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, 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.”

More than 11,000 people a year use creative spaces throughout Aotearoa, the Minister said.

“With this funding we could see participation rates lift by around 2,000 people per year over the next three years. This new funding acknowledges the value of creative spaces in communities and the benefits to participants’ wellbeing from accessing these services.

“The possibility of engaging even more people through this funding means we are reaching those who may not otherwise have access to such important and relevant creative spaces.”

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage has partnered with Arts Access Aotearoa to support the application process and the recipients over the longer-term.

This is the first funding opportunity as part of the $70 million Te Tahua Whakahaumaru Creative Arts Recovery Employment (CARE) Fund announced last May as part of Budget 2020. Applications for further CARE funding to support the wider arts and cultural sector will open from late March 2021.

Richard Benge, Executive Director, Arts Access Aotearoa, says the Creative Spaces Initiative is the culmination of the advocacy that Arts Access Aotearoa and the sector have undertaken to promote the value of creative spaces to the health and wellbeing of their artists and participants.

“Today’s announcement is a milestone,” Richard Benge says. “I would like to thank Minister Sepuloni for this very significant recognition of the benefits that a sustainable creative spaces sector can provide to Aotearoa’s diverse communities.”

Applications for this first round of the Creative Spaces Initiative are open now and will close at noon on Wednesday 24 March 2021. A second funding round is expected to open in early May and is aimed at creative spaces that need more time or support to apply.

More information about creative spaces funding, how to apply and application forms are available on the Manatū Taonga website. There’s also more information on the CARE Fund

For support with funding applications, please contact:

Hannah Dahlke
Creative Spaces Funding Advisor
Arts Access Aotearoa
T: 027 216 5816  E:
Works Monday to Thursday

Benedict Reid
Creative Spaces Funding Advisor
Arts Access Aotearoa
T: 021 120 9690 E:
Works Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday


Minister announces $18 million fund for creative spaces


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