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Creative Communities Scheme

Creative Communities Fund banner

If you have a great community arts and culture event in mind and need some financial support to realise your idea, the Creative Communities Scheme (CCS) may be able to assist you.

Latest news

Round 1 for 2023-24 opens on Monday, 2 October 2023 and applications can be submitted through the Tauranga CCS application portal via the ‘Apply now’ button below. The deadline is 5pm on Tuesday, 31 October.

There will usually be three rounds a year with deadlines on 31 October, 28 February and 26 May. The application portal will open up to one month before each deadline.

Creative Communities at a glance

The CCS scheme aims to increase participation from the local community in the arts sector, support the diversity of local cultural traditions, and encourage and engage young people to participate in local arts. ‘Arts’ is broadly defined to mean all forms of creative and interpretative expression.

The Creative Communities Scheme is a partnership between Creative New Zealand (the national arts development agency) and local councils in New Zealand. The scheme promotes community involvement, diversity and young people participating in the arts.

Creative New Zealand (CNZ) spends over $3.2 million each year supporting around 1,800 projects through the Creative Communities Scheme. Tauranga City Council administers the Creative Communities Scheme for Tauranga.

Applicants must show how their proposed project meets one or more of the three funding criteria set by CNZ.

  • Access and Participation – the project will create opportunities for local communities to engage with and participate in arts activities.
  • Diversity – the project will support the diverse arts and cultural traditions of local communities, enriching and promoting their uniqueness and cultural diversity.
  • Young people – the project will enable and encourage young people (under 18 years) to engage and actively participate in the arts.

Applicants should also be able to show that their proposed project meets at least one of Tauranga city’s six Community Funding Principles of Support.

  • Communities of Need and Social Equity - We want our city to be a great place to live for everyone. As our city grows and changes, we want to ensure that no one in our community is left behind. We support events that activate areas of high deprivation and engage with our communities of need. These communities have been identified through the Draft Community Wellbeing Strategic Plan as Arataki, Gate Pa, Greerton, Kairua, Matapihi and Merivale.
  • Encourage Kaupapa Māori Outcomes - We value the importance of strengthening and supporting Kaupapa Māori outcomes and acknowledge the need for nurturing strong relationships founded on Māori values, principles and practices.
  • Community Pride and Belonging - We are committed to celebrating our diverse cultural identities and heritages, and we will foster the creative arts to enhance the quality of life of our community, and to enable people to feel a sense of belonging and inclusion.
  • Wellbeing and participation - Tauranga is an inclusive city that enables accessible opportunities for our community to participate in and experience arts and culture events, to support improved wellbeing.
  • Safe and Resilient Communities - We want people to be safe and feel safe, in their homes, neighbourhoods and public places.
  • Environmental Sustainability - We support environmental restoration, helping minimise our impact on the environment and promoting sustainability of our resources in Tauranga Moana.

How much can I apply for?

There is no limit to how much you can apply for, however the majority of grants are between $2,000 - $4,000+GST.

When can I apply?

Applications for Round 1 are open 9am Monday 2, October to 5pm Tuesday, 31 October.

How to apply

Applications to the Creative Communities Scheme are administered through an online application service, powered by SmartyGrants. Find out more about this process and begin drafting your application below. You can save drafts as you go along so you don’t need it complete it all in one go.

Apply now

Make sure to read the key fund information below before applying.

Key fund information

Creative Communities funding rounds will be held three times a year from 2023, in February, May and October.

A total of $54,000 +GST is available in the May 2023 round, for projects taking place between 21 June 2023 and 20 June 2024. The next round of funding will open in October 2023 for events that take place from 21 November 2023 to 20 June 2024.

The number of projects supported varies depending on the round, but as a guide we receive an average of 45-50 applications per round, with an approval rate of approximately 40%. Whilst there is no upper limit on how much funding a project can apply for, the average value of approved grants in the two previous rounds was $2,900.

Full details of what can and cannot be funded through Creative Communities is available on the Creative New Zealand website, however if you have any questions you can also contact us on creativecommunities@tauranga.govt.nz.

The Tauranga area for funding is defined the same way as the electoral boundary for Tauranga.

The Creative Communities Scheme full application guide can be downloaded here. It also features an example application.

No, you don’t need to provide supplier quotes with your application, although our panel find them helpful in understanding your application and as a demonstration that you have done accurate research. You will need to provide a high-level budget and you may need to upload a secondary document to support this if you are an organisation or group. You are strongly advised to add images of other events you’ve created, and any statements of support from project partners.

All applications are assessed by a volunteer panel, comprised of local arts practitioners and people with experience in working with community organisations. The Tauranga City Council Arts and Culture Manager represents the Council on the panel. Find out more about our current panellists.

After an initial assessment, there is an opportunity for applicants to present to the funding panel in person. If you would like to do this, you can indicate this on the application form.

If your application is successful, we will email you to confirm your grant.

If your application is unsuccessful, you will be advised of the outcome, along with reasoning why this decision was made. Please note that the Creative Communities Scheme is a contestable funding process, and demand often exceeds the funds available.

Funding decisions will be advised to applicants by Monday, 19 June 2023. Funding will be released to applicants on Tuesday, 20 June 2023.

There are several options:

You can contact TCC’s team via creativecommunities@tauranga.govt.nz.

You can attend our next Funding Hui:

  • 5.30pm on Tuesday, 9 May, at The Incubator's Creative Campus building, Historic Village, 17th Avenue, Tauranga South.

Registration and more information.

You may also wish to contact the team at Creative Bay of Plenty for independent advice. CBOP can provide funding advice, and as previous coordinators of CCS they have excellent knowledge of what makes a successful application.

We are delighted that the recent changes to the COVID-19 Protection Frameworks (CPF) have enabled many arts and community events that had been cancelled over the previous two years to now go ahead. Whilst the protection framework has been relaxed, we encourage all event organisers to consider how events can be delivered in a way that is safe for the whole community.

Any offer of financial support through the Creative Communities Scheme is subject to your event being able to be delivered under the COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF). If the event is unable to proceed for COVID-19 related reasons (whether they be voluntary or mandated), or if your event is materially altered to adapt to the applicable CPF Level(s), then you may have to return your grant.

In instances of COVID-19 related event cancellation, and when the financial position of your event has been negatively affected by the cancellation, you may submit a written request to us to retain all or part of your grant. Should a change be made to the COVID-19 protection framework that would lead to event cancellations, further information will be provided to successful applicants on options for retaining all or part of your grant.

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