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Young people at forefront of new Creative NZ funding

Young Kiwis will have more opportunities to explore their creativity, with 20 artists and arts organisations awarded a share of Creative New Zealand’s new Toi Rangatahi funding for projects involving young people, aged 10 to 25 years.

The Toi Rangatahi funds are part of a $5 million, five-year ‘Young New Zealanders and the arts’ initiative announced by Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern in June 2018. The funds support new, high-quality arts projects by, with or for young New Zealanders.

“We’re excited to see this first round of Toi Rangatahi funding take flight, and to know that the selected projects will provide many new opportunities for young New Zealanders to engage with the arts and also contribute their own creativity to the national arts kete of knowledge,” said Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager, Arts Development Services, Cath Cardiff.

Creative New Zealand research shows that involvement in the arts can improve confidence and well-being, give a sense of inclusion, and make young people “feel brilliant”.

“We’re particularly pleased that, as well as supporting new opportunities for under-represented communities, we’ve been able to add real authenticity by including young people in the development of projects and in assessment of the proposals. The programme also provides for young people to lead their own projects.”

Communities who are currently under-represented in Creative new Zealand’s funding profile were a key target of these funds and some of the successful projects are for young people in youth justice residencies, those with complex mental health needs, and those in low decile schools.

For the first time, Creative New Zealand included young people in the 20-strong external team assessing the 106 eligible applications. One of the youth assessors also contributed to the design of the funds, in consultation with Ministry of Youth Development, and provided capability support as part of the assessment process.

Creative New Zealand increased the total budget for this round from $500,000 to $737,681, using funding available from the wider initiative, to recognise the high quality of applications that strongly delivered to the purpose of the Toi Rangatahi funds.

“We were inspired by the quality and innovation expressed in these proposals and wanted to support as many of them as we could,” Cath said.

The successful projects encompass all artforms, including dance, literature, music, theatre, customary Māori arts and visual arts. Projects include workshops, performance, exhibitions, street arts and mentoring, with activity in main centres and across regional centres that include Waikato, Northland, Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay.

The Toi Rangatahi funds, and the results this round, are as follows:

Toi Rangatahi Participation Fund4 projects that support artists/organisations to provide opportunities for young people aged 10-14 to participate in high-quality arts activities. Grants of up to $65,000.

Toi Rangatahi Engagement Fund12 projects that support established organisations to provide opportunities for people aged 15-25 to engage in high-quality arts experiences. Grants of up to $65,000.

Toi Rangatahi Leadership Fund4 projects that support young people aged 15-25 to lead high quality arts projects by, with and for other young people. Grants of up to $10,000.

There is a further round this year for the Toi Rangatahi Leadership Fund only, closing in late July. The three Toi Rangatahi funds will be offered again in 2020.

Videos about the funding:

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern announcing the funding

Minister of Social Development and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Hon Carmel Sepuloni announcing the Toi Rangatahi funds


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