Arts Grants

Arts Grants offer short-term project funding for New Zealand artists, arts practitioners and arts organisations (including groups and collectives). This funding enables more sustainable careers, encourages innovation and the development of arts practice, and provides opportunities for diverse communities to access the arts. Each round will close if 200 applications have been submitted, or if the closing date is reached.


$5,000 to $75,000
Find out who got funded recently

Artforms funded:

This content is tagged as All Artforms .

Funding rounds

Opening dates:
Closing dates:
Notification dates:
Round 1
3 Aug 2020
28 Aug 2020, 1pm
18 Sep 2020
Round 2
24 Aug 2020
25 Sep 2020, 1pm
16 Oct 2020
Round 3
21 Sep 2020
23 Oct 2020, 1pm
13 Nov 2020
Round 4
19 Oct 2020
20 Nov 2020, 1pm
11 Dec 2020
Round 5
1 Feb 2021
26 Feb 2021, 1pm
19 Mar 2021
Round 6
22 Feb 2021
26 Mar 2021, 1pm
16 Apr 2021
Round 7
22 Mar 2021
23 Apr 2021, 1pm
14 May 2021
Round 8
Closed (12 May 2021)
19 Apr 2021
21 May 2021, 1pm
11 Jun 2021

1. Check your eligibility

Who can apply

  • Individuals who are New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.
  • New Zealand-based organisations (including groups and collectives).
  • International arts organisations, but the application must show direct benefit to New Zealand arts.
  • To apply to the Ngā toi Māori funding pool:
    • individuals must be Tangata Whenua Māori or your proposed project must be managed or directed by Māori
    • organisations must be Māori-led. If an organisation is applying for funding on behalf of an individual, that person must also be Māori.
  • To apply to the Pacific arts funding pool – whether you’re an individual or organisation:
    • you must be a New Zealand citizen or New Zealand permanent resident
    • your project must align to our Pacific Arts Strategy, and Kaupapa Pasifika must be evident in the practice of the project
    • non-Pacific individuals and organisations are eligible, but the project must deliver outcomes to Pacific art and artists.

Project timing

The project, project phase or programme of activity you are seeking funding for must be completed in a 12-month period, and within 15 months from the date of notification (for notification dates see Section 5, Notification of results).

Benefits and track record

To be eligible for Creative New Zealand funding:

  • Your project or activities must directly benefit New Zealand arts, artists or practitioners.
  • You must have a track record of experience and success — this means you must have:
  • recognition from peers or experts
  • achieved a degree of critical or sales success
  • specialised training or practical experience.

For more information about track record requirements for your artform see our Funding guidelines - the artforms we support

If you don't have the track record we're looking for, you may be able to get funding through the Creative Communities Scheme

How often you can apply

  • You can apply once in an Arts Grants round.
  • You can apply up to two times in total through the Arts Grants programme in the financial year 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. This includes the Louis Johnson New Writer’s Bursary, Toi Ake Fund, Toi Tipu Toi Rea Fund, Tup Lang Choreographic Award and Todd New Writer’s Bursary.
  • Only one application can be submitted per round (two in total across all the rounds).
  • Each of the two applications must be for a different project.
  • Note that if you are eligible and are applying to Annual Arts Grants, you cannot make an application to Arts Grants for rounds 1–3 (between 3 August – 13 November).

Reapplying for a previously declined project

You can request to resubmit a project you've had declined in a past funding opportunity. Be aware that there are strict criteria to meet, and this is at the discretion of Creative New Zealand. For more information see our Funding Guidelines – Reapplying for a previously declined project

Other Creative New Zealand funding

  • Your project, project phase or programme of activity must not have received funding from any of our funding programmes or initiatives, including the Creative Communities Scheme.  
  • Organisations in the Toi Uru Kahikatea or Toi Tōtara Haemata investment programmes are not eligible to apply.
  • Does your project involve organisations in our Toi Uru Kahikatea or Toi Tōtara Haemata investment programmes? Do you intend to partner with, or present at one of these organisations? If so, you must supply a letter from them that outlines their contribution to the project.

Breaches of agreements

We cannot consider an application if you, your organisation, or key members of your project team are in breach of the conditions of a current funding agreement, which includes missing the deadline for reporting on a previous grant or other funding contracts.

For more information see our Funding guidelines – breaches of agreement

2. See what's funded


Arts Grants offer short-term project funding to emerging and established New Zealand artists, arts practitioners and arts organisations (including groups and collectives). We have specific goals, called programme purposes, that we want to achieve through the Arts Grants programme.

Art Grants programme purposes:

  1. More sustainable careers for individual artists and arts practitioners.
  2. Development of arts practice.
  3. Innovation in New Zealand arts.
  4. Opportunities for diverse communities to access and participate in high-quality arts experiences.

We need to know how your project will contribute to the programme purposes. You will need to tell us in your application how your project will deliver to one or more of the programme’s purposes.

