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Local Creatives Supported Through Whanganui & Partners’ Amplify Grants

Five local creatives have received funding in the inaugural round of Amplify Grants, an initiative from Whanganui & Partners.

The funding is intended to support the equipment and technology creatives need to take their work to the next level.

Emma Bugden from Whanganui & Partners says the grants were launched to fill a gap in funding for creatives.

“Most arts grants support the stuff that happens out front, like exhibitions, gigs or performances,” Bugden said. “But the more I work with the creative sector the more I see the need to support and strengthen the behind-the-scenes infrastructure that enables creativity to flourish.”

In selecting the grant recipients, Bugden said the assessment panel evaluated applications based on how much impact the funding could have both on the creative workers and on the sector itself.

“I hope that, over time, the Amplify grants strengthen the creative sector, literally amplifying our creative voices. Whanganui is home to extraordinary talent, and I want to lift up the sector by helping that talent reach its full potential,” Bugden said.

The funding round received 27 applications from local creatives. Bugden says the assessment panel was impressed with the quality and range of applications and had a very hard decision in front of them. She says the panel was looking for applications that demonstrated existing achievement, but also where funding could make a difference.

“I was excited by the recipients they ultimately chose, which cover the full range of creative industries. We’ve funded a glass artist, paper makers, a co-working space, a taonga puoro designer and a YouTube content creator. Four of our five recipients are Māori artists or organisations, and all have shown leadership and innovation in their field. I feel enormously heartened at the state of the sector and at the ambition, belief and generosity of our brightest and best.”

Funding was awarded to glassblower Katie Brown for the development of e-commerce capabilities, YouTube content creator Te Wai-Nui Ranginui Mansell towards the construction of a new workspace, creative co-working space owner Jack Mitchell-Anyon for the constructions of moveable walls, harakeke paper and Māori educational product creator Pakohe Papers towards a new computer system, and taonga puoro designer Tom Carroll towards the purchase of workshop tools.


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