creative New Zealand templates, that clearly showed:
    • fair and appropriate remuneration/payment for both artists and practitioners
    • realistic revenue forecasting
    • how any funding gaps will be funded with evidence of support from relevant parties.

For Ngā Toi Māori, the strongest applications also:

  • showed clearly how Mātauranga Māori is used in the process and visible in the final result
  • included budgets with fair remuneration/payment for the artists, kaumātua and/or tohunga
  • included Cultural Advisers who had expertise in the chosen artform (if that was relevant to the application).

For Pacific Arts applications, the strongest applications also:

  • showed an understanding of what it means by ‘Pasifika-led and supported’
  • were clear about how the benefits of the project were not just focused on the applicant, but emerging artists too.

General feedback for emerging artists and practitioners

  • Assessors want to understand your voice as a practitioner, as well as your practice, so think about that when drafting your application.
  • Many emerging practitioners enlist the assistance of established artists to support them in the development of work or their practice. It’s useful to understand why you have chosen your mentor, how they will help you and what this process will look like. 

General feedback for established artists and practitioners

  • When applying for the development and presentation of new work, assessors are interested in how this work fits in your future or previous body of work. How will this challenge, expand or deepen your practice? How does this manifest in workshops or rehearsals (if appropriate)? What is the feedback process to continue refining your practice? 
  • If your project includes emerging performers, what is the process you have put in place to help them develop as practitioners? 

About Arts Grants

Arts Grants offer short-term project funding for New Zealand artists, arts practitioners and arts organisations (including groups and collectives). This funding enables more sustainable careers, encourages innovation and the development of arts practice, and provides opportunities for diverse communities to access the arts.

More about the Arts Grants programme