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Creative New Zealand Establishes Multi-million Dollar COVID-19 Response

Creative New Zealand’s governing body, the Arts Council, has empowered the national arts development agency to establish a multi-million-dollar Emergency Response Package to support artists, arts practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations coping with the impact of COVID-19.

Arts Council Chair Michael Moynahan says, “The Arts Council met for an emergency meeting today and recognises the severe impact of COVID-19 on the arts community. We’ve given Creative New Zealand the mandate to respond quickly and effectively, and wholeheartedly support their approach.”

Creative New Zealand will initially invest $4.5 million to kick-start the package, which will have two components:

  • Emergency support for existing investment clients – open to the 83 multi-year funded arts organisations in the Toi Tōtara Haemata and Toi Uru Kahikatea investment programmes (investment clients).
  • Resilience grants for artists, arts practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations – open to eligible, non-investment clients. There will be quick turnaround periods and rolling weekly decisions.

In order to be flexible, responsive and responsible funders, Creative New Zealand has suspended all funding programmes currently open, due to open or with applications being assessed. This is to acknowledge that many projects can no longer take place in the way they were originally conceived. Many people’s personal circumstances have also dramatically changed. Suspending programmes will allow the organisation to concentrate its efforts on this emergency response.

Next Tuesday (24 March), Creative New Zealand will give further detail about the Emergency Response Package. This will explain the purposes of these two new programmes, and clarify eligibility and when the programmes will be open for applications.

All artists, art practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations should also be looking at the Government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Package to provide hardship support. This includes the COVID-19 Leave Payment and the Wage Subsidy. The organisation is also working with government, through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, to better understand how this package can help the sector.

Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright says, “This is a time for us all to do what we can to support the arts community, for whom the impact of COVID-19 is dire. Live presentation of art to audiences and engagement with communities is increasingly impossible. At Creative New Zealand, we are dedicating our efforts to this mahi. We’re in a reasonably strong financial position with healthy reserves to call upon for a rainy day. This is that time. We have quickly freed up funds, and we’re now working out how best to get those out to the arts community.”

“We have received a lot of really useful feedback from the arts community in the last few days, and some very pertinent questions too. Please be aware that in the short-term our focus will be on those directly affected by the COVID-19 announcements. We are establishing a more personalised approach to acknowledging your ideas and responding to your queries. Thank you for bearing with us while we get this set up,” Stephen says.

Read Creative New Zealand’s earlier COVID-19 communications:


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