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$11 Million of Creative Spaces Funding Revealed

Carmel Sepuloni visiting Artsenta in Dunedin. Photo: Kerry Hodge Photography/Dunedin Fringe Festival
Access to arts around the country just got easier - find out where the money is going to knock down barriers and open doors in Aotearoa.


Creative Spaces in Aotearoa just got a whole lot more accessible.

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has confirmed a list of 36 recipients for the $11.37 million of second round funding designated to providing opportunities for disabled people, people with mental health needs and those looking for social connection to practice and participate in the arts.

As The Big Idea exclusively revealed in February, $18 million was allocated for Creative Spaces from the $70 million Te Tahua Whakahaumaru Creative Arts Recovery Employment (CARE) Fund - part of the $374 million Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme.

This funding delivering is done in partnership with Arts Access Aotearoa - with the money to be delivered over three years. Figures released by Manatū Taonga Ministry of Culture and Heritage state an estimated 11,000 people use the 90 creative spaces across New Zealand each year.

Sepuloni says “I have seen first-hand the well-being benefits of creative spaces. There are many people in our communities who are marginalised and experience barriers to being able to make the most of their artistic skills and talents.

“We can’t underestimate the sense of fulfilment that these spaces provide.” 

The Minister continues “this funding will also give stability for creative spaces to expand their services and create employment opportunities in the sector through things like art making workshops, performing arts activities, creative writing and raranga (weaving) workshops.

“I’m pleased that Manatū Taonga has partnered with Arts Access Aotearoa in delivering this initiative. With their wealth of knowledge and established relationships, they will also work with the recipients to help them with reporting, source longer-term sustainable funding, and share good practice with the Creative Space Network.”

Carmel Sepuloni speaking at Magenta Creative Space in Nelson. Photo: Supplied/Arts Access Aotearoa.

Where the money's going

As you’d with the largest population in the country, Auckland has fared well - with just over $4m of the will be centred on projects in Tāmaki Makaurau spread among 13 recipients, but plenty of the regions have been represented as well.

Glass Ceiling Arts Collective in Warkworth ($449,271), Te Whare Toi o Ngaaruawaahia - Twin Rivers Community Art Centre ($424,800), Blenheim’s Creative Kids Trust Board ($415,872), Nelson’s Magenta Creative Space Charitable Trust ($405,600), Hokitika’s Art4Me - Connecting Creatively for Wellbeing ($375,860), Havelock North’s Mosaic ($374,775), Toi Ako Artspace in Te Kauwhata ($249,444), Coromandel’s Artists in the Making ($244,509), Community Art Works in Nelson ($216,000) and Whanganui Creative Space ($102,804) ensure there’s a good spread out of the major cities.

The wider Wellington region is also well represented - with Māoriland Hub in Ōtaki ($450,000), Lower Hutt’s MIX ($440,333), Kāpiti Art Studio ($387,104) and Fareham Creative Space Trust in Featherston ($382,760) joining Wellington Inclusive Dance ($89,549) Pablos Art Studio ($321,750) and Voice Arts ($238,060) injecting more than $2.3m into the area’s communities.

In all, $17.12 million has been awarded to 54 creative spaces across Aotearoa in two rounds this year.


Creative Spaces Funding Round Two Recipients

Art for All Trust - $228,960 (Auckland)

Art For All provides art tuition, quality materials, exhibition opportunities and social connection for artists with intellectual disabilities and/or mental health distress. Artists are empowered to feel valued, included and productive members of society through learning art processes, creating and exhibiting artworks, and generating income through selling their work.

Art4Me - Connecting Creatively for Wellbeing (WestREAP) - $375,860 (Hokitika)

Art4Me is a community arts programme for adults. Participants work in the medium of their choice in a welcoming, safe and supportive environment. It supports participation in a range of community activities, including opportunities to exhibit locally, and support for further learning and partnerships with other groups and events.

Artists in the Making - $244,509 (Coromandel)

Artists in the Making is a support service for disabled people and is run by the Coromandel Independent Living Trust. Participants use art and craft to help uncover their artisitic skills, meeting twice a week to work mainly in mosaics, china painting and craft.

Cantabrainers Therapeutic Choir Charitable Trust - $143,400 (Christchurch)

Cantabrainers works with people with neurological conditions to help them regain their speech through singing. It helps increase members’ confidence and reduces their isolation by enabling them to sing with others. A music therapist leads and accompanies the choir, while a speech-language therapist provides individual support.

Community Art Works - $216,000 (Nelson)

Community Art Works caters for people with disabilities, disconnected youth, people with experience of mental ill-health or people referred through the justice system. It is staffed by several professional artists and provides work experience for polytechnic and college students. Programmes are based around art, music, dance and literature.

Creative Arts Trust/Artsenta - $431,125 (Dunedin)

Minister Sepuloni visiting Artsenta. Photo: Kerry Hodge Photography/Dunedin Fringe Festival.

Artsenta is an art studio for people in the mental health community. Staff have a range of skills and it also invites local artists/tutors to provide workshops. It provides materials, equipment and tuition in various activities, including painting, sculpture, pottery, creative writing and music. It caters for people working individually or in groups.

