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Earthquake emergency assistance provided for the arts

24 May 2011

This content is tagged as Media arts .


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Creative New Zealand has approved $268,587 in 11 grants to support artists and arts organisations directly affected by Christchurch’s February earthquake and provided a $60,000 boost to community arts funding.

The emergency assistance grants will be used for a range of initiatives from subsidising tickets for the Christchurch Arts Festival to a proposal by the Christchurch Arts Gallery to set up studio space for displaced artists, and another to support a local art exhibition. 

Support has also been provided to maintain business continuity and to replace materials, tools and equipment.

Creative New Zealand has established an Earthquake Emergency Response Fund to assist artists, arts practitioners and arts organisations directly affected by the 4 September 2010 or 22 February 2011 earthquakes.

“The power of the arts to entertain, inspire and to enhance a sense of well-being is essential to the people of Christchurch in these incredibly difficult times,” said Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright.

“We’ve been humbled by the resilience of Christchurch people and are looking forward to receiving more proposals, which will help to regenerate the cultural life of the city.   It’s fantastic to see the arts community is moving quickly from recovery to planning for the future, for example The Court Theatre’s initiative to set up a temporary theatre in Addington.”

The Creative Communities Scheme in Christchurch will also be boosted with an additional $60,000 to the $214,000 already available for community arts projects in the city for the 2011/2012 financial year.

“One of the lessons learnt in the aftermath of the terrible bush fires in Australia was the restorative benefits of people being able to come together as a community and participate in local arts projects,” Mr Wainwright said.  “Not only were they getting out and meeting people but also doing something they enjoyed.”

Creative New Zealand has also agreed to provide grants in advance to a value of $375,000 to the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO).  The CSO will receive all grants covering the period from July until the end of the year, by August.

“This will help them maintain their financial stability and business continuity while they plan for the future in an uncertain environment,” Mr Wainwright said.

In March, Creative New Zealand provided grants in advance totalling $506,403 to four Christchurch-based arts organisations, Arts on Tour, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, The Court Theatre and The Physics Room. These grants covered the period up to end of June.

Information about eligibility criteria for the Earthquake Emergency Response Fund can be found on the Creative New Zealandwebsite. The fund was established in addition to Creative New Zealand’s existing funding programmes.


Earthquake Emergency Response Fund Grants – May 2011


Individual or Organisation



Arts Canterbury Inc

Art exhibition at the George Hotel


Christchurch Arts Festival

Ticket subsidy and underwriting sponsorship and grant applications


Christchurch Art Gallery

Rolling Maul proposal to provide studio space for displaced artists


Christchurch Music Industry Trust

To support staff salaries while awaiting community funding decisions


Christchurch Writer’s & Readers Festival

Support a programme of one-off events


Dance & Physical Theatre Trust

Towards purchase of business equipment to replace that lost in the earthquake


Downstage Theatre

Cover costs resulting from cancellation of The Clinic's (Christchurch-based company) performance of Love you Approximately in February 2010


Fortune Theatre

To enable the Fortune to mount a season of Five Women Wearing the Same Dress in collaboration with The Court Theatre


Pacific Underground

Towards business continuance


Zina Swanson

James Oram

Replacement of materials and tools

 (each artist)