Christchurch Creative Communities Scheme

Fund your creative project with the Creative Communities Scheme.

Round 1 of Creative Communities Scheme funding has closed

The decision meeting for 23/24 Round 1 funding will be held on the 26 October 2023.

Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their applications after this date.

The next Creative Communities Scheme funding round

The next funding round opens on 15 January 2024 and closes on 23 February 2024.

The Creative Communities Scheme (CCS) provides funding to local communities so New Zealanders can be involved in local arts activities.

The scheme supports a wide range of arts projects under the following art forms: 

  • craft and object arts 
  • dance
  • inter-arts
  • literature
  • Māori arts
  • multi-art form (including film)
  • music
  • Pacific arts
  • theatre
  • visual arts

Applicants can be an individual or a group. Individuals must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.

There is no limit to how much you can apply for, but most Creative Communities Scheme grants are under $5,000.

Who can apply

You can be an individual or a group. Individuals must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.

Local priorities

Ngā Toi Māori: We will cultivate opportunities to develop and present Ngā Toi Māori.

  •  We will prioritise projects that ensure Māori culture is visible and celebrated by the community.

Audacious: We will be bold. We will take risks and foster a culture of innovation.

  • We will prioritise projects that are experimental, non-commercial, and accommodate constructive failure leading to artistic development.

Inclusive: We will support a diversity of artistic traditions, practitioners and art forms, and ensure opportunities to participate are accessible.

  • We will prioritise projects that uplift artistic traditions and communities that have been traditionally underrepresented.

Empowering: We will back local talent, value the old and the new, encourage and celebrate excellence.

  • We will prioritise projects that are generated by Ōtautahi Christchurch and Te Pātaka-o- Rākaihautū Banks Peninsula-based artists and organisations.

Collaborative: We will seek to work collaboratively, support one another, communicate clearly and challenge respectfully.

  • We will prioritise projects that increase community participation and develop inter-community partnerships.

Fund criteria

If you have already received funding from the Creative Communities Scheme for a project, you must complete a report on that project before making another application, unless the project is still in progress.

To get funding through Creative Communities Scheme, your arts project must do at least one of the following:


Create opportunities for local communities to engage with and participate in local arts activities.

  • Performances by community choirs, hip-hop groups, theatre companies or poets.
  • Workshops on printmaking, writing or dancing.
  • Exhibitions by local craft groups promoting weaving, pottery and carving.
  • Festivals featuring local artists.
  • Creation of a community film or a public artwork by a community.
  • Development of new tukutuku, whakairo or kowhaiwhai for a local marae.
  • Artist residencies involving local artists or communities.
  • Seminars for local artist development.


Support the diverse artistic cultural traditions of local communities, for example:

  • Workshops, rehearsals, performances, festivals or exhibitions in Maori or Pasifika heritage or contemporary art forms.
  • Workshops, rehearsals, performances, festivals or exhibitions by local migrant communities.
  • Arts projects that bring together groups from a range of different communities.
  • Workshops, rehearsals, performances, festivals or exhibitions by groups with experience of disability or mental illness.

Young people

Enable young people under 18 years to engage with, and participate in the arts, for example:

  • A group of young people working with an artist to create a mural or street art.
  • A group of young people creating a film about an issue that is important to them.
  • Printing a collection of writing by young people.
  • Music workshops for young people.
  • An exhibition of visual artwork by young people.

Your project must also

  • Take place within Christchurch city or district where the application is made.
  • Be completed within 12 months of funding being approved.
  • Benefit local communities.
  • Not have started or finished before Creative Communities Scheme funding is approved.
  • Not have already been funded through Creative New Zealand's other art funding programmes.

What can and can't be funded

There is no limit to how much you can apply for, but most CCS grants are under $5,000.

Projects that can not get Creative Communities Scheme funding

  • Fundraising activities.
  • Developing galleries, marae, theatres or other venues or facilities.
  • Local Council projects.
  • Projects mainly focussed on other areas, such as health, education or the environment, which only have a small arts component.
  • Arts projects in schools or other educational institutions that are normally funded through the curriculum or operating budgets.

Costs that can be funded

  • Materials for arts activities or programmes.
  • Venue or equipment hire.
  • Personnel and administrative costs for short-term projects.
  • Promotion and publicity of arts activities.

Costs that can't be funded

  • Ongoing administration or personnel costs that are not related to the specific project.
  • Costs for projects already started or completed.
  • Travel costs to attend performances or exhibitions in other areas.
  • Buying equipment, such as computers, cameras, musical instruments, costumes, lights or uniforms.
  • Entry fees for competitions, contests and exams.
  • Prize money, awards and judges' fees for competitions.
  • Royalties.
  • Buying artwork for collections.
  • Debt or interest on the debt.


 Please be aware that all recipients of the Creative Communities Scheme are required to:

  1. Acknowledge the Creative Communities Scheme in any promotional material by using the scheme logo specific to your area.(external link)
  2. Acknowledge the assistance of the scheme verbally at event openings and performances.
  3. Complete a project report(external link)  (external link)at the end of the project. Reports are due within two months of the project being completed or when funds are spent.

Future funding can be withheld if accountability requirements are not met

Guidance on COVID-19 for the Arts sector