Arts Grants 2021/22: FAQs

Here are some answers to questions about our 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: 17 March 2022


Amount funded: From $5,000 to $75,000 per application
Who it is for: Individual artists, arts practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations, excluding organisations in the Toi Uru Kahikatea or Toi Tōtara Haemata investment programmes.

  • Arts Grants offer short-term project funding for New Zealand artists, arts practitioners and arts organisations (including groups and collectives). This programme’s purpose is to support more sustainable careers, encourage innovation and the development of arts practice, and provides opportunities for diverse communities to access the arts. 
  • Arts Grants in 2021/22 will:
    • provide six rounds between July 2021 and June 2022
    • accept a maximum of two applications from one applicant across the six rounds (applicants can only submit one application in any round)
    • notify applicants of decisions five weeks after the closing date
    • have a limit of up to 225 applications able to be submitted for each round (a total of 1,350 applications can be submitted across all six rounds in the financial year July 2021 to June 2022)
    • close each round when 225 applications have been submitted, or when the closing date is reached (whichever comes first).

Eligibility criteria will remain the same as for the 2020/21 financial year. See eligibility FAQs below.

Full details about Arts Grants will be available on our website when the first round for 2021/22 opens on 5 July 2021.

1. Arts Grants 2021/22: What's different?

1. What’s changed from previous Arts Grants programmes?

We will be offering six Arts Grants rounds, with a five-week turnaround for decision making. Arts Grants will open on 5 July.

Key changes for Arts Grants in the 2021/22 financial year:

  • There’ll be six rounds between July 2021 and June 2022
  • Applicants will be notified of decisions five weeks after the closing date
  • A limit of up to 225 applications will be able to be submitted for each round – in 2020/21 the limit was 200 (a total of 1,350 applications can be submitted across all six rounds in the financial year July 2021 to June 2022).

Prior to COVID-19, we offered four Arts Grants rounds a year. For the upcoming financial year, we’re offering six Arts Grants rounds in order to prioritise our ability to deliver other programmes.

Eligibility criteria will remain the same as for the 2020/21 financial year.

2. Eligibility: Arts Grants

2.1 How will I know if my project is eligible for an Arts Grant? 

All of the eligibility requirements are explained on our website. Under Arts Grants, read the section Check your eligibility.

You must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident – you don’t have to be based in New Zealand and can be living overseas and delivering your work to an overseas audience.

If applying as an arts organisation, you can be based in New Zealand or overseas. International arts organisations can apply but the application must show direct benefit to New Zealand arts.

You don’t have to have applied previously to Creative New Zealand for funding but you will need to meet the eligibility criteria.

Your project or activities must directly benefit New Zealand arts, artists or arts practitioners.

You must have a track record of experience and success.

You’ll find more information about eligibility, artforms and related track record and outcomes in our funding guidelines

2.2 Can I resubmit an application that was declined in a previous funding round? 

Resubmissions of declined projects from past funding opportunities may be considered in limited circumstances at the discretion of Creative New Zealand. For more information see our Funding Guideline – Reapplying for the same project.

2.3 Does someone applying need to have successfully reported back on their Arts Grants 2020/2021 project to apply to Arts Grants in 2021/22?

If you have an overdue report, you’re unable to apply.

2.4 If my project (for example, a festival) delivers more than one activity, can I apply for multiple grants for each discrete activity? 

You can apply for a number of different activities (or phases of activities) under one application, for a maximum total grant of $75,000. You need to be confident you can complete all activities or activity phases included in the application within 15 months of funding being notified.

Applications for an Arts Grant can be made by individuals or by organisations. Note that you can only apply once as an individual and once as an organisation:

  • If you’re applying as an individual, the project must be around your individual area of arts practice.
  • If you’re applying on behalf of an organisation, with the organisation as the applicant, that project must involve the organisation and its programme.

You can be involved and part of other applications from individuals and organisations but they must be for separate projects and show no duplication.

2.5 My project (for example, writing) will not be completed within 15 months of funding being notified. What should I do? 

We recommend you divide your project into phases and apply for support for those phases you can realistically complete within 15 months of funding being notified. Note, we cannot guarantee we will fund subsequent phases of your project.

Use the 12-month funding calendar to help in planning your work.

2.6 Can I apply for funding for an event that takes place more than 15 months after funding will be notified? 

You can only apply for funding towards the planning phase of an event that takes place later than the required timeframe.

Use the 12-month funding calendar to help in planning your work.

2.7 How much flexibility can our project have, given we don’t know whether the government’s COVID-19 alert levels might change? (updated 17 March)

When applying, you must include a COVID-19 Contingency Plan. This plan must be submitted as an attachment with your application. It should include how you will undertake or adapt your project under the New Zealand Government COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic light settings) and any government advisories for the country where the project is to take place. For further guidance and a template plan see our Funding guidelines - A guide to developing your COVID-19 contingency plan. Your application will be made ineligible if this is not included in your application. 

Note that, from Arts Grants Round 5 (open 14 March) Creative New Zealand can contribute up to $500 towards COVID-19 related costs per funding application. This includes the cost of masks, PCR/RAT testing and other sanitation costs. Quarantining or managed isolation costs are not eligible for our support.

The request must relate to the activity you seek Creative New Zealand support for. This guidance is applicable to 30 June 2022 and will be reviewed again for 2022/23.

