Annual Arts Grants 2021: FAQs

Here are some answers to questions about our Annual Arts Grants for the 2021/22 financial year.

We add new questions and answers occasionally, as needed. You’ll find them at the end of the relevant section, dated for when they were added and not necessarily listed in order of importance.

Last updated: 21 May 2021


Amount funded: $75,000 to $150,000 per application
Who it is for: Individual artists, arts practitioners and arts organisations – excluding organisations in the Toi Uru Kahikatea or Toi Tōtara Haemata investment programmes – who meet specific eligibility criteria.

  • Annual Arts Grants provide flexible options for arts organisations and individual artists seeking more certainty of support for their projects over a longer timeframe.
  • Annual Arts Grants funding supports eligible artists, arts practitioners and arts organisations to present a regular or continuous programme of activity over a 12-month period and/or produce or present a significant event or project.
  • There will be one round, opening on 5 July, closing 13 August, with notifications on 1 October 2021.
  • We expect eligible applicants to strongly deliver to the Arts Grants programme purposes, and to have previously delivered programmes or projects at a high level of quality over a sustained period.
  • We have broadened the eligibility criteria for 2021/22 to allow a wider group of artists, arts practitioners or organisations to be eligible. See more about eligibility below.

Full details about the Annual Arts Grants opportunity will be available on our website when it opens on 5 July 2021.

1. Annual Arts Grants 2021: What's different?

1.1 What’s changed in the Annual Arts Grants programme for 2021/22? 

Drawing on what we’ve learnt this past year, we’re making Annual Arts Grants’ eligibility criteria more flexible. Annual Arts Grants will open on 5 July.

2. Eligibility: Annual Arts Grants 2021

2.1 Who can apply to Annual Arts Grants?

To be eligible to apply for this fund you must be an artist, arts practitioner or arts organisation that:

  • meets the general Arts Grants eligibility criteria
  • meets one of the following scenarios:
    • In the four calendar years 2017–2020, you received at least three grants (from a list of selected Creative New Zealand funding opportunities) totalling at least $75,000, which have each been evaluated as having met or exceeded expectations.
    • In the three calendar years 2017–2019, you received funding through Toi Tōtara or Toi Uru Kahikatea investment programmes but are no longer receiving this funding.
    • You submitted an Expression of Interest in March 2020 to take part in Te Puāwaitanga, our developmental programme.
    • You are a successful recipient of an Annual Arts Grant awarded in 2020 and have submitted an interim report that has been evaluated as being ‘on track’.


2.2 Why do you need to have received three grants or investment client funding from Creative New Zealand to be eligible? 

The Annual Arts Grant is designed to support artists, arts practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations who have a track record of recent and regular funding success with us and who have maintained a high quality of delivery or practice over a sustained period. We’re committed to supporting resilience in the sector and this grant scheme enables those eligible to plan their activity and have longer-term funding security, as well as reduce the number of applications they need to prepare and submit.

The Annual Arts Grant is a substantial commitment on our part – $150,000 over 12 months. We need to make sure that the individuals and organisations that apply have had experience delivering successful grants and acquitting them in the past.

We’re looking for a high level of quality, in terms of the individual or the organisation and also a track record of success with us. Note the application form (accessible once the fund is open) is only available in the portal to those artists and arts organisations we believe meet these criteria.

If you believe you are eligible and do not have access, or have further questions email Funding Services

If you’re not eligible, you may be eligible to apply for up to two Arts Grants (up to $75,000 each). You may also be eligible for other funding opportunities – see our 12-month funding calendar

2.3 Have you set a limit on the number of applications you will process for Annual Arts Grants, like you have with Arts Grants? 

No. We've done our modelling based on the individuals, groups and organisations who have regularly applied for funding and regularly been successful. This programme is designed for them.

2.4 Why does it seem harder for me to seek an Annual Arts Grant even though I’m a client that Creative New Zealand has invested in multiple times? 

With a larger potential single grant, we seek reassurance of the strategic fit and viability of the application and delivery to our strategic outcomes. This is a contestable process and success for one application does not guarantee success for another.

