Creative Communities Scheme

Looking for funding for your next community arts project? Maybe the Creative Communities Scheme can help.

Applications will reopen in July.

The scheme is a partnership between Council and Creative New Zealand that helps to fund local arts projects.

The total fund pool for 2023-24 is $111,045, made up of a $36,093 Council contribution, $68,220 from Creative NZ, and $6,732 carried forward from last year.

In the last financial year we supported 35 projects, and the average grant awarded was around $3k.

How to apply

The scheme has 2 funding rounds each financial year. Round 1 for 2024-25 will open on Monday 29 July. In the meantime, you can get in touch with us to discuss your options and find out if this is the right fund for you.

To get funding through the scheme, your arts project must do at least one of the following:

  • create opportunities for local communities to engage with and participate in arts activities
  • support the diverse arts and cultural traditions of local communities
  • enable and encourage under-18s to engage with the arts.

For examples, download the Creative Communities Scheme Application Guide.

Creative New Zealand has also published information brochures about the scheme, available in multiple languages on its website: Brochures and translations 

Is your project eligible?

To be eligible for funding, your project must:

  • have an arts or cultural focus
  • take place within Palmerston North City Council boundaries
  • benefit local communities
  • not have started before an application for funding has been assessed
  • not have been funded by Creative New Zealand for the same purpose.

Successful applicants 2023-24 round 2

We’ve allocated $58,632.36 to 18 arts, events and projects. The successful applicants are listed below. 

Alexia Clark: Broadway Bound, $640.75

An open mic-type concert that gives musical theatre lovers the chance to perform in front of an audience.

The CanInspire Charitable Trust: CanBead Workshops, $700

Four jewelry-making/bead-craft workshops for people experiencing illness, trauma or loss.

Squash Co. Arts Collective: Long Ride Home, $713.36

A touring one-act-play about siblings for adult and young adult audiences.

Chyzabelle Chadwick: Kaitiaki Kids, $1,500

Students will create artworks inspired either by resident wildlife at Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery or by something else within the native conservation network. At the end of these sessions, students will exhibit their finished works at Wildbase.

Erin McLean: FOPS Performing Arts 2024 – No Exit, $1,500

A production of the classic French drama No Exit, written by Jean-Paul Sartre in 1944. Following three petty, miserable, unpleasant people trapped in a room with each other, it's a darkly comic piece with serious undertones about the nature of Hell and what a life of misdeeds causes. 

Slave Musician Collective and Recordings: Local band EP recording and release, $1,575

To enable some talented Palmerston North-based musicians to record and release music they have prepared for an EP.

Debra Mulholland: With children for children. Adapting or writing a story into a play for performance, $2,000

A 5-day school holiday program for up to 14 children from the age of 7 to 11 years old. They will get the chance to adapt an already existing children's book, or will write their own story or fairytale, then rehearse and perform it in front of an invited audience.

Kairanga School: Kairanga School murals, $2,000

Create murals at the entrance of the school that represent the values of the whare kura, tamariki and whānau (school, students and families).

Natasha Christensen: Training in advanced weaving techniques, $2,500

To privately study under the mentorship of master weaver Esther Nitschke MBE, in order to advance weaving skills and study teaching methods with the intention of reviving the craft within the region. 

Girls Rock Aotearoa Incorporated: To the Front Te Papaioea 2024, $3,000

A 4-day holiday programme aiming to empower young women and/or transgender, intersex, takatāpui, queer and gender diverse youth aged 12 to 17 years through music and community.

The Glow Show Company Limited: Badjelly the Witch Glow Show, $3,560

It’s been 50 years since Spike Milligan wrote this iconic story. A glow-in-the-dark puppetry version, for children and families during the July school holidays in Palmerston North.

Manawatū Theatre Society: A Time Like This, $4,000

A Time Like This is a full-length play being produced for public performance. It is the touching, tender, yet at times horrific story of 88-year-old Douglas Chapman, a World War One veteran, living in a rest home. It is Anzac Day 1984 and Douglas has marched in the parade. He is lonely and sad, and he drinks too much. As he drinks, he recalls his life in the final weeks of World War One.

Te Korio Childrens Centre: Te Korio mural, $4,200

Large bird mural on the Te Korio Children’s Centre building, painted by Swiftmantis.

Ryan Knighton: Hot Spot, $5,111.20

Hot Spot is a fresh and innovative comedy format that combines elements of panel shows such as Guy Montgomery’s Guy Monspelling Bee, Task Master, Whose Line Is It Anyway, Game Changers and more.

Lizzie Tollemache: FWB: Friends With Boundaries, $5,260

Towards rehearsal and production costs to stage this locally written play in Palmerston North, including a free talk and producer workshop for new and emerging artists.

