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Creative Communities Scheme

Applications open 1 August 2024

Looking to bring your creative project to life? The Creative Communities Scheme (CCS) is here to help!

With funding available for a wide range of artistic ventures, from music and dance to visual arts and community workshops, this scheme supports more than 1,800 individuals and groups across the country each year.

Locally, the scheme is administered by the Ashburton District Council and we're looking for arts projects that do at least one of the following:

  • Increase opportunities for local participation in the arts.
  • Support the diverse artistic expressions of our local communities.
  • Enable young people to engage with the arts.

Check out the Creative Communities Funding Brochure for more information about whether your project might be eligible.

To get funding through CCS your arts project must do at least one of the following:
  • Participation - Create opportunities for local communities to engage with, and participate in local arts activities, for example:

    • Performances by community choirs, hip-hop groups, theatre companies, musicians or poets
    • Workshops on printmaking, writing or dancing
    • Creation of new tukutuku, whakairo or kowhaiwhai for a local marae
    • 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
    • Artist residencies involving local artists or communities
    • Seminars for local artist development
  • Diversity - Support the diverse artistic cultural traditions of local communities, for example:

    • Workshops, rehearsals, performances, festivals or exhibitions in Māori or Pasifika heritage or contemporary art forms
    • Workshops, rehearsals, performances, festivals or exhibitions by local migrant communities
    • Arts projects bringing 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 art work by young people
Your project must also:
  • Take place within the Ashburton District
  • Be completed within 12 months of funding being approved
  • Benefit local communities
  • Not have started or finished before CCS funding is approved
  • Not have already been funded through Creative New Zealand’s other arts funding programmes
What types of projects can’t get CCS funding?
  • Fundraising activities
  • Developing galleries, marae, theatres or other venues or facilities
  • Local council projects
  • Projects which are mainly focused around other areas e.g. health, education or the environment and that only have a very small arts component
  • Arts projects in schools or other education institutions that are the core business of that institution or that are normally funded through curriculum or operating budgets
What costs cannot 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 artworks for collections
  • Debt or interest on debt

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

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

What costs can I get funding for?
  • Materials for arts activities or programmes
  • Venue or equipment hire
  • Personnel and administrative costs for short-term projects
  • Promotion and publicity of arts activities
How much can I apply for?

There is no limit to how much you can apply for, but most CCS grants are under $2,000.

How often can I apply and how are decisions made?

Ashburton District Council typically has two application rounds per year in March and August. Your application will go to an assessment committee of people who are appointed for their knowledge and experience of the arts and our local communities.

The final funding decisions are made at the discretion of Ashburton District Council. Successful applicants’ project details may be used for publicity purposes.


Successful applicants must complete and return a grant reporting form on the completion of the project, or by 31 July, or before applying for further funding, whichever comes first.

Receipts are required for all expenditure.

Organisations that do not complete their reporting will not be eligible for future funding.

If the funds have not been spent when the next funding round occurs and you would like to make another application, please complete the report form as much as possible, and let us know how and when you intend to spend the rest of the grant funds.

Creative Communities Report Form

Required Documents