Monday, July 15, 2024

Auckland Council sounds call for creatives

Emerging Auckland artists and creatives can now apply for Creative Communities Scheme (CCS) grants, delivered by Auckland Council in partnership with Creative New Zealand.

CCS distributes $1 million each year across Tāmaki Makaurau in community-based grants that often play a key part in helping art-related initiatives come to life. 

Auckland Council Regional Funding Advisor, Marion Prebble says the fund is particularly well suited to emerging creatives because it has a relatively simple application process that helps artists to deliver high quality artistic outcomes for their communities.

“We’re especially keen to hear from young people who are helping others to participate in, or access the arts in their area,” she says.

Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board Member, Christine O’Brien, who is a member of the CCS south-east committee, says grant recipients represent a broad range of cultures and disciplines, ages and talent.

The fund is capable of both supporting traditional culture and heritage expertise as well as helping to establish new, exciting initiatives, which then often grow to reach a wider Auckland audience, she says.

“The real beauty of CCS projects is that they bring people together; they can deepen understanding between communities and help to build resilience within those communities. The arts connect people and, as we have seen recently, enables them to get through the tough times.”

Auckland pianist, Shan Liu is one young musician who has achieved a significant milestone this year with support from CCS funding.

At 13-years-old, Shan performed as a soloist in his first full concerto with a large symphonic orchestra for the Manukau Symphony Orchestra’s Rachmaninov 2 concert at the Due Drop Events Centre in March.

Manukau Symphony Orchestra (MSO) Youth Scholarship Musicians Olivia Yang, 10, Samantha Berrington, 16, and Ryan Qiao, 13, also performed for the first time at the Manukau event.

The orchestra’s general manager, Shelley Robertson says the event gave the orchestra’s longstanding Tuakana Mentorship programme of professional musicians the opportunity to mentor community players and the next generation of younger stars.

“This partnership was certainly appreciated by the musicians and audience alike, with close to 500 people attending our event. The young musicians involved drew a younger crowd as well, so that achieved another goal of ours to reach a wider audience within the community.”

Auckland carver, Maha Tomo is another CCS recipient, who used the funding to help deliver bone carving workshops to East Auckland communities during the summer holidays. Between 10-15 students attended each class, learning about tikanga Māori and creating a traditional carved bone taonga/pendant to keep or gift to a loved one.

“I’m grateful for the support – this funding allows my workshops to be provided free-of-charge to anyone interested in learning the holistic beauty of Māori arts and crafts,” Maha Tomo says.

The Re-Creators group based in Massey also received CCS funding to deliver multiple workshops on how to repurpose waste like cardboard, textiles, plastics, and wood into new artwork.

Founder and CEO Ger Tew says the benefits of upcycling were shared with many more people because of CCS funding removing a barrier relating to cost.

“It makes our workshops more accessible. People of all ages can learn how to become more climate resilient by changing their thinking around waste,” she says. “Children in particularly are very good at reimagining waste as something valuable and finding further opportunities to re-use items at home.”

CCS applications will be accepted until 25 August, for projects planned within the next 12 months.  

Regional Funding Advisors at Auckland Council are available to help with the application process – please email for support.

Once applications close, experienced local committees will assess and allocate grants. The average CCS grant in Auckland is $5000.


Applications should enable at least one the following priorities:

  • Create opportunities for local communities to access and participate in local arts activities such as performances, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, Māori art for a local marae.
  • Support the diverse artistic cultural traditions of local communities – such as migrant or Māori/ Pasifika art, or reach people with specific needs like a disability or mental illness.
  • Enable young people (under 18 years) to engage with, and participate in the arts.

Find out more:

Key dates:

  • Applications will be accepted from 1 June to 25 August 2024 for projects to be delivered within the next 12 months.
  • This is the second and final funding round for 2024.
  • The first 2025 opportunity to apply for a CCS grant will open on 1 December 2024.

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