Creative New Zealand releases guidance for local authorities on supporting local arts communities

29 Jul 2020

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Creative New Zealand has released a best practice guide for local councils: ‘Supporting your arts community through COVID-19: He Waka Eke Noa’. The guide offers ways to support local artists, creative workers, arts groups and organisations through COVID-19 and into the future.

The guidance has been written for elected members and council officers, and covers a range of actions that territorial authorities can take to support and strengthen their arts communities as we adapt to a new future. It’s also intended to support artists and creative practitioners in their own kōrero (discussions) with their local councils.

Local government plays a vital role in ensuring New Zealanders have access to arts and culture in every rohe (region) of the country, and are one of the biggest investors in arts and culture in Aotearoa.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many creative practitioners and organisations have been severely impacted by loss of employment and reduced ability to deliver their work to live audiences.  In this context, local government’s requirement to promote the social and cultural wellbeing of communities becomes even more critical.

“Artists and creative practitioners are the lifeblood of our communities and are uniquely placed to help us navigate, design and imagine the future,” says David Pannett, Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager for Strategy and Engagement.

“We’re optimistic that just as artists and creatives helped us recover following events like the Canterbury earthquakes, they’ll help our cities, towns and districts to find creative ways to adapt and thrive in the future.”

The guidance document includes suggestions around communicating with arts communities, funding, council-owned and operated venues, regulatory levers, collaborating with artists in recovery planning, and promoting cultural wellbeing. 

Although the guide has been developed in light of COVID-19, it is designed to represent best practice for how councils can support and work with their arts communities. 

For further information on this guidance, please contact our advocacy team at advocacy@creativenz.govt.nz.

Read the full guide and summary