Arts funding

We offer financial support for the arts including funding for emerging and established artists, art practitioners, groups and organisations.

What we fund

We fund a wide range of artforms and activities, but some exceptions apply.

Types of funding

Artforms we fund

What we don't fund

  • Activities that another Creative New Zealand funding programme or initiative is designed to support.
  • Activities that are the responsibility of other government agencies.
  • Core education resources and activities that are part of the curriculum and course of study in New Zealand, including early learning, school or further education.
  • Game design, fashion design and commercial design.
  • Feature films, short films and film/screen development activities.
  • Purchase of capital items, renovating or buying buildings, or restoring marae.
  • Activities that are part of the core business of a Tertiary Education Organisation (TEO), Territorial Local Authority (TLA) or Council Controlled Organisation (CCO). 

For more information see our Funding guidelines – what we don’t fund

Types of funding

One-off grants for arts projects and activities

One-off grants for arts projects and activities are available across all artforms including Māori and Pacific arts projects. The most popular grants are our:

Investment funding

We provide funding to some significant arts organisations to facilitate continuous programmes of activity through our Toi Uru Kahikatea and Toi Tōtara Haemata Investment Programmes

Fellowships, scholarships and residencies

We fund a range of fellowships, awards, residencies, bursaries and scholarships. Find what's available for your artform in Find funding.

Awards recognising excellence or innovation

We recognise the contribution, excellence or innovative work of artists through these awards:

Artforms we fund

Community arts

Creative New Zealand recognises three core strands of activity as community arts and these are:

Community Cultural Development

  • collaboration of arts practitioners with communities to achieve artistic and social outcomes
  • processes of collective creativity
  • community-based issues focused on through the arts (for example in relation to the environment or to issues of social equity).

Maintenance and Transmission of Cultural Traditions

  • Māori and Pasifika Heritage Artforms
  • defined groups of interest (such as migrant communities) maintaining and preserving their distinctive artistic and cultural traditions from one generation to the next.

Leisure and Recreation Activities

  • community-based arts groups devoted to the recreational pursuit of diverse artforms.


Craft/Object includes traditional applied arts and contemporary practice, ceramics, jewellery, glass, textiles, metal, woodwork, and studio-based design.


Dance includes classical and contemporary dance; street, experimental and integrated dance; and traditional and contemporary Maori and Pacific Island dance.


Interarts projects integrate artforms of any cultural tradition, combining them to create a new and distinct work. The result of this integration is a hybrid or fusion of artforms outside of Creative New Zealand’s artform categories.


Literature is a broad, inclusive concept. Creative New Zealand will consider proposals from writers and illustrators to research and write high-quality work in fiction or non-fiction.

  • Fiction includes, but isn't limited to, novels, novellas, short stories, poetry, children’s fiction, young adult fiction, graphic novels, illustrated picture books, and speculative fiction such as fantasy fiction, science fiction, detective fiction, and historical fiction.
  • Non-fiction includes, but isn’t limited to, autobiography, biography, essays, social commentary, literary criticism, reviews, analytical prose, non-fiction written for children, young adult non-fiction, and writing about the physical and natural sciences.


Projects and activities that do not feature one primary artform but involve at least two different artforms of any cultural tradition.


Music includes classical and contemporary music; orchestral, choral, and band music; opera; jazz and improvised music; sound art; contemporary popular music; world music; and traditional and contemporary Māori and Pacific Island music.

Ngā Toi Māori

Ngā Toi Māori includes Māori heritage arts practice such as tāmoko, tarai waka, waiata, mōteatea, rāranga, whakairo, te reo, whaikōrero, karanga and traditional Māori games. It also includes the work of Māori artists across all forms of contemporary arts practice.

Pacific arts

Pacific arts includes Pasifika artists undertaking contemporary and heritage arts projects in all art forms — craft/object art, dance, inter-arts, literature, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts.


Theatre includes both classical and contemporary theatre, and all genres such as comedy, drama, physical theatre, devised theatre, street theatre, musical theatre, circus, puppetry, mask and theatre for children.

Visual arts

Visual arts includes, but is not limited to, drawing, experimental sound/audio and moving-image arts projects, installation, kōwhaiwhai, painting, performance within a visual arts context, photography, printmaking, sculpture, tā moko, and typography. Visual arts also includes customary and contemporary practices of all the peoples of Aotearoa/New Zealand, including Māori and Pasifika peoples and the diverse cultures of people living in Aotearoa/New Zealand today.