2.8 Can arts organisations apply for a grant to pay for overheads such as insurance, power and rent for a venue?  

We’re not able to support overhead costs unless they are specifically included as part of a project, meaning they might be accepted as part of an Arts Grant application. For example, rent for a studio, but only for the period that the project takes place.

2.9 There will likely be innovation, through digital platforms, livestreaming and digitising work, to make the work accessible. Are digital platforms and this kind of digital reframing or delivery of work eligible?

Yes, we already support new ways of working, including projects that allow artists, arts practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations to investigate new ways of working and take artistic risks.

The supported activity includes:

  • research
  • creative development
  • professional development
  • promotion
  • distribution (including digital platforms and technologies).

2.10 Can I apply for international travel?

As explained on our website, under the See what’s funded section of Arts Grants, funding is available to support artists and arts practitioners to engage in a variety of international activity.

Make sure you read this information and our updated International activity guidelines before submitting an application.

3. Application process and timing: Arts Grants

3.1 When can I apply? 

Arts Grants round 1 2021/2022 open 5 July.

3.2 What’s the difference between applying for this and previous Creative New Zealand funding? 

The Arts Grants programme purposes are the same as they were before COVID-19 and the process is consistent with our usual application and assessment processes (we’re looking at the quality of the idea, people, process and viability).

To manage the demand for funding and the available funds, and to ensure quick decisions, there is an application limit - we will only process the first 225 applications submitted for each Arts Grants round. 

Once 225 applications have been submitted, or the closing date has been reached, the round will close to any further submissions. If you have a draft application in the portal when the round closes, you will still be able to access it and copy any relevant sections of it into a new application to a new round.

To help people plan, we will regularly update the Arts Grants Funding Round ‘More Details’ section of the portal with the number of submitted applications. This is the second time we have introduced a limit, so we will monitor the number of submitted applications and determine how often we will need to update the portal information.

When applying for funding you need to ensure you describe how your project will be delivered within the alert level current at the time you are due to receive notification of whether your application is successful.

3.3 Why can’t I apply for less than $5,000? What other funding options are there if my project request is less than $5,000?  

We have a minimum threshold for Arts Grants as we were receiving an increasing number of applications for small amounts that were potentially duplicating other funding avenues and elevating our processing costs, including external assessment.

For funding below $5,000, you could look to your local Creative Communities Scheme (administered through your local council), community trusts and pub charities. Crowdsourcing campaigns can also be effective ways to generate funding for smaller projects (for example,

3.4 Will the funding be evenly spread to ensure the same funding is available across all rounds?   

Yes. The Arts Council will finalise our budget for 2021/22 in August (this is done every year in August) and with our programme in place for a 12-month period we have the ability to plan and distribute our funds across all the opportunities and evenly across all six rounds of the Arts Grants programme, including within the three funding pools (General arts, Ngā toi Māori and Pacific arts).

3.5 If I submit to an earlier Arts Grants round is it more likely that my project will be funded?  

The process is contestable, and funding is highly contested given the demand, but your application will be treated consistently regardless of which round you apply to.

We’ll distribute our funds as evenly as possible across all six rounds of the Arts Grants programme, based on the maximum number of applications able to be submitted for each round and the merit of those proposals. 

Check the 12-month funding calendar to give you more help in planning your work.  

3.6 Why do I need to provide information, as part of my application, about other funding, revenue or in-kind support for the project in my application? 

If you can show all the income you have for a project it allows us to understand if the project is going to be viable. It means you can show you have enough income to cover the expenses. It can also show that other people care about the project and are willing to support it.

We don't have a set amount that we expect people to provide, and we also recognise that it’s very difficult in the current environment to generate additional income. You won’t be disadvantaged if you can’t provide information about additional income.

3.7 Can I apply for two Arts Grants as well as other opportunities being offered (for example, the Louis Johnson New Writer's Bursary)? 

It will depend on what else you want to apply for.

In the financial year 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022, you can apply up to two times in total through the Arts Grants programme, which includes the Louis Johnson New Writer’s Bursary (within Arts Grants round 5), Toi Tipu Toi Rea – Emerging Māori Artist Fund (two rounds within Arts Grants round 3 and round 6), Tup Lang Choreographic Award (within Arts Grants round 2) and Todd New Writer’s Bursary (within Arts Grants round 1).

There are opportunities outside the Arts Grants programme that you might be eligible for. See the 12-month funding calendar. 

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

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

We’ve answered in question 2.7 above.

4. Assessment: Arts Grants

4.1 How many assessors will assess an application? 

There will be two 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 specifically assess applications to our Ngā toi Māori and Pacific arts funding pools or artforms, but are also called upon to assess in the general pool where their expertise is relevant.

You can read more about assessment, including criteria, in the Assessing applications section of the Arts Grants funding opportunity and in our Funding Guidelines on assessment

4.2 I’m unsure if my project will be a good fit. Have the priorities shifted from the first phase funding? What will these look like?  

The programme purposes for Arts Grants are the same as they were pre-COVID-19 but different to those for Arts Continuity Grants as they were part of our emergency response.

The programme purposes are:

  • Sustaining careers for artists, arts practitioners, and arts organisations (including groups and collectives).
  • Development of arts practice.
  • Innovation in New Zealand arts.
  • Opportunities for diverse communities to access and participate in high-quality arts experiences.

4.3 When can I expect to hear about my application? 

Our current assessment and decision turnaround time is five weeks from the close of a round (check the 12-month funding calendar for result notification dates).

We’ll contact everyone directly, as well as posting results on our website and sharing them on social media.

If you have a further question, email us at

If you have a further question, email us at