$18 million for creative spaces to make arts more accessible

Arts, Culture and Heritage

The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has today announced $18 million to support creative spaces.

Creative spaces are places in the community where people with mental health needs, disabled people, and those looking for social connection, are welcomed and supported to practice and participate in the arts and in their communities.

“These spaces are inclusive and have an important role to play in enhancing the wellbeing of people who are all too often at risk of being excluded from participating in their own communities”, Carmel Sepuloni said. 

“We should not underestimate the role that the arts can play in health and wellbeing nor the opportunity that these spaces provide to develop and showcase artist talent.”

“Funding creative spaces will support new jobs and expand existing roles to help build a more sustainable sector and skilled workforce. It will enable creative spaces to increase the reach and quality of their services and programmes, including into Māori and Pacific communities.

“More than 11,000 people a year use creative spaces throughout Aotearoa. With this funding we could see participation rates lift by around 2,000 people per year over the next three years. This new funding acknowledges the value of creative spaces in communities and the benefits to participants’ wellbeing from accessing these services.

“The possibility of engaging even more people through this funding means we are reaching those who may not otherwise have access to such important and relevant creative spaces.” Carmel Sepuloni said.

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage has partnered with Arts Access Aotearoa, who have strong knowledge of creative spaces and established relationships, to support the application process and successful recipients over the longer-term.

This is the first funding opportunity as part of the $70 million Te Tahua Whakahaumaru Creative Arts Recovery Employment (CARE) Fund announced in May as part of Budget 2020.

Applications for further CARE funding to support the wider arts and cultural sector will open from late March 2021. The CARE Fund aims to enhance access and participation in the cultural sector and create employment and skill development opportunities. It is part of the Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme led by Manatu Taonga, delivering $374 million over four years to help the cultural sector survive, adapt, and thrive.

Further information

Applications for this first round of the Creative Spaces initiative will close at 12 noon on Wednesday 24 March 2021.

Creative spaces can receive a maximum grant of $150,000 a year each over three years.

There will be two rounds of funding for the Creative Spaces initiative:

  • round one (open until 12 noon on Wednesday 24 March 2021)
  • round two (expected to open in early May) is aimed at creative spaces that need more time or support to apply.

More information about creative spaces funding and how to apply is available on the Manatū Taonga website. There’s also more information on the CARE Fund.