Creative Communities Scheme

Looking for funding for your next community arts project? Maybe the Creative Communities Scheme can help. Applications are open until 4pm on Monday 27 February.

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

It has 2 funding rounds each year. The total fund pool for 2022-23 is $108,040, made up of a $34,506 Council contribution, and $62,056 from Creative NZ and $11,478 carried forward from last year. In the last financial year we supported 34 projects, and the average grant awarded was around $3k.

Apply now

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.


Covid-19 impact

If your funded event/project is delayed or cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions, you have two choices:

  • Retain the funding and reschedule the event/project to be completed within the next year.
  • Alternatively, return the funding and reapply when you have the new plan. This may be a good option if you expect your costs to increase beyond the funding you have now.

Successful applicants 2022-23 round 1

We’ve allocated $46,974 to 14 arts event and projects. The successful applicants are listed below. 

Rachel Lenart: Swimming Lessons, $9,210

A new play about the joy and fear in facing neurodivergence and trauma (but in a fun way) by Lizzie Tollemache. Directed by Rachel Lenart with Lizzie Tollemache, Carrie Green, Eve Gordan, Bek Coogan and Kim Garrett.

Alliance Francaise Palmerston North Incorporated: Digital November - Machine à bulles, $5,000

"Machine à bulles" will showcase digital 24 pieces of comic art at the Square Edge Gallery. Visitors will be able to access and experience the artworks with a QR code, VR experiences, digital art & animation workshops, and an animation movie.

Legacy Centre: Community Dance Academy, $3,300

The Community Dance Academy will create opportunities for young people between 8-13 years of age to experience performing arts, specifically Hip-hop and Contemporary dance.

Taranaki Arts Trail: Artists Exchange Project, $2,600

The Manawatū Arts Trail will exchange two artists with the Taranaki Arts Trail for the local arts trail weekend. This will build relationships, contacts and showcase the talent from a neighbouring region.

Tall Poppies Performance Community Trust: Guardians of the Palace, $2,130

This production is based around the guardians of four different palaces who are called in to solve the mystery of who it might be attempting to overthrow the King and Queen of each palace. It involves eighty junior members of the Manawatū Community and will feature two nights at The Globe in late November.

Environment Network Manawatū: Environment linked mural for ENM office building, $5,000

A large mural will be painted on the ride of the Environment Network Manawatū Building to raise awareness of their kaupapa, focus, member groups, and to celebrate the unique environmental heritage of the Manawatū catchment.

Rose Bourke: Alleycat, $2,500

A window gallery space down the Broadway & King Street alleyway that showcases Manawatū artists.

KidzStuff Theatre For Children Incorporated: Mr Fungus, $2,500

The iconic Mr Fungus brings his upbeat physical comedy show to town.

Jane Ross: Film Talks at the Globe, $2,000

Film Talks with Derrick Sims, Phil Stebbing, Eli Hill and Jason Ellis.

Benjamin Tipene: Way to Write, $2,500

Group workshops to teach people the skills to write songs as a form of expression and mindfulness.

Te Aroha Noa Community Services: Making Highbury and Arts Suburb- Footpath Mural, $4,534

Te Aroha Noa has a dream of seeing Highbury transform into more of an 'Iconic Arts Suburb'. Their first project contributing to this dream is a community footpath mural that stretches the length of the Te Aroha Noa buildings.

Emma Maguire: Shift Your Paradigm, $2,224

Shift Your Paradigm is a satirical theatre show. It’s an hour-long, chaotic comedy created by Mitchell Botting and David Bowers-Mason for NZ Fringe 2022 and produced by Emma Maguire.

Ngā Wairua Toi - Creative Souls: Collective Story of the 12 Days of Christmas, $1,475

The project involves a group of new and amateur artists working together towards a collective project and 'walkthrough' exhibit in December. The exhibit will capture the12 days of Christmas through a series of static art pieces, open to the public during the Christmas lights Spectacular in December 2022.