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Think outside the cube and win for the arts

Think outside the cube and win for the arts

Are you creative enough to help redesign the regional arts scene?

A competition has been developed with a new approach to supporting the arts.

Called the Cube, it is the first joint initiative of a group that includes the Auckland, Manukau, North Shore and Waitakere City Councils, Creative NZ, Community Employment Group and ART (Arts Regional Trust). It is designed to find practical proposals to help Auckland's arts and creative sector thrive.

Organisers are calling for entrepreneurial ideas that will help release creative energy into the community and will contribute to the region's life and economy. They are not looking for scripts, songs or concepts - instead they want the business, product or service ideas that will make these things happen.

Ideas can already be well developed, or just a vision, and entrants can be any age and from anywhere in New Zealand.

The competition builds on last year's inaugural Creative Cities funding programme to become more of an ideas and innovation accelerator, involving mentoring and business development workshops and support.

North Shore City Council's community services and parks committee chairperson, Margaret Miles, says the awards are aimed at helping develop and maintain the arts infrastructure in Auckland, and to retain artists in the sector.

"These awards provide the practical, hands on support and opportunities for the arts to develop and flourish. We're enthusiastic about the encouragement this will provide for the arts and creative people. It takes an innovative approach to developing the arts infrastructure and creative industries of the region that breaks away from the traditional funding approach.

"It will lead to the development of innovative systems and products that bring economic benefits to the city and the region. We're delighted to be a part of that," Councillor Miles says.

Entrants from throughout New Zealand are encouraged to submit their ideas and entry online, and the Cube stays open for these until October 20. The Cube is interested in ideas in the fields of fashion, landscape architecture, architecture, television and radio, moving images, performing arts, design, music, literature and publishing, heritage and cultural tourism, interactive leisure software, animation and website design.

>From the 16 finalists, two not-for-profit ideas will each receive $50,000 in initial funding, and from the commercial ideas, two will receive $50,000 in seed funding. The first category of winners will participate in a profile-raising and capital-raising programme to accelerate the development of the venture, and the commercial category winners will gain their creators access to the Icehouse business incubator.

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