09 Dec 2022
The results of the latest Arts Grants have been announced, with Creative New Zealand supporting 63 inspiring new projects.
From a new jazz orchestra recording, to an event for Moana artists to share skills, talanoa, and build networks, to a new body of work of Te Whare Pora (Māori weaving), the work funded in the recently announced Arts Grants represents an impressively dynamic range of arts practice from creative communities all across Aotearoa.
A total of 63 practitioners and communities have been supported in the latest round, which was the most highly contested to date, setting a record for Creative New Zealand when the 250-application limit was reached in less than 5 days.
Alongside proposals from more senior arts organisations and practitioners, there were also a number of first-time applicants.
Emerging artist Amit Noy will use their Arts Grant funding to perform at the world premiere of their newly created dance work, A Big Big Room Full of Everybody's Hope at Theatre de la Ville, Paris. Not only does this support a significant opportunity to present New Zealand work on the global stage, but it will act as a crucial springboard for Amit’s career.
Other work supported includes established artist Joseph Michael’s The Sea Within which places viewers amongst a pod of whales navigating the South Pacific within a 360-degree ocean projection installation. Joseph is renowned for his innovation within immersive multi-media practice and audiences throughout Aotearoa will have the opportunity to experience this work.
Another exciting project to receive funding is Kāika:Home, a three-month ‘creative occupation’ of public spaces within Christchurch’s flagship library Tūranga by Māori, Pacific, Rainbow and Muslim rangatahi who participate at Ōtautahi Creative Spaces. The occupation will take place throughout different spaces within Tūranga, displaying rangatahi artists’ work as well as engaging the public in a range of creative activations.
Wairau Māori Art Gallery Charitable Trust have also been supported to develop a programme of exhibitions for 2023. Using Māori guest curators like Nigel Borell and Karl Chitham will enable Wairau Māori Art Gallery to realise their moemoea (vision) but also tap into their curatorial interests and strengths. Opened in 2022, the Wairau Māori Art Gallery in Whangārei is New Zealand’s first public Māori art gallery, solely dedicated to profiling Māori artists, and curators.
Kereama Te Ua Arts Practice Director Māori says, “I’m pleased to see such a strong programme of exhibitions highlighting kaupapa around Mana Whenua - Mana Moana - Mana Wairau and how artists will respond to the environmental degradation, destruction and climate change which is happening in the Far North and also across the motu.”
Alongside the speed with which the 250-application limit was reached in this latest Arts Grants round, another record was set with $10.6 million requested from a total available budget of $2.7 million.
Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright reflects on the current funding climate in his most recent blog saying, “We’re in December 2022, and looking just over the horizon to 2023, it’s already clear that the current circumstances remain extremely challenging.”
Senior Manager Arts Development Services Gretchen La Roche commented, “Where we can, we try to grant successful applicants the full amount requested. However, this time, with demand being so high, and with concern for the ongoing challenges facing the arts community, many applicants won’t be funded at the level they requested. Taking this approach meant that we were able to spread the funding out to a further 17 applicants who would otherwise have missed out.”
There were many excellent submissions received, and in order to fund as many of them as possible, a further $500,000 was brought into the budget for this round, including from higher-than-expected interest money and under-spends. This brought the total available budget up from $2.2 million to $2.7 million.
While results from this Arts Grants round will be disappointing for applicants we haven’t been able to support, there is still abundant proof of a vibrant arts community. Gretchen La Roche commented, “Once again, this funding round demonstrated the remarkable vision, artistry and capability evident in the arts community of Aotearoa New Zealand. We acknowledge all those that we have been unable to support and recognise the time and effort that is invested in preparing an application. We also congratulate those that will receive support, and hope that this will enable them to continue to develop their practice.”
“I’d also like to acknowledge the terrific work undertaken by the external assessors. There are tough decisions to be made each time, and together with their valuable input, consideration is also given to the balance of artforms, emerging and established artists, independent practitioners and organisations supported”, said Gretchen.