He Aho Tangata (Rangitāne o Manawatū Settlement Trust): Wānanga Toi Rangitāne, $5,372.05

The newly formed roopu He Aho Tangata is hosting two wānanga for whānau and the local community to come and try their hand at raranga (weaving) and kowhaiwhai painting under the guidance of our tohunga in these sectors.

Derrick Sims: Shadow of the Deathbird, $6,000

Set in the late 1980s, Shadow of the Deathbird is an exciting, funny, and sometimes scary short film about a child filmmaker haunted by a supernatural creature hell-bent on destroying her masterpiece. To finish her production, she must not only confront and overcome the monster but also face her own self-doubt. The "real world" of the film will be photographed in Palmerston North.

Hokozoo Productions: Samoan educational song resources, $9,000

Record Samoan songs for children and adults to embrace the Samoan language and culture.

Successful applicants 2023-24 round 1

We’ve allocated $41,487 to 15 arts event and projects. The successful applicants are listed below. 

Rose Bourke: Peep, $2,500 

A window gallery in The Regent Arcade, Te Papaioea  

Epic Music Foundation: Epic Band Battle, $1,260 

An event for all Primary & Intermediate School Bands in the Manawatū to battle it out to find the best band in the region and celebrate young musicians.  

Manawatū Youth Theatre Charitable Trust: Frozen JR, $5,000 

This is a 60-minute adaptation of the Disney movie performed by 10-to-16-year-olds at the Globe Theatre.  

Tyler Brailey: Manawatū Air Guitar Championships, $1,460 

The Manawatū Air Guitar Championship aims to find the greatest air guitarists in the lower North Island. The championship features two categories: Youth and R18, catering to both young talents and adults. This event will not only showcase the art of air guitar celebrate the participants love for music.  

Renaissance Singers: Carols for Christmas, $2,300 

The concert will be in St Peter's Church, Palmerston North featuring a cappella, accompanied Christmas Carols. There will be carols where the audience can join in.  

Simple Truth Theatre: Femme Fiction: What If It’s All Real? $5,000 

Femme Fiction is an exploration of gender and identity that poses the question ‘What is femininity?’. The show is about storytelling and creates a space for the cast of 10 to shed a light on their own raw, enlightening and hilarious experiences.  

Palmerston North Choral Society: Highlights from Handel’s Messiah, $2,420 

The show will include top-quality soloists, local musicians and singers performing highlights from the Messiah at the end of 2023. 

Manawatū Camera Club Inc. City Library Ground Floor Exhibition, $2,500 

The City Library ground floor window panels will be used for an exhibition to display photos from Manawatu Camera Club members. 

Kane Parsons: Children’s Story Book about Manawatū Legends, $6,500 

This book is a children’s story book about myths and legends of the Manawatū. This is the second story in the long-term plan of educational resources. This book is called Okū Tuākana.  

Madeleine Cook: Original Music Recording,  $1,225 

A record of Madeleine’s original music from the studio. 

Te Waiora Club: Wānanga Waiata, $4,000 

This project focuses on preparing and delivering wānanga waiata for Te Waiora Club, in preparation to attend the 2024 Hui Aranga, being held over Easter in Hawke's Bay.  

Yellow Eye Ltd with Nukes Ukulele Trio: Nukes ukulese Trio School Holiday Workshops & Shows Palmerston North, $922 

The ukulele trio The Nukes will visit Palmerston North bringing a free children’s workshop and show followed by a ticketed public evening event. 

Parnika Rao: Quantum Alchemy, $2,900 

Quantum Alchemy will be an art installation consisting of three to five sculptures. It will use physics principles to construct sculptures and display them at the Square Edge Community Arts Centre to educate others.  

Sonya Holm: The Tombstone Tourist’s Guide to New Zealand, $1,500 

This project is to produce a coffee table travel guide of 50 of New Zealand’s most fascinating cemeteries. The book includes extensive photographs, local stories and social history. Sonya will run a workshop for the community on how to get your book project up and running.  

Manawatū Highland Dancing: Highland Dancing Competition, $2,000 

The Highland Dance competition is governed by the Royal Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing in Palmerston North.  

We also allocated $21,118.39 to applications as part of the Creative Communities Festival Fund 2023-24. The successful applicants are listed below. 

Manawatū Jazz Club Inc. Manawatū Jazz & Blues Festival 2024, $10,000 

This is an annual jazz and blues festival in Palmerston North, comprising public concerts at the Globe Theatre, workshops and 'cafe scene' artists.  

Rachel Lenart: Manawatū Summer Shakespeare, $11,118.39 

A staple on the summer to-do list aiming to enrich and upskill Palmy’s local theatre community and provide highly entertaining work to be enjoyed by all.