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Creative Communities Scheme (CCS)

Each year Creative New Zealand provides Creative Communities Scheme (CCS) funding to city and district councils throughout New Zealand to distribute in their area. The scheme supports more than 1,800 projects every year.


Closing dates:

Find out who got funded recently

Mostly under $2,000

Always open

Artforms funded:

This content is tagged as All Artforms .

1. Check your eligibility

CCS Brochure - Funding for Local Arts (pdf 168KB)

Who can apply

  • Individuals or groups can apply. 
  • Individuals must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.

Eligibility for the Creative Communities Scheme

To be eligible for the Creative Communities Scheme, your project must:

  • take place within the city or district where the application is made
  • be completed within 12 months of funding being approved
  • benefit local communities
  • not have started or finished before CCS funding is approved
  • not have already been funded through Creative New Zealand’s other arts funding programmes.

2. See what's funded

Types of project funded

Projects that get funded do at least one of the following:

  • encourage participation — they create opportunities for local communities to engage with, and participate in local arts activities
  • support diversity — they support the diverse artistic cultural traditions of local communities
  • enable young people — they enable young people (under 18 years) to engage with, and participate in the arts.

Examples of CCS projects

Projects that encourage participation

  • performances by community choirs, hip-hop groups, theatre companies musicians or poets
  • workshops on printmaking, writing or dancing
  • creation of new tukutuku, whakairo or kowhaiwhai for a local marae
  • exhibitions by local craft groups promoting weaving, pottery and carving
  • festivals featuring local artists

Projects that support diversity

  • festivals or exhibitions in Māori or Pasifika heritage or contemporary artforms
  • workshops, rehearsals, performances, festivals or exhibitions by local migrant communities
  • arts projects bringing together groups from a range of different communities
  • workshops, rehearsals, performances, festivals or exhibitions by groups with experience of disability or mental illness

Projects that enable young people to engage with, and participate in, the arts

  • a group of young people working with an artist to create a mural or street art
  • a group of young people creating a film about an issue that is important to them
  • printing a collection of writing by young people
  • music workshops for young people
  • an exhibition of visual art work by young people

Previously funded projects

To see previously funded projects and the amount funded, see your council website

Types of projects not funded

CCS grants cannot fund:

  • fundraising activities
  • developing galleries, marae, theatres or other venues or facilities
  • local council projects
  • projects which are mainly focused around other areas, eg health, education or the environment and that only have a very small arts component
  • arts projects in schools or other education institutions that are the core business of that institution or that are normally funded through curriculum or operating budgets.

What costs are funded

CCS grants can fund:

  • materials for arts activities or programmes
  • venue or equipment hire
  • personnel and administrative costs for short-term projects
  • promotion and publicity of arts activities.

What costs are not funded

CCS grants cannot fund:

  • ongoing administration or personnel costs that are not related to the specific project
  • costs for projects already started or completed
  • travel costs to attend performances or exhibitions in other areas
  • food or refreshment costs
  • buying equipment, such as computers, cameras, musical instruments, costumes, lights or uniforms
  • entry fees for competitions, contests and exams
  • prize money, awards and judges’ fees for competitions
  • royalties
  • buying artworks for collections
  • debt or interest on debt.

3. Make an application

Downloads (application forms and criteria)

Register or Log in

Applications are made to the local or district council that runs the scheme in your area. The contact person at each council can be found in the CCS local administrators contact list (above).

How to apply

Go to your local council website and search for ‘Creative Communities Scheme’ to find.

  • an application form
  • an application guide
  • closing dates (local councils have up to four application rounds per year)

4. Assessing applications

Your application goes to an assessment committee of people from your area who are appointed for their knowledge and experience of the arts and local communities.

5. Notification of results

Find out how and when you'll be notified of the results at your local or district council website or from the CCS administrator.

Successful applicants

If your project receives CCS funding, you must acknowledge the assistance of the scheme on any promotional material, using the local CCS logo. See the CCS logos and guidelines.

6. On completion


When your project is completed you will need to fill out a Project Completion Report. This form will be sent to you when you are notified about your grant. You need to complete and return this to your local administrator within two months of your project being completed.

7. Who to contact


For advice or information, call your local or district council and ask to speak to the Creative Communities Scheme administrator. For a list of CCS contacts across New Zealand, download the CCS Administrators list.

CCS Administrators list (pdf 138KB)

CCS Brochure - Funding for Local Arts (pdf 168KB)

CCS Administrators

If you are a CCS adminstrator, please contact:

Phone: 09 373 3066