Creative Kids Trust Board - $415,872 (Blenheim)

Creative Kids Trust uses music, movement and art to provide a safe place for vulnerable children to grow and flourish. It aims to bring about change and facilitate growth, ultimately developing a healthy sense of self. It believes its passion in the arts can help bring communities together. 

Crescendo Trust of Aotearoa - $291,012 (Auckland)

Minister Sepuloni and the Crescendo crew. Photo: Supplied/Arts Access Aotearoa.

Crescendo works alongside 12 to 24-year-olds, providing an environment where young people can express themselves creatively and are supported to overcome barriers to success. It delivers mentoring programmes in the arts where young people can engage directly and connect with other people working in the creative industries.

Fareham Creative Space Trust - $382,760 (Featherston)

Fareham Creative Space provides access to art-making activities and creative expression for everyone, particularly people who experience barriers to participation. Its vision is “Hauora and wellbeing through creativity”. Its purpose is to bring people together to collaborate, learn, teach, explore and create, facilitating creativity in Featherston and beyond.

Flock Charitable Trust/Hobson Street Theatre Company - $349,478 (Auckland)

Flock Charitable Trust through Hobson St Theatre Company uses theatre to share the stories of people with experience of homelessness, and to foster dialogue on issues that lead to and perpetuate homelessness. It aims to extend to other areas in Auckland and across the country that experience high rates of homelessness.

Glass Ceiling Arts Collective Limited - $449,271 (Warkworth)

Glass Ceiling Arts Collective is an arts charity and a community which believes that young people with disabilities should not be defined by their disability but should be afforded the opportunity to enjoy the performing arts alongside their non-disabled peers.

Interacting - $62,400 (Auckland)

Interacting Theatre runs community classes in drama, filmmaking and songwriting at five venues in Auckland throughout the term. It organises the disability arts festival InterACT, run every October at Corban Estate Arts Centre in Henderson. It devises and releases original theatre, performed each year at the InterACT Festival.

Jolt Charitable Trust - $304,725 (Christchurch)

Participants at Jolt. Photo: Supplied/Arts Access Aotearoa. 

Jolt celebrates the unique qualities of its dancers and challenges perspectives about dance and disability. It is based on the belief that what are perceived as limitations are opportunities for unique movements and connections between people. Jolt classes are open to everyone and reflect the diversity of the disability community.

Kāpiti Art Studio - $387,104 (Paraparaumu)

Kāpiti Art Studio is a space where people in Kāpiti who are disabled or living with mental distress can express themselves through art. Its mission is to nurture the creativity that comes from within and to foster a more inclusive society. It embraces and celebrates difference and cultural diversity.

Magenta Creative Space Charitable Trust - $405,600 (Nelson)

Minister Sepuloni visits Magenta Creative Space. Photo: Supplied/Arts Access Aotearoa.

Magenta Creative Space caters for people with experience of mental ill-health. Established in 2002, Magenta is not an art therapy institution but the artists who attend find it therapeutic. It’s a place where they can relax, meet new people, and be extended by learning new art-making techniques and skills. 

Many Hats Theatre Company - $313,560 (Christchurch)

Many Hats’ mission is to provide access for disabled people to have opportunities for creative expression through the creation and presentation of drama performances.  It has its own YouTube channel with material that is created, written and performed by the Many Hats’ actors.

Māoriland Hub - $450,000 (Ōtaki)

Rangatahi Māori are a key focus for Māoriland Hub in Ōtaki. It’s co-designed with rangatahi programmes such as filmmaking workshops and the Māoriland (Ahi) Tech Creative Hub MATCH. Its Māoriland creative arts programme Te Ara Toi is a 12-month programme that provides a broad range of art-making activities.

MIX Connecting, Creating, Living Incorporated - $440,333 (Lower Hutt)

Mix is a mental health community day service offering workshops in a variety of mediums and studio areas. including ceramics, bone and wood carving, and painting and drawing. Exhibition opportunities include an in-house gallery. There are spaces in Hutt City and Upper Hutt.

Mosaic, a service of Presbyterian Support East Coast - $374,775 (Havelock North)

Mosaic is a home for disabled artists, a creative space, art gallery and life skills education centre. Its creative space programme includes painting and printmaking, bone carving, mosaics, jewellery, clay, sculpture, toi Māori, painting and craft. Open Monday to Friday, it offers experienced staff in an inclusive, accessible environment.

Mt Albert Community Club - $217,114 (Auckland)

Mt Albert Community Club is an activity-based day service for adults with experience of mental health distress/tangata whai i te ora. It provides a range of creative and social opportunities, including annual exhibitions. Tutors facilitate the development of members’ creative ideas in a mixture of guided activities and self-directed practice. 

Ngā Rangatahi Toa Creative Arts Initiative Trust - $334,575 (Auckland)

Ngā Rangatahi Toa has been nationally and internationally recognised for its social justice-based education work and Creative Youth Development (CYD) work for young people. Its immersive, intensive programmes use arts and wellbeing programmes to help connect rangatahi with their purpose and imagine a positive future for themselves.

