Creative Communities Scheme fund opens to empower local arts projects

Published on 29 January 2024

Sinfonia performing on stage at the Regent.

The Creative Communities Scheme is back for a second round of funding for 2023-24, with applications open from now until 26 February.

The Creative Communities Scheme is a partnership between Palmerston North City Council and Creative New Zealand to fund local arts projects.   

The total funding 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 $3000. We also allocated $21,118.39 to two applications as part of the Creative Communities Festival Fund 2023-2024. 

In this round, $68,757 of funding is available.

In round one of the sheme last September, we allocated $41,487 to 15 arts events and projects which included music competitions, theatre performances and art and photography installations and exhibitions.

A previous recipient of funding from the scheme is the Bhutanese Society of New Zealand, which received $2,000 for publishing and translating its Nepali book.  

The author of the book, Gopal Poudyel says it was first published in 2019 in the Nepali language and was requested from Council and other communities.  

“The main purpose of the project is to share our story with wider communities and also inspire and motivate other writers from our community as well as others to publish their stories so we can read them.”  

He says the Creative Communities Scheme funding helped with the completion of his book in many ways, such as translating, proofreading, publication, and some of the courier costs.  

The 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. It is hoped this book will give people a deeper understanding of Bhutanese and refugee life.  

Chair of Council’s Culture and Sport Committee, Councillor Rachel Bowen says the funding empowers creativity and invests in both individual artists and the community.

“Each year as a community we continue to benefit from what is produced from these projects. It’s great to see people reconnecting with their culture, heritage or love for the arts. The benefit also lies in watching so many individuals flourish and the encouragement it gives them to keep pursuing their goals.”

She encourages anyone wanting support to make their community arts project a reality should consider applying.

Come to a drop-in session for more information

Creative Communities Scheme public drop-in sessions will be held on Tuesday 13 February from 12pm to 1pm at Square Edge and on Thursday 15 February from 5pm to 6pm at the Palmerston North Central Library. Come along to ask one of our Council team about the scheme and get advice on the application process.  

For funding criteria, to make an application and to read about previous successful applicants, head tothe Creative Communities Scheme page on our website.

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