If you apply unsuccessfully for an Annual Arts Grant you can still apply for up to two Arts Grants, from Round 3 opening 4 October 2021. There are other funding opportunities that you might also be eligible for – see our 12-month funding calendar.

2.5 Are Annual Arts Grants a stepping stone into Creative New Zealand’s investment programmes?  

No, this is separate to our investment programmes. The Annual Arts Grant was introduced last year as part of the annual, contestable Arts Grants programme. There is no guarantee that an individual or organisation will have ongoing success in applying for the annual funding.

Our revised Arts Grants programme aligns with the features of our Investment Strategy and provides flexible options for artists, arts practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations seeking support for their projects. We introduced the Annual Arts Grants round to enable eligible individuals, groups and organisations to plan their activity and have longer-term security, as well as reduce the number of applications they must prepare and submit.

2.6 Are there any limits on the funding? 

The maximum amount you can apply for is $150,000.

Applications must be between $75,000 and $150,000.

2.7 What will be the eligibility requirements for Annual Arts Grants 2021? If I successfully receive Arts Grants funding in Rounds 5, 6, 7 or 8, does that count towards my eligibility to apply for an Annual Arts Grant in 2021? 

No. One of the current eligibility requirements for Annual Arts Grants is that the individual or organisation has received three grants from a list of specific funding opportunities in the four calendar years 2017–2020.

2.8 How much flexibility can our project have, given we don’t know whether the government’s COVID-19 alert levels might change? 

When applying, you’ll need to ensure your project will be possible within the government alert level current at the time of notification. We suggest you also describe any potential changes you might make if the alert level is lower or higher when we are making our decision (just prior to the round notification date published in the funding calendar).

If you’ve already submitted your application you can email us at to:

  • add an additional piece of support material which describes how the project can be delivered at different alert levels (in PDF file format). This must be supplied by the published closing date of the round.
  • ask us to unsubmit your application, so you can either rework it due to the alert level changes and resubmit it.

We will also continue to comply with government advisories (including alert levels) and/or border controls. For this reason, when making funding decisions, we may decline a programme or project if it is not viable at the time of notification, regardless of when the project is planned to take place.

3. Application process and timing: Annual Arts Grants 2021

3.1 I’ve recently submitted a project completion report for one of the listed grants. Can I now apply for an Annual Arts Grant? I don’t seem to be able to access the application form on the portal.  

We’ve reviewed who meets the eligibility criteria and made the application form available to them. If you believe you are eligible and don’t have access to the application form, please email Funding Services 

3.2 Can I resubmit a declined Annual Arts Grant application to Arts Grants or vice versa? 

If you applied to Annual Arts Grants and were unsuccessful, you can apply to Arts Grants for projects that were included in your application. 

3.3 Why would I apply to Annual Arts Grants if I can apply for $150,000 over two Arts Grants applications? 

If you were successful, an Annual Arts Grant would give you surety of support for your programme of work or project over 12 months.

If your application for an Annual Arts Grant is unsuccessful, you can apply for up to two Arts Grants (from round 3, opening 4 October, 2021).

Please note that all project funding opportunities are highly contestable so you may not be successful in any or all of your applications.

3.4 What can I do if I’ve submitted an application and need to adjust it due to COVID-19 alert level changes?  

We’ve answered in question 2.7 above.

4. Assessment: Annual Arts Grants 2021

4.1 How will applications be assessed? 

There will be three external assessors for each application. External peer assessors are selected based on their knowledge and experience in an artform and represent the diversity of those applying. We have a number of Māori and Pasifika assessors who assess applications to our Ngā toi Māori and Pacific arts funding pools or artforms.

For more information about the assessment process and criteria see the Annual Arts Grants Assessing applications section or our Funding guidelines - assessment

4.2 If my application is successful, what will this mean for other funding? 

If your Annual Arts Grants application is successful, you will not be eligible for other Arts Grants during the 12-month period of your regular or continuous programme of activity or related to your significant event or project.

You may still be eligible for other Creative New Zealand opportunities – check our 12-month funding calendar

If you have a further question, email us at

If you have a further question, email us at