News | 23 April 2020
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Helping the arts community find its feet

While it’s been a tough time for Wellington’s creative scene, the arts community has been given a funding boost. And despite the disruption caused by Covid-19, Wellington City Council continues to welcome grant applications for funding from arts and culture, recreation, building, and waste minimisation funds.

Girls Rock Camp! Pōneke is a week-long music-based school holiday programme.
Girls Rock Camp! Pōneke is a week-long music-based school holiday programme.

Girls Rock Camp! Pōneke – a week-long music-based school holiday programme for female, transgender, and gender non-conforming young people – was one of 17 recipients awarded a total of $73,558 through the Creative Communities Scheme (CCS).

CCS supports and encourages local arts activities. Girls Rock Camp! Pōneke received $4,400, which will help campers (aged 12-17 years) form bands, learn instruments, attend workshops and write original songs to be performed in front of friends and family at a showcase.

Organiser Ali Burns says regardless of the uncertain times, the kaupapa around Girls Rock! Pōneke remains the same.

“The heart of what we do is to create connections and inspire creativity – we believe that this is especially important in this time of social isolation. We have been building an incredibly positive community with this programme and have seen the difference it can make, so we are working hard to develop a programme that will continue this trajectory, whether it is hosted in person or digitally.”

Ali says receiving the CCS grant means they are able to continue this important work.

“We are committed to ensuring young people from across the Wellington region have access to this positive event which develops communication skills, teamwork and leadership, confidence, critical thinking and encourages creative expression.”

The CCS, a partnership between Wellington City Council and Creative New Zealand, is offered twice a year. The scheme supports projects that reflect the diversity of the capital’s culture and traditions, get young people participating, have broad appeal and community involvement, and encourage engagement in the arts.

Funding from the CCS was also awarded to:

  • Capital Publishing Limited for a 10-page te reo Māori feature in Capital Magazine;
  • Patsy Derry who has just celebrated her 84th birthday and runs a community line dancing class for young people with special needs;
  • IHC New Zealand to enable music and performance workshops and;
  • Wellington Zinefest for satellite and monthly community outreach events.

The CCS panel met via Zoom, meeting during the lockdown, and decided on the 17 funding recipients. The panel contacted all applicants after the Covid-19 impacts were understood. Many of the projects have adapted the way they will deliver, bringing people together remotely, planning for presentation later and coming up with smart and innovative solutions.

The CCS panel is made up of arts and community experts, and is chaired by Hilaire Carmody.

“The panel have worked hard to look at all the applications and came together at this point in time, where our time and energy is largely focussed on keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe, bringing integrity and deep consideration to the table even though things are unknown and unsteady. Our panel were happy to support 17 projects which will help the community find its feet and help sustain the creative pulse of Wellington,” Hilaire says.

Applications are currently open for funding rounds including from the Arts and Culture Fund, which closes at the end of April. Applications are also open until the end of April for the Building Resilience Fund, the CH Izard Bequest and the Waste Minimisation Seed Fund Under $2,000.

Applications for Social and Recreation Fund are open until the end of May.