For more information see our Funding guidelines - Arts Grants programme purposes

Note: We receive many more applications that meet our criteria than we have the resources to fund. On average we are currently funding 20-30% of Arts Grants projects across the General, Māori and Pacific funding pools, which means approximately 40 projects are successful within a round of 200 applications. Generally only applications that exceed against our assessment criteria are successful.

Special guidance

Funding rounds are limited to 200 applications

Once 200 applications to an Arts Grant round 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 future round.

A total of 1,600 applications can be submitted across all eight rounds, an increase in our previous annual total. We made these changes in 2020 to manage the significant demand for funding available, and to ensure quick decisions are made.

COVID-19 Alert Levels

When applying, you will 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).

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.

International activity

Funding is available to support artists and practitioners to engage in a variety of international activity. Make sure you read the updated International activity guidelines before submitting an application.

We anticipate that the majority of activity involving an artist or practitioner participating overseas will occur virtually for much of this year. If your project requires international travel you will need to follow official travel advice. You and your international partners should carefully consider the additional risks of travel.

You can only include international travel in your application if the government travel advisory permits it at the time of application, for example the Australia/New Zealand Trans-Tasman ‘bubble’. We will not accept the cost of quarantining or managed isolation as eligible costs.

If advisory or border control information changes during the period between submission and decision Creative New Zealand reserves the right to exercise discretion and/or comply with government advisories and/or border controls.

Read our Funding guidelines - international activity

Creative New Zealand strategic outcomes

As well as achieving one or more of the programme purposes above, you also need to specify which of Creative New Zealand’s strategic outcomes your activity or project aligns with. We are focused on achieving these long-term goals or strategic outcomes to develop a strong and dynamic arts environment.

They are:

  • New Zealanders participate in the arts.
  • High-quality New Zealand art is developed.
  • New Zealanders experience high-quality arts.
  • New Zealand arts gain international success.
  • New Zealand’s arts sector is resilient.

For more information  see our Funding guidelines - strategic outcomes

Aligning with our Māori Arts and Pacific Arts strategies

The purposes of the Arts Grants programme align with the features of our Investment Strategy Te Ara Whakamua, our Māori Arts Strategy Te Hā o ngā Toi and our Pacific Arts Strategy. These strategies may be useful in helping you explain the purpose of your project or activity.

See more about our strategies in our funding guidelines about our Māori Arts Strategy Te Hā o ngā Toi and our Pacific Arts Strategy

Read our Investment Strategy Te Ara Whakamua


Applications to this fund should adopt a fair remuneration approach within application budgets. For more information see our Funding guidelines - remuneration

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

Additional activity guidelines and advice

Specific requirements and guidelines apply to some activities so you must check if any are relevant to your application. For more information see our Funding guidelines - activity guidelines and advice

Funding limits

The minimum amount you can apply for is $5,000. The maximum amount you can apply for is $75,000 but lower limits apply to some activities.

For more information see our Funding guidelines - activity guidelines and advice

Email Funding Services if you have further questions.

3. Make an application

Register or Log in

How to apply

  1. Register or log in to the portal to start your application for Arts Grants. Note: If the funding round you want to apply to is not open yet, prepare by viewing the application form preview (pdf 800KB)
  2. Select the Arts Grants round that you wish to apply for. Applications will open on the following dates for each round.

    Important: Each round has a maximum of 200 applications that can be submitted (see point 8 below):

Round               Opening date

Round 1             3 Aug 2020 (notified 18 Sep)
Round 2             24 Aug 2020 (notified 16 Oct)
Round 3             21 Sep 2020 (notified 13 Nov)
Round 4             19 Oct 2020 (notified 11 Dec)
Round 5             1 Feb 2021 (notified 19 Mar)
Round 6             22 Feb 2021 (notified 16 Apr)
Round 7             22 Mar 2021 (notified 14 May)
Round 8             19 Apr 2021 (closed 12 May)

  1. Read the Funding guidelines
  2. Prepare a budget. Read and watch videos about budgets at Funding guidelines – standard project budget template
  3. Gather support material. Read the Funding guidelines - support material
  4. Decide whether you want your application assessed in the General arts, Ngā toi Māori or Pacific arts funding pools. Read the Funding guidelines – Arts Grants funding types for information to help you choose.
  5. Complete each question in the portal application form.
  6. Submit your application online by 1pm on the closing date (earlier if you can). If the maximum 200 applications has already been reached, you won’t have the option to submit your application but you will be able to cut and paste your material into a new application for another round (already open or when it opens).


4. Assessing applications

What we assess your application on

External peer assessors will assess your application using the following criteria.


Is it a strong idea? We look for the following indicators:

  • The artistic aims are clearly expressed.
  • The idea is compelling.
  • The artistic outcome and/or participant experience is likely to be high quality.


