22 May 2024

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Creative New Zealand has today announced the result of the first of the for the arts funding programmes, with 123 of 292 eligible applications (42 percent) receiving funding from a total pool of $598,603.

The Development Fund is for artists and practitioners wanting to develop professional and creative skills that will support their careers and offers up to $8,000 per application.

Applicants used Creative New Zealand’s simplified process, which includes plain English terms and conditions. For this fund, applicants don’t have to have a career track-record and don't have to provide an up-front budget and support material. 

“We’re delighted with the response to this programme, with so many applicants taking up the opportunity to connect with our advisers for support, and so many eligible applications received,” Interim Senior Manager, Arts Development James Wilson says.  

“The flip side of this is that we’re trying to meet post-Covid levels of demand with broadly pre-Covid levels of funding.”

“We made the decision to fund as many high-quality applications as we could within the budget available for this programme. By lowering the grant amount to a maximum of $5,000 we’ve been able to offer funding towards significantly more development opportunities for practitioners that could make a considerable impact on their careers,” Wilson says.

“Development is crucial in any career path, and this fund meets that very real need in the arts and creative sector. We’re pleased to see that 36 percent of applications were from artists in the early stage of their careers and over 30 percent of applications were from people who have never applied to us before.”

Creative New Zealand’s approach to contestable funding grants has changed over recent years, first in response to additional funding through the Covid pandemic, and more recently in response to sector consultation in 2023. 

“Removing the limit on applications and ensuring support from our advisers is accessible and targeted are two examples of how we are responding to the feedback we have received from the sector. The level of interest in this development fund has given us a clearer view of the real demand for funding,” Wilson says. 

The approach to notification has also changed with names of funded applicants being made public a few days after applicants are notified and the overview is released.

We’d already seen a trend in which funded artists or groups were subject to unkind commentary in social media following public announcements. We hope to address that by giving the sector a few days to understand the trends and engage with their peers.” 

Creative New Zealand will notify applicants of the outcome of the Early Career fund next week and make another public announcement. 

More information about the results, including a full list of projects funded, will be available on Mon 27 May.

Dinah Vincent (Communications Manager)
Mob: 027 463 5835

Overview of results

  • Of 292 eligible applications, 54 were for the Ngā Toi Māori fund and 24 for the Pacific Arts fund, with the balance of 214 being for the General fund.
  • Of the total amount funded, 24% was through the Ngā Toi Māori fund, 12% through the Pacific Arts fund, with the balance of 63% through the General fund.
  • Applications were received for nine arts forms: craft/object art, customary Māori art, dance, literature, multidisciplinary arts, music, Pacific heritage arts, theatre, and visual arts.
  • Multidisciplinary and music have the highest representation across all funding pools.
  • Overseas is the most common location for all approved applications, with 40 of 123 approved applications (33%) to take place off-shore. Europe is the most common overseas location (19).

View a more detailed breakdown on our website