Creative New Zealand’s First Phase COVID-19 Response, $16m
Creative New Zealand can now confirm its Emergency Response Package, announced on Friday in response to COVID-19, will include a first phase $16 million investment to buffer and support the arts community, with benefits extending well beyond the immediate crisis.
The initial $16 million investment, with funding opening 14 April, will be distributed to the sector through to 30 June 2020 (end of Creative New Zealand’s financial year). It includes $4.5 million of new money announced on Friday plus $11.5 million repurposed from other programmes. Phase two, which will provide support beyond June 2020, will be explored at the April Arts Council meeting.
Michael Moynahan, Chair of Creative New Zealand’s governing body, the Arts Council, says, “The Creative New Zealand team is moving swiftly to further develop an agile Emergency Response Package, enabling quick decisions that will give some support and continuity. We hope the arts community see this as a significant signpost – we value you, we hear you, and we are here to support you through this challenging, unpredictable time and into the future.”
Creative New Zealand is acutely aware of the challenges the arts community faces and is actively engaging with a number of artists, arts practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations who face very uncertain futures.
Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright says, “This situation is unprecedented, meaning we need to pull out all the stops and do what we can for the arts. 2020 will be the year of Creative New Zealand’s highest investment to date, reflecting the extraordinary need for public investment to support the sector in these challenging times.”
“We’re still developing our Emergency Response Package, and how we can deliver it within current constraints and the rapidly changing environment. We will provide more information on the criteria and application process as soon as possible, and ahead of the 14 April opening date,” Stephen says.
Creative New Zealand’s Emergency Response Package will initially have two components:
- Resilience Grants for eligible artists, arts practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations (non-investment clients) who we know are suffering, to help them recover, maintain and develop their practice in a completely changed environment. There are two opportunities:
- Arts Continuity Grant (up to $50k), supporting the creation of new work or the reframing of an existing project in light of COVID-19, including creative and professional development, promotion and distribution (eg, supporting new ways of working).
- Emergency Relief Grant (up to $10k per individual), for eligible artists and arts practitioners, collectives and groups who we know may be experiencing devastating loss of income and opportunity and an uncertain future, and who have applied for the announced government support. More details to come – applications will need to include details of the impact of COVID-19 on their arts practice.
Creative New Zealand is planning quick application turnarounds and rolling weekly decisions for both the Arts Continuity Grant and Emergency Relief Grant, but will monitor this commitment and the rapidly changing environment.
- Short-term Relief for Investment Clients – open to existing investment clients and on top of existing funding, with priority given to those materially negatively impacted by COVID-19, to help them stabilise their businesses and remain viable.
Investment clients are the 83 multi-year funded arts organisations in the Toi Tōtara Haemata and Toi Uru Kahikatea investment programmes, employing between them many artists and arts practitioners (including technical specialists), and who may have had to cancel or defer programmes and carry the impact of incurred costs without the anticipated revenue.
Application assessment will take up to 20 working days, beginning as soon as the application is received. More details to come – applications will need to include a re-forecasted programme and budget.
In the meantime, all artists, art practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations are encouraged to take advantage of the hardship support available through the Government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Package (extended yesterday to provide cover for self-employed, charities and others). They should also check with any other funders to see what support they might be able to provide.
Creative New Zealand will continue to work with government through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (the Ministry) to better understand how the government package can help the sector. The Ministry says that, in addition to the support available to practitioners and organisations through the Government’s response package, Ministers are alert to the serious consequences of COVID-19 on the cultural sector and are seeking advice on how best to respond.
In order to be flexible, responsive and responsible funders, Creative New Zealand on Friday took the essential step of suspending all funding programmes that were open, due to open or had applications being assessed. Suspending programmes has allowed the organisation to concentrate its efforts on this emergency response, including freeing up a further $11.5 million, and enabling it to begin making decisions on applications for the new grants earlier than it would have decided any of the now-suspended programmes.
Anyone who applied for one of the suspended funding programmes can still access their application and use it to apply for grants within the Emergency Response Package, if appropriate (or a future funding programme when these re-open).
Together, the Arts Council and Creative New Zealand will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the arts sector and what further investment it can make to ensure the effectiveness of the Emergency Response Package going forward.
Read Creative New Zealand’s earlier COVID-19 communications: www.creativenz.govt.nz/covid-19-cnz-response