Pablos Art Studio Incorporated - $321,750 (Wellington)

Pablos Art Studio uses art and creative exploration to encourage people with experience of mental distress to transform their lives and re-engage in the wider community. Artists can access quality art opportunities in an environment that acknowledges career, personal and social needs, and encourages connections and a sense of value in the wider community. 

Panacea Arts Charitable Trust/Māpura Studios - $404,275 (Auckland)

Māpura Studios provides visual arts and art therapy programmes for all age groups and abilities, with special provision for people living with disability and diversity. Its programmes are a synthesis of fine arts practice and self-development in an inclusive environment. Its extensive exhibition and events calendar showcases its artists’ work.

Story Club - $197,961 (Auckland)

The kaupapa of Story Club is connecting community through sharing and celebrating diverse cultures. It provides access to art-making activities and the creation of community projects, which raise awareness of minority groups’ cultures and life experiences. All Story Club activities are free and projects developed through a process of co-creation with people in these communities.

Te Kāhui - $332,540 (Auckland)

Te Kāhui creative writing programme encourages reflective self-expression opportunities for rangatahi in vulnerable and underserved communities, initially in Mt Eden Corrections Facility. Facilitated by Youth Arts NZ, its outreach programme aims to engage other at-risk communities such as marginalised migrant or LGBTQ+ youth, and tailor the programme to their diverse needs.

Te Whare Roimata Trust/Linwood Arts Centre - $306,245 (Christchurch)

The Linwood Community Arts Centre, a project of Te Whare Roimata Trust, offers a varied, affordable arts programme to people from disadvantaged eastern inner-city neighbourhoods, enabling access to the arts. The building of community via inclusion, connection, and individual and community wellbeing lies at the heart of its work.

Te Whare Toi o Ngaaruawaahia/Twin Rivers Community Art Centre Inc - $424,800 (Ngaruawahia)

Raranga (weaving) at Twin Rivers Community Centre. Photo: Supplied/Arts Access Aotearoa.

This community hub’s kaupapa is to provide creative programmes, projects, events and access to participate in community activities. It runs art for health classes, mahi toi classes, evening and day classes, school holiday programmes and masterclasses. Its focus is on creative projects that enhance and tell the stories of its community.

The Corner: Creative Space - $295,277 (Auckland)

This youth-led space has a focus on arts access, development and education. It provides a safe, inclusive environment for young people and the community to socialise, study or develop their artform. Young people and community groups are encouraged to utilise the facility and its resources for hui, rehearsals, workshops and events.

The White Room Creative Space - $242,300 (Christchurch)

The White Room brings disabled and non-disabled artists together in an inclusive, creative community united by a shared passion for art. Artists can learn new techniques in visual art and share ideas through interaction with visiting artists and tutors. It fosters creativity, skill sharing, new ideas and ways of expression.

Toi Ako Artspace - $249,444 (Te Kauwhata)

Toi Ako brings the community together, offering creativity classes, workshops and outreach programmes for people of all ages and abilities. Governed by the Te Kauwhata Community House, it offers an extension of the other health and social services provided by the Community House and places the arts firmly at the centre. 

Toi Ora Live Art Trust - $450,000 (Auckland)

Toi Ora Live Art Trust provides creative learning opportunities and space for people with experience of mental distress. It offers classes across artforms, tutored by experienced practitioners, and has studio space to people wishing to work on individual or collaborative projects. It has a range of art materials and resources.

Touch Compass - $449,930 (Auckland)

Touch Compass produces performance and dance training for people of all abilities. Disability-led, its mission is to explore the intersection of disability, Māori and Pasifika cultures, and explore cultural diversity through authentic and multi-dimensional performance. It aims to break down physical and psychological barriers so everyone who want to dance can.

Voice Arts - $238,060 (Wellington)

Voice Arts Trust delivers projects that are community-based, participant-driven and focused on creating original theatre that gives voice to isolated and at-risk groups within the community. Its work is accessible to everyone and involves active participation, self-discovery, connection and wellbeing through storytelling and performance projects.

Whanganui Creative Space - $102,804 (Whanganui)

Whanganui Creative Space provides a safe, supportive space and resources for people of all abilities to create art and crafts. Its participants learn new skills and discover their creative side with support from an art tutor to assist their creative goals and journey. 

WIDance - $89,549 (Wellington)

Wellington Inclusive Dance (WIDance) challenges perceptions of disability and celebrates the artistic potential of each individual, by providing inclusive dance classes, workshops and performance opportunities. Its dance classes are open to all ages and abilities, and provide a safe, inclusive environment in which participants develop skills in contemporary dance, improvisation and composition. 

Zeal Education Trust -$445,504 (Auckland)

Zeal is a not-for-profit youth organisation dedicated to helping young people discover, express and develop their creativity. Its mission is to make creative and transformative spaces and experiences accessible to all young people in Aotearoa. It wants to break down barriers to participation by making its creative programmes affordable and accessible.

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

17 Aug 2021

The Big Idea Editor