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A collage of three images from South Island creative spacesCREATIVE COOL: Celebrating creativity and the arts in three South Island creative spaces: Community Art Works, Nelson; and Otautahi Creative Spaces and The White Room, Christchurch.


About creative spaces

Creative spaces are organisations and places where people who experience barriers to participation can make art, or participate in artistic activities such as theatre, dance, circus, music, film and creative writing. Barriers to participation include learning or physical disability, neurological conditions, mental ill health, age-related vulnerability (elderly or youth at risk), cultural isolation or poverty. These organisations and groups provide space, resources and assistance in ways that will lead to self-expression, empowerment and self-development through making art or participating in artistic activities.  There are many creative spaces communities throughout New Zealand. Some encourage an informal, drop-in approach while others prefer a structured approach, with programmes and workshops in writing, visual and performing arts.

Creative spaces are dynamic places, using a range of approaches to achieve similar outcomes. Read more about these approaches


This page aims to support and build the resilience and capability of creative spaces around the country by providing tools, case studies, funding advice and opportunities, publications and other resources, and useful links. We welcome your queries, links, suggestions and ideas.  Please contact Kate Hiatt, Creative Spaces Advisor, Arts Access Aotearoa (T: 04 802 4349 E:  

Minister announces $18 million fund for creative spaces

“Funding creative spaces will support new jobs and expand existing roles to help build a more sustainable sector and skilled workforce,” said Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni on Wednesday 24 February 2021, in a media release announcing the $18 million fund over three years to support creative spaces. “It will enable creative spaces to increase the reach and quality of their services and programmes, including into Māori and Pacific communities.” Read more

Report of survey findings

A report, Understanding the Value of Creative Spaces, presents key findings from a survey of creative spaces in late 2018, intended to provide key decision-makers and agencies with information about the sector to better understand how the sector operates, the services it provides and to whom. Hon Carmel Sepuloni requested the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the Office for Disability Issues and the Ministry of Social Development, with assistance from Arts Access Aotearoa, undertake a study on creative spaces to provide information about the sector. The report was released on 9 July 2019.

Creative spaces pānui

Sign up to receive your Creative spaces pānui here.

News, events, opportunities and tips

Arts Access Aotearoa can help you promote your creative space and reach a larger audience. We write news stories and post these on the website and, sometimes, on The Big Idea, Creative New Zealand, Ministry of Culture and Heritage, and Scoop websites. We also promote these stories on social media. Please email Iona with your newsworthy stories and artists. Also let us know if you want to be listed in the creative spaces directory and have any useful tips, resources, opportunities and events to share. 

You can post your accessible arts events on the Arts Access Aotearoa events calendar and we will broadcast it to other relevant what's on sites.




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