$1 million boost for Tāmaki Makaurau arts and culture

Forty-four arts groups and artists will receive support throughout the year ahead to help them deliver a smorgasbord of creative events and activities across Tāmaki Makaurau.

Auckland Council’s Planning, Environment and Parks Committee today approved $1.03 million in arts funding from the council’s Regional Arts and Culture grants programme.

Committee deputy chair Cr Angela Dalton says the range of unique experiences supported by this year’s grants are bound to captivate people across all ages and interest groups.

“Every year, we are seeing more people embrace the arts and get involved. The benefit that brings to our city is invaluable,” Cr Dalton says.

“We know that investing in the people who make these wonderful experiences happen leads to a flourishing creative economy and makes Tāmaki Makaurau a better place to live.”

This programme aims to support a wide range of community-led initiatives to provide inspiring experiences to more Aucklanders, in line with Toi Whītiki, Auckland’s Arts and Culture Strategic Action Plan.

Funding is allocated across three categories, allowing a wide range of regional artists and organisations an opportunity to be considered for grants, ranging from $8,000 for digital content support to $180,000 over three years to provide ongoing strategic support to an art gallery.

Each application is carefully assessed on how well it will meet Toi Whītiki goals – among them is bringing Aucklanders together to support wellbeing and connectness.

“We are lucky to have such a rich pool of talent within our region. I hope all Aucklanders embrace the opportunities to see these artists in action and to be enriched,” says Cr Dalton.

The committee first considered smaller high-quality initiatives that may not otherwise have had the financial means to reach a final curtain call – for audience development and programming grants.

Some experiences from this year’s recipients to watch out for include Neke – a Māori and Pacific stage production, Badjelly the Witch Glowshow, performances from Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand, and Āhurutanga Poetry Nights.

More established organisations were considered for business and capacity development grants, to support strategic, business and marketing plans, digital and web activities.

Recipients in this group include Portage Ceramics, the Auckland Festival of Photography and Atamira Dance Collective.

The third category – strategic relationships – supports organisations that already contribute to Tāmaki Makaurau’s overall thriving arts and culture sector, with extended funding over two or three years.

Objectspace, Te Pou Theatre, the Basement Theatre, Silo Theatre, New Zealand Comedy Trust and New Zealand Dance Festival are among the well-known successful applicants to receive ongoing grants.

In addition, the committee has approved a three-year grant this year to The Dust Palace; an innovative Tāmaki Makaurau-based circus performance company aiming to lift circus sector standards internationally through kaupapa Māori circus training.

Unsuccessful applicants have been provided with guidance to support future fund applications and advice on alternative funding avenues.

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Pictured: Professional performers from The Dust Palace. Photo by Paul Menezes

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Published: April 2024