Creative Community Scheme is open for applications

Creative Community Scheme is open for applications

Emerging Auckland artists and creatives can now apply for a Creative Communities Scheme (CCS) grant, offered by Auckland Council in partnership with Creative New Zealand.

CCS distributes $1 million to Tāmaki Makaurau each year in the form of community grants that often play a key role in bringing arts-related initiatives to life.

Auckland Council Regional Funding Advisor Marion Prebble says the fund is particularly suitable for emerging creatives as it has a relatively simple application process that helps artists deliver high-quality artistic outcomes for their communities.

“We are particularly keen to hear from young people who are helping others to participate in or access the arts in their area,” she says.

Mangere-Otahuhu local councilor Christine O’Brien, member of the CCS south-east committee, says the grant recipients represent a wide range of cultures and disciplines, ages and talents.

The fund is able to support both traditional culture and heritage expertise and help create new, exciting initiatives, which often then grow to a wider audience in Auckland, she says.

“The real beauty of CCS projects is that they bring people together; they can deepen understanding between communities and help build resilience within those communities. Art connects people and, as we have recently seen, helps them get through difficult times.”

Auckland pianist Shan Liu is a young musician who has achieved a major milestone this year with the support of CCS funding.

At the age of 13, Shan performed as a soloist in his first full-length concert with a large symphony orchestra for the Manukau Symphony Orchestra’s Rachmaninov 2 concert at the Due Drop Events Center in March.

Manukau Symphony Orchestra (MSO) Youth Scholarship Musicians Olivia Yang, 10, Samantha Berrington, 16, and Ryan Qiao, 13, also performed for the first time at the Manukau event.

MSO Youth Scholarship Musicians Olivia Yang, 10, Samantha Berrington, 16, and Ryan Qiao, 13, also performed as part of the orchestra for the first time at the Manukau event.

The orchestra’s general manager, Shelley Robertson, said the event gave the orchestra’s long-standing Tuakana Mentorship program of professional musicians the opportunity to mentor community players and the next generation of younger stars.

“This collaboration was certainly appreciated by both the musicians and the audience, with almost 500 people attending our event. The young musicians involved also attracted a younger audience, so that fulfilled another goal of ours: reaching a broader audience within the community.”

Maha Tomo, an Auckland sculptor, is another CCS recipient, who has used the funding to deliver bone-making workshops to East Auckland communities over the summer holidays. Between 10 and 15 students attended each class, learning about tikanga Māori and creating a traditionally carved bone taonga/pendant to keep or gift to a loved one.

“I am grateful for the support – this funding will allow my workshops to be offered free of charge to anyone interested in learning the holistic beauty of Māori arts and crafts,” says Maha Tomo.

The Re-Creators group from Massey also received CCS funding to deliver several workshops on reusing waste such as cardboard, textiles, plastic and wood into new works of art.

Founder and CEO Ger Tew says the benefits of upcycling were shared with many more people because CCS funding removed a cost barrier.

“It makes our workshops more accessible. People of all ages can learn how to become more climate resilient by changing the way they think about waste,” she says. “Children in particular are very good at rethinking waste as something valuable and finding new opportunities to reuse things at home.”

CCS applications will be accepted until August 25 for projects planned within the next twelve months.

Auckland Council Regional Funding Advisors are available to assist with the application process. For support, email [email protected].

Once applications are closed, experienced local committees will review and award the grants. The average CCS grant in Auckland is $5000.


Applications must enable at least one of the following priorities:

  • Create opportunities for local communities to access and participate in local arts activities such as performances, workshops, exhibitions, festivals and Māori art for a local marae.

  • Support the diverse artistic cultural traditions of local communities – such as migrant or Māori/Pasifika art, or reach people with specific needs such as disabilities or mental illness.

  • Enabling young people (under 18 years of age) to engage with and participate in the arts.

Find out more:

Important data:

  • Applications will be accepted from June 1 to August 25, 2024 for projects scheduled for completion within the next 12 months.

  • This is the second and final round of funding for 2024.

  • The first opportunity for 2025 to apply for a CCS subsidy will open on December 1, 2024.