03 Apr 2024

This content is tagged as Creative NZ .


A group of young people in a rock band are onstage performing to a crowd.
To The Front participants perform, photo by Amber Stevens. (Image supplied)

Over the past year, LGBTQiA+ artists and groups have put Creative Communities Scheme funding towards a wide range of events and projects for the rainbow community.

Every year, Creative New Zealand provides funding to city and district councils to distribute in their area, through the Creative Communities Scheme (CCS).

Most CCS grants are under $5,000 and can support the smaller things – like hiring a rehearsal space, buying materials for a local theatre production, or supporting a craft workshop.

In September last year, Invercargill celebrated their first Pride Week.

Murihiku Pride Rainbow Run
Murihiku Pride Rainbow Park Run in Queens Park. (Image supplied)

Murihiku Pride, led by Chroma Initiative Southland, included events like a Park Run at Queens Park, a youth ball, movie screenings, guest speaker events, and a poetry event featuring Poet Laureate Chris Tse.

Chroma chairperson Dr David Sar Shalom says Murihiku Pride brought together people from all over Aotearoa.

“Our events showcased Southland’s diversity and the manaakitanga of the region,” he says.

“Living in Invercargill means it’s not always easy for our rainbow communities to access celebratory Pride events – to be able to provide these festivities in Murihiku is a huge step forward for us.” 

Group of girls laughing
To The Front (Image supplied)

To the Front (formerly Girls Rock) is a holiday programme empowering women, trans, intersex, gender-diverse, takatāpui and queer youth through music. 

Participants (aged between 12 and 17) form bands and perform original songs with the help of local mentors. Beginning in Tāmaki Makaurau in 2018, To the Front has led 14 holiday programmes across the country, including in Pōneke and Te Papaioea, as well as workshops throughout the year. 

This July, To the Front is proud to announce the introduction of a programme in Kirikiriroa, and the Pōneke program will return for its sixth iteration. 

“Creative New Zealand has supported our expansion across the North Island,” says To The Front Pōneke Director, Kelsi Stroud.

“The Creative Communities Scheme enables To the Front to provide youth with a safe environment and the tools to grow their creativity.” 

on its way doco still
Hariata Wilson in “Pride Te Tauihu”. Still by PeanutButterVibes Photography. (Image supplied)

In Nelson, CCS recently supported the pilot for a mini documentary series which will be platformed on social media. The kaupapa celebrates authentic stories from the LGBTQIA+ communities within Te Tauihu (Top of the South Island). 

“This series will portray underrepresented perspectives that make up a unique part of the communities in our rohe,” say filmmaking duo Melissa Spratt and Gabe Bertogg of Brain Twin Productions.

The first episode of the series – working title, “Pride Te Tauihu” -  features Hariata Wilson, a local Māori poet who identifies as Takatāpui. It will premiere at The Refinery Gallery as part of Nelson Pride Week on Friday 5th April.

Rebecca Kunin – Senior Advisor, Creative Communities Scheme at Creative New Zealand – says she’s thrilled to see a steady increase in rainbow communities receiving support through the Scheme.
“It’s wonderful to see these grants supporting LGBTQiA+ creatives – especially those outside the main centres,” she says.   
“Having access to rich, creative experiences where you live is vital for the wellbeing of our communities and the arts ecosystem overall.” 
Media inquiries: media@creativenz.govt.nz