Arts and Culture Fund

This fund supports arts and cultural projects.

A group of dancers performing at Te Papa museum in Wellington.
Moringa Dancers at International Dance Day 2019 - Photo credit: Alexander Garside

We know these are enormously testing times for us all, and for New Zealand’s arts and culture sector. As we move beyond responding to the immediate crisis, we will continue to focus on maintaining the fabric of our arts and cultural sector infrastructure but will also consider how our funding can contribute to the recovery of the sector.

If you have already received a grant but are not able to hold the event or manage the project:

  • We won’t be asking for you to return the funds - unless you think that is the best option.
  • Think about how you might be able to direct the funds to other activities that are aligned with the grant or contribute to artistic research and development, and when you are ready, contact us to discuss these changes and get approval.

If you are about to apply for funding from the upcoming Arts and Culture Fund

  • We have included a new priority for the fund which can support the resilience, sustainability and recovery of organisations in Wellington

We will continue to answer queries and if you have any questions about our funding please contact us via or directly to our Senior Arts Advisor Felicity Birch

We are looking for projects that best fit these four focus areas: the city as a hothouse for talent, Wellington as a region of confident identities, active and engaged people, and our creative future through technology.

Legally constituted organisations can make applications through the online funding portal until midnight on the closing day.  See the funding calendar for closing and decision dates. Only project expenses that start after the decision date are eligible for funding.

First-time applicants

Read the information on this page, then register and apply online through our funding portal: Funding Portal - Apply online

Check your application status

If you've already applied for funding, you can log in to the funding portal to check the status of your application or add information.

Go to Funding Portal

About the fund

Find out when this funding is open: Funding calendar

This fund has four focus areas that can be supported - the city as a hothouse for talent, Wellington as a region of confident identities, active and engaged people, and our creative future through technology.

Past allocations (353KB PDF)

Resilience and recovery of arts and cultural sector impacted by COVID-19

We will give priority to applications that meet one or more of our four focus areas and can; 

  • Support the resilience, sustainability and recovery of organisations in Wellington City
  • Re-frame and adapt projects, programmes and initiatives in the light of COVID-19
  • Develop new works to be presented later or to reach audiences in new ways.

Fund objectives

  • To support the city as a hothouse for talent
  • To reinforce Wellington as a region of confident identities
  • To support active and engaged people
  • To encourage our creative future through technology.


Your project makes a positive contribution to achieving the Council's Strategic outcomes:

    Towards 2040: Smart Capital strategy

  • People Centred City: Contributes to healthy, vibrant, affordable and resilient communities, with a strong sense of identity and ‘place’ expressed through urban form, openness and accessibility.
  • Connected City:  Supports a city with easy physical and virtual access to regional, national and global networks.
  • Eco-City:  Allows the city to proactively respond to environmental challenges and seize opportunities to grow the green economy.
  • Dynamic Central City:  Supports a central city of creativity, exploration and innovation, helping Wellington to offer the lifestyle, entertainment and amenity of a much bigger city.

Long Term Plan 2012/22 priorities

  • An inclusive place where talent wants to live
  • A resilient city
  • A well-managed city
  • Annual Plan priorities for the relevant year.

The project is Wellington-based and mainly benefits the people of Wellington. (exceptions may be made for projects based elsewhere in the region, but which significantly benefit Wellington City residents).

The applicant is a legally constituted community group or organisation.

The applicant provides evidence of sound financial management, good employment practice, clear and detailed planning, clear performance measures, and reporting processes.

The applicant outlines how physical accessibility has been built into project development.

The applicant outlines how pricing has been set to ensure access by a wide range of people or by the intended users.

The project should show evidence of community support, collaboration, and building partnerships with other organisations (e.g. social media interest, letters of support from other organisations/leaders).

The applicant must show that the project discernibly improves community wellbeing and adds value to the range of similar types of services in the community.

The Council acknowledges the significance of Māori cultural practice. Demonstrate how your project values and increases the visibility of Māori cultural traditions and contemporary applications.

To find out more about these criteria, see the application guide:

Arts and culture fund guide (183KB PDF)

New and developmental arts projects

We can support new and developmental arts projects. Applicants will need to demonstrate the formative nature of the project.

Focus areas

The city as a hothouse for talent

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Ensure there is an appropriate range of platforms for local talent to present their works
  • Value new talent and connect it with support networks

Wellington as a region of confident identities

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Recognise and celebrate the role of mana whenua and Māori history in the city
  • Enable all ethnic, demographic and suburban communities to explore, celebrate and share their own cultural identity
  • Enable suburban and other geographical communities to undertake projects that explore, celebrate and share their own identity

Active and engaged people

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Support arts practitioners to work with communities to develop work of, by and for that community
  • Ensure the sustainability of organisations that facilitate and/or undertake activities within communities
  • Maximise the potential of arts and cultural activities to increase community connectedness, resilience and participation in community/city decision-making

Our creative future through technology

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Increase access to technology for use in the creation, distribution and marketing of creative products and services

Support for Professional Performing Arts

In its 2018/28 Long-Term Plan, Wellington City Council proposed ‘Arts and Culture’ as one of the Council’s five priority areas. Public responses to the plan confirmed our residents’ commitment to supporting and celebrating the arts in Wellington and council has now confirmed this priority.

As part of this focus, an additional $75,000 is available to professional performing arts companies or organisations applying to the Arts and Culture Fund. Funding will be allocated through the remaining funding rounds in 2018/19, via the round closing 31 October and then (if funds are still available) in March 2019.In order to be considered, performing arts organisations must:

  • meet the funding criteria of the Arts and Culture Fund
  • have a strong track record in creating high quality professional productions, and have a confirmed performance outcome in Wellington City

Priority will be given to;

  • groups containing a majority of Wellington-based practitioners in theatre, dance or inter-arts practice with a strong performance focus
  • the development of new work that will be premiered in Wellington
  • work that has a Wellington specific focus, i.e. tells a Wellington story or is responding to a Wellington location

If you or your company has a strong connection to Wellington but you are not based in Wellington, you may be considered for funding but should contact Senior Arts Adviser; Felicity Birch to discuss the project’s fit with this funding before applying.

Applications should be submitted to the Arts and Culture Fund via our funding portal and your application should note if you wish to be considered for this specific performing arts focused funding.

Performing arts applications from community groups or emerging companies without a strong track record will still be considered for Arts and Culture Fund grants.

Contact us

Felicity Birch, Senior Arts Advisor

Mobile: 021 227 8143


Phil Railton-Jacks, Funding and Process Advisor

Mobile: 021 515 514