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"Heard Your Frustrations" - Creative NZ Release Survey Details

11 Jul 2024

Findings from CNZ's The Future of Arts Development survey are out, with the arts funding body stating the way they support arts organisations "isn't working for everyone."

Creative New Zealand (CNZ) has acknowledged that there's still work to be done on how they support arts organisations.

Findings from a survey earlier in the year - The Future of Arts Development, designed to gain insight into how CNZ can work better with organisations - have been released.

James Wilson - in his last month as Interim Senior Manager, Arts Development before Claire Murdoch steps into the role full time - states "The headline message is that the way we support arts organisations isn’t working for everyone. For those it is working for, there is room to do more. We need to think deeply about who our current support includes and who is currently excluded."

Wilson confirmed he and his team "read every comment and heard your frustrations."

He continues to outline that "three things came through clearly" in the survey.

"You told us there are three broad categories of support that make the biggest positive impact for arts organisations and their communities:

  • Financial support: Long-term, flexible funding makes the biggest difference. You challenged us to better trust your judgment and knowledge about what’s important for you and your communities. You asked for greater autonomy to use funding as and when needed to achieve your desired outcomes.
  • Non-financial support: You identified that funding is only one part of the picture and that there are a wide range of other ways that you would like to see us support arts organisations. This included the need for more honest, consistent, and frequent communication. Many of you identified supporting governance, safeguarding ngā toi and mātauranga Māori for the future, providing practical resources and becoming stronger advocates together as significant.
  • Support that comes from artists and communities working together: Ongoing support from communities, artists, practitioners, and other organisations is critically important because when organisations do well communities do well. Harnessing this potential could make the greatest long-term change as communities have the greatest understanding of their arts development needs.

As far as the next steps, Wilson explains "We agree that we can do better and have already begun to transform what we do and how we do it.

"In 2024, our first step was to make changes to how we support arts organisations with targeted approaches to funding and support and making it easier to contact us so we can help you."

Wilson states Toi Aotearoa the Arts Council will provide strategic guidance at its August meeting, with more information about what changes will be made - and how - to come before the end of the year, ahead of putting them into effect from 2025.

"One of our long-term goals is for communities to make decisions about the arts development that will make the greatest difference for them. This came through clearly in your responses too. This will take more time, and we’ll need to work alongside you and others to work out how to make this change. We’ll start this third step, to better support arts organisations and communities from 2025."
Wilson also declared "Something that won’t change is our commitment to multi-year funding for arts organisations".