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Innovation Funding Flows, 2021 Events Confirmed

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage has published details of the first 32 projects to be supported by the Cultural Sector Innovation Fund, which collectively will receive $6.5 million.

Deputy Chief Executive Te Aka Tūhono Investment & Outcomes Joe Fowler said it was fantastic to see a wide variety of participants from the Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington and online events receive funding to take their next steps.

"Several projects are using digital technology to create solutions and opportunities across the cultural sector, for example a platform that measures the impact of wellbeing on people experiencing art, and a dynamic platform for audiences to experience theatre online. The Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts has also been funded to accelerate its work on a new value-driven ticketing platform designed to increase accessibility by allowing people to select their own ticket price based on their ability to pay or their desire to support an event.

"These investments have the potential to both increase access and participation in the arts in Aotearoa and to support a more sustainable and resilient sector.

"We know it’s a challenging time for the sector and that this may continue in the months ahead. We urge everyone to stay strong, stay connected and to access all the Government supports that are available, including the Wage Subsidy and the Resurgence Support Payment . There is also extra Delta relief support available through agencies including Creative New Zealand and the Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund as a last resort for organisations that are at risk of failure."

Phase one of the Innovation Fund programme was being delivered by a nationwide kanohi ki te kanohi face-to-face event series, Te Urungi: Innovating Aotearoa. The escalation in alert levels due to COVID-19, has necessitated a move to an online format so the fund can continue to reach across the regions to support the arts and culture sector.

The remaining 2021 Te Urungi events have now been confirmed, with more details on the Manatū Taonga website.

Manawatū-Whanganui 29 - Sun 31 October

Napier Te Matau-a-Māui 12-14 November

Hamilton Waikato 26-28 November

Nelson Tauihu-o-te-Waka Marlborough and Whakatū 10-12 December

With the support of mana whenua, and considering regional connectivity and technology access issues in Northland, the Kerikeri Te Tai Tokerau event on 15-17 October is rescheduled to early 2022 in the hope it can be delivered kanohi ki te kanohi. Other events to be scheduled for 2022 include Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Tūranganui-a-Kiwa Gisborne communities.

The schedule allows for face-to-face delivery where COVID-19 alert levels allow, but this will only occur at Alert Level 1, Joe Fowler says.

"Moving from an immersive kanohi ki te kanohi weekend to online delivery provides us with new challenges and opportunities: we are working with the sector and mana whenua in each region to create the best experience possible for participants and to support achievement of the fund outcomes."

The Innovation Fund is part of the broader Arts and Culture COVID Recovery package of $374 million. The aim of the Innovation Fund is to improve sustainability and resilience of the cultural sector, provide commercial opportunities, and improve access and participation through innovation.

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