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The Future Strengths Strategy

“A healthy arts infrastructure cannot survive on dreams, passion, commitment and creativity alone,” says Cathryn Robinson, Creative New Zealand’s Arts Development Manager. “What’s needed to support those essential ingredients is a mix of financial, organisational and artistic strength. The right mix is vital to ensure the long-term viability of our country’s professional arts.”

The increased funding made available through the Government’s Cultural Recovery Package has enabled Creative New Zealand to begin addressing these issues through Future Strengths, a three-year arts development strategy designed to strengthen and develop New Zealand’s professional arts infrastructure.

Future Strengths has four goals:

1. Capability: Supporting existing organisations to review their strategic, artistic or organisational position and implement strategies that will strengthen marketing and audience development capabilities across the sector.
3. Sustainability: Increasing financial support for organisations, particularly in the performing arts, to stabilise their financial position; ensure they can plan with greater certainty; and enjoy greater security in their funding base.
5. Development: Providing opportunities for organisations to invest in new projects of national significance; to experiment; and to manage artistic risk-taking.
7. New Voices: Supporting emerging organisations of strategic significance to move from project funding to annual funding, adding “new voices” that speak to new audiences and communities and strengthen New Zealand’s professional arts infrastructure.
The Future Strengths strategy has provided Creative New Zealand with a valuable tool to identify priorities for additional funding to the professional arts infrastructure. Overall Creative New Zealand is investing an additional 30% in the portfolio of annually and multi-year funded organisations.

Along with substantial increases to the funding offers that Creative New Zealand is making to existing organisations, 11 organisations have been offered three-year guaranteed funding for the period 2001 to 2003. Previously four organisations were in receipt of multi-year funding.

The organisations being offered multi-year funding are Toi Maori Aotearoa, Auckland Philharmonia, Auckland Theatre Company, Arts Access Aotearoa, Canterbury Regional Opera, NBR New Zealand Opera, Tower New Zealand Youth Choir, Chamber Music New Zealand, Circa Theatre/TACT, Centrepoint Theatre and The Court Theatre.

As part of its ‘New Voices’ goal, six emerging organisations have moved from project funding to annual funding. The range of organisations moving to annual funding reflects a commitment to see a greater diversity of cultural forms, artistic disciplines, and audience and community reach within the portfolio of recurrently funded organisations.

‘New Voices’ include the New Zealand Book Council, Capital E’s National Theatre for Children, Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust, Artists Alliance, Te Whanau Paneke and Te Whare tu Taua o Aotearoa.
Further opportunities for ‘New Voices’ and strengthening of the overall portfolio will exist in the second and third years of the Future Strengths strategy.

To complement funding offers a range of initiatives will be implemented over the next three years to provide resources at a pan-organisational level. These include audience and market development and industry based research.

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