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 26 February.

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.

Come to a drop-in session to find out more

We're holding 2 drop-in sessions where you can talk to us in person:

  • Tuesday 13 February, 12pm to 1pm, Square Edge
  • Thursday 15 February, 5pm to 6pm, Central Library

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 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. 

Successful applicants 2022-23 round 2

There were 21 successful applications for the second round of Creative Communities Scheme funding for 2022-23. Grants ranged from $600 to $8,500. We allocated $61,212.38 in total.

Georgia Larkin-Tareha: Te Mahi Harakeke, $8,156.49

A 12-week, Noho-based Whatu Kakahu Wananga pilot programme. Wāhine will create kakahu maro from harakeke/muka. Through the practice of raranga, wāhine will learn whakapapa tikanga and kawa protecting cultural values, practices and taonga of toi Māori, while also providing an avenue for creative freedom that acknowledges and celebrates te ao Māori.

The Rebel Alliance: Back to Square One? $2,628

Solo show by Anders Falstie-Jensen at The Dark Room and workshop for Centrepoint Theatre’s Youth Company.

Little Green Man Productions: Wonderland Glow Show, $1,600

Glow-in-the-dark, giant-scale puppet show.

Paul Dunham: Click::RAND, $3,029

A series of up to 16 wall-mounted soundboards. An exhibition is to be presented in Square Edge.

Environment Network Manawatū: Rethinking Plastic – a call for change using disruptive art to challenge the plastic shadow we cast in our everyday lives, $3,000

A series of tamariki and rangitahi-led sculpture workshops leading to an exhibition at Square Edge. The sculpture created will be from plastic waste.

Bhutanese Society of New Zealand: Nepali book publishing and translation, $2,000

This solo book in the Nepali language tells the story of Bhutanese refugees from Bhutan to Nepal (refugee camp) and from the refugee camp to New Zealand. Through this book, people will gain a deeper understanding of Bhutanese and refugee life.

The KaRS Parsons/Taylor: The KaRs Christmas Album, $6,000

An album featuring a mix of original and classic Christmas songs in te reo Māori and English.

Unity Singers: Annual free community variety concert, $1,500

Unity Singers Choir free Community Variety Concert at the Regent Theatre.

Paula Harris: Sectioning Herakles – a korowai pūoro & film, $4,500

The creation of music and film to wrap around and support the release of Paula Harris' poetry book Sectioning Herakles.

The CanInspire Charitable Trust: Film talks at the Globe, $600

Creative therapy beading workshops in Palmerston North for people experiencing illness, trauma or loss.

Legacy Centre: Community Dance Academy, $1,000

Hip-hop and contemporary dance for 8-to-13-year-olds. Community Dance Academy is now known as Dynasty Dance.

Life, Love, and Lenses Ltd: The School of Film, $8,500

A filmmaking programme for future filmmakers aged 10 to 18, in collaboration with the Globe Theatre.

Multiple Sclerosis Central District: MS Central Districts art group, $1,500

The exhibition Landscapes of the Mind challenges perspectives around MS and individuality and what they can do.

Manawatū Writers' Hub: Publish an anthology of writing, $1,516

Prepare, produce, and publish an anthology of writing (poetry, short stories, essays, etc.) by Writers’ Hub group members.

Amy Atkins: RAW! ASMR & clown workshops, $2,082

Perform ASMR show RAW! ASMR at Globe Theatre and run two introductory clowning workshops for local schools.

Andy Dolling: A Great Raw, $1,000

Theatrical debate about the greatness of war. Followed by a community theatre workshop, Theatre of Liberation, to encourage local citizens to connect through storytelling.

Manawatū Youth Orchestra Inc: Manawatū Youth Orchestra and Sinfonia combined concert, $2,850

A concert of orchestral music featuring the Manawatū Youth Orchestra and Manawatū Sinfonia.

Elizabeth Hodgson: Cookies and Cream, $4,500

A short film written and directed by Palmerston North filmmaker Arka Gupta and produced by Elizabeth Hodgson.

Sabados Teatreros: Sabados Teatreros 2023 – Don Quixote, $2,750

Sabados Teatreros is a drama education program for Spanish-speaking children aged from 5 to 15-years-old.

Gavin Ralph: Poison at Penshaw Hall, $1,000

Poison at Penshaw Hall is a cosy murder mystery novel and sequel to the published Murder on Milverton Square.

Tania Kopytko: Celebrating Women in Performance (working title), $1,500

This concert at the Globe will use dance, story-telling, theatre and music to explore the different roles and aspirations women have in art and in wider society.