Can it be achieved? We look for the following indicators:

  • The process to achieve the idea is realistic and well planned.
  • The budget is thorough and accurate and considers fair remuneration for practitioners.
  • The people involved have sufficient experience to deliver this project.

Strategic fit

Does it deliver to Creative New Zealand outcomes? We look for the following indicators:

  • The project delivers to the selected strategic outcome.
  • The project delivers to the selected Arts Grants programme purpose(s).

Māori and Pacific Arts assessment

In addition to the above you can have your project assessed as Ngā toi Māori or Pacific arts. 

Applications to the Ngā toi Māori or Pacific arts funding pools will also be assessed on:

Creative New Zealand strategic outcomes and Arts Grants programme purposes

All activity you are seeking funding for must align with both Creative New Zealand’s strategic outcomes and the programme purpose.

In your application you must choose one of these Creative New Zealand strategic outcomes to be assessed on:

  • New Zealanders participate in the arts.
  • High-quality New Zealand art is developed.
  • New Zealanders experience high-quality arts.
  • New Zealand arts gain international success.
  • New Zealand’s arts sector is resilient.

See our Funding guidelines - Strategic Outcomes for more information.

You must also choose one or more of these Arts Grants programme purposes to be assessed on and tell us how your project will achieve it:

  • More sustainable careers for individual artists.
  • The development of arts practice.
  • Innovation in New Zealand arts.
  • Opportunities for diverse communities to access and participate in high-quality arts experiences.

Go to section 2, See what’s funded for information about programme purposes, international travel and aligning your project with our Māori Arts and Pacific Arts strategies.

Scoring your application

Our assessors use the following assessment scale for Idea and Viability:

7 – Excellent – Exceeds all indicators
6 – Very Good – Satisfies all indicators and exceeds in two
5 – Good – Satisfies all indicators and exceeds in one
4 – Acceptable – Satisfies all indicators
3 – Minor reservations – Satisfies two indicators only
2 – Major reservations – Satisfies one indicator only
1 – Unacceptable – Does not meet the indicators

The following scale is used to score each indicator in Strategic Fit, Mātauranga Māori and Kaupapa Pasifika:

3 - Outstanding - Exceeds the indicator
2 - Good - Satisfies the indicator
1 - Poor - Does not meet the indicator

How we assess your application

Peer assessment is critical to Creative New Zealand’s decision-making process for funding, with external peer assessors using their knowledge and expertise to provide independent and impartial advice.

Two external peer assessors will assess your application, using the assessment criteria and assessment scale listed above, and resulting in a total possible score per assessor of 20 (General Arts) or 23 (Ngā toi Māori and Pacific Arts funding pools, reflecting the points for the additional criteria).

Following assessment, assessment panels will be convened for each round, providing an important opportunity for our peer assessors to discuss the collective merits of projects within the funding round.

This panel will have representation across artforms and will consist of external peer assessors who have assessed the applications being discussed. The panel will make recommendations for funding by coming to a consensus at the meeting. Creative New Zealand staff will provide advice where required.

After the panel meeting, Creative New Zealand holds an internal moderation meeting, without assessors present but including the facilitator of the panel meeting where possible/relevant. At this meeting staff consider the assessment scores, commentary and ranked order, as well as whether the range of recommended projects will meet the purposes of the programme and whether there are any gaps in achieving our strategic outcomes. On occasion the moderation group’s final recommendations may differ from those made by the panel (for example, if one artform or community is considerably under-represented).

The moderation group makes final recommendations to Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager for Arts Development Services, who makes the final decision of which applications will receive funding.

Who are our External Peer Assessors?

We have a large number of external peer assessors, assessing a range of applications to our funding programmes and initiatives. They are selected based on their knowledge and experience in an artform and represent the diversity of the artists and arts organisations who apply for funding. We have a number of Māori and Pasifika assessors who assess applications to our Ngā toi Māori and Pacific arts funding pools or artforms.

You can nominate peer assessors – information and nomination form below:

Peer Assessor nomination form (doc 167KB)

Peer Assessor terms and conditions (pdf 259KB)

For more information about the assessment process and criteria see our Funding guidelines - assessment

5. Notification of results

We will email everyone their result three weeks after the closing date of their application round on the following dates (Fridays):

Round 1              18 Sep 2020
Round 2              16 Oct 2020
Round 3              13 Nov 2020
Round 4              11 Dec 2020
Round 5              19 Mar 2021
Round 6              16 Apr 2021
Round 7              14 May 2021
Round 8              11 Jun 2021

We also list successful grant recipients on Who got funded

If you are successful, we will also contact you about your:

  • funding agreement
  • payment schedule
  • reporting requirements.

Note that we are expecting high levels of demand for Arts Grants and, unfortunately will not be able to provide individualised feedback on all applications.

6. On completion

A project completion report is required within 12 weeks of the project end date. To be considered for further funding, your report needs to be submitted on time.

Login to report online

7. Who to contact

For more information or advice email Funding Services