New Zealand’s arts and culture sector has received a welcome boost with the Government announcing it will provide a targeted support package to help respond to the challenges of the delta variant.
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Carmel Sepuloni has shared the Government has brought forward $37.5 million which will span across protecting jobs and supporting at-risk organisations, key infrastructure, artists, sole-traders, creatives and projects, as well as a future-focused fund aimed at providing certainty for performances and events.
The package includes both emergency funds offering short-term relief, as well as medium-term support.
Part of the package to provide short-term relief includes a $10 million funding boost to cultural agencies to enable them to support at-risk organisations, key infrastructure, artists and projects.
Through this package, Creative New Zealand has been allocated $5 million (of the $10 million being distributed to agencies) to provide short-term support to the arts sector.
Other agencies receiving support include the New Zealand Music Commission ($3 million), Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa/Museums Aotearoa ($1 million) and the New Zealand Film Commission ($1 million).
Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager for Arts Development Services Cath Cardiff says last year the organisation emptied its financial reserves as part of the Phase 1 Emergency COVID-19 response, so this additional funding to support a heavily impacted arts community is very welcome.
“In support of this further phase of the Government’s emergency response, our priority with this additional $5 million is to get it out to artists and arts organisations as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Cath says.
“The best way we can do this is by distributing it through our existing funding and investment programmes and we have based our planning on the assumption alert level restrictions – which prevent the arts community from operating business as usual – will be around until at least the end of the year and so this timeframe is our priority.
“If this proves inaccurate, we will revise our plan accordingly.”
Creative New Zealand will distribute the $5 million by:
Manatū Taonga will administer a $5 million Cultural Sector Emergency Relief Fund to support organisations at clear risk of no longer trading viably – applications are now open.
Information about the Government’s package to support the arts and culture sector can be found on Manatū Taonga’s website.