Funding announced for stories, dance and Auckland’s creative arts

Publish Date : 06 May 2019

The importance of Auckland’s vibrant arts and culture sector was celebrated by Auckland Council’s Community Development and Safety Committee at their April meeting.

The committee approved $324,538 in grants to 25 organisations enhancing the culture of our city through story, dance and creative arts.

Councillor Cathy Casey, chairperson of the Community Development and Safety Committee, says the organisations who received funding this round add significant value to Auckland, with projects that celebrate our diversity through art-form and cultural expression.

“Participating in arts and culture encourages communities to learn more about each other and to better appreciate our differences,” says Councillor Casey.

“Our funding supports the delivery of high-quality arts and cultural experiences throughout our region. There’s something for everyone here!”

The Regional Arts and Culture Grants Programme helps organisations, communities and artists to deliver arts and culture projects and activities across the Auckland region. Here’s a peek at just a few of the projects that received funding in April’s Regional Arts and Culture grant allocation.

Red Leap Theatre

Crossing the forms of physical theatre, imagery and storytelling, Red Leap Theatre believes in playful discovery and the power of imagination. The company’s latest work, Owls Do Cry, sees Janet Frame’s classic novel adapted for the stage for the first time. Owls Do Cry is a tale of struggle with financial instability, mental health, disability and grief and will premiere in Auckland late 2019.

Funding for stories, dance and Auckland’s creative arts (1)
Red Leap Theatre Photo credit- Andi Crown

Julie Nolan, Red Leap Theatre’s Art Director, says that this funding has allowed their work to be offered to a new generation which would not have been possible without the support of the council.

“We’re immensely grateful to Auckland Council for their ongoing support of Red Leap over the years,” says Julie Nolan.

"In this round, they not only supported us for venue hire for our latest work Owls Do Cry but also supported our workshop series for low decile schools."

Would you like to learn more about physical theatre?

You can read about Red Leap Theatre and its community and school workshops here.

New Zealand Dance Company

Matariki for Tamariki is a new dance work for the whole wh̄anau, choreographed for the New Zealand Dance Company by Sean MacDonald (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Raukawa).

A joyful celebration of Matariki and wh̄anau, Matariki for Tamariki follows a band of movers who travel high and low through the ngahere (forest), ngā maunga (mountains), and ngā tātahi (beaches), experiencing the sights and sounds of Aotearoa.

Alongside school workshops and performances, holiday programmes in Takapuna and Māngere will see young people join the professional dancers in public performances, suitable for ages 4 and up.

Funding for stories, dance and Auckland’s creative arts
Matariki for Tamariki - Photo credit - John McDermott. Illustration credit - Ruby Glover.

Head to Auckland Live to book tickets for the Takapuna performances here.

Nau mai e te tii e te taa! Join the adventure!

Sisters United

Empowering young Māori and Pasifika women is a passion for the Goebel sisters – Kendal, Parris and Narelle. Combining their skills and experience in social work, creative arts and design, Sisters United runs a range of exciting, fresh and creative programmes for young women aged 12-21 in Auckland.

Youngest sister Parris knows first-hand how the creative arts can positively impact young people. From a 15-year old choreographing hip hop dances with her friends in an aunt’s garage in South Auckland, Parris is now an award-winning international dancer and choreographer working with artists including Nikki Minaj, Justin Bieber, Janet Jackson, Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez.

Sisters United ‘Young Queens’ camp is a programme for 15 to 21-year old Māori and Pasifika women and offers a nurturing programme of workshops and activities based on team building, self-worth, body confidence, healthy relationships and social media. The activities are all delivered through dance, drama, music and spoken word.

Read more about Sisters United here.

Projects funded

Here is a full list of the organisations and projects that received funding this round.



 Audience development and programming grants

Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand

Auckland concerts and workshops by Voices New Zealand, New Zealand Youth Choir and New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir

Touch Compass Dance Trust Board

InMotion Matariki parade

Tu Meke Tui Ltd

Live stage show for children based on the award-winning book Tu Meke Tui

The New Zealand Dance Advancement Trust

Matariki for Tamariki, a contemporary dance work

The Auckland Writers and Readers Charitable Trust

Community and free programmes for the Auckland Writers Festival 2019

Barbarian Productions Limited

SING IT TO MY FACE, an intergenerational community choir production

Storylines Children's Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand

Storylines Festival - free workshops, reading and events

Little Green Man Productions

Matariki glow in the dark puppet show for children

Sisters United Trust

Arts workshops for Māori and Pasifika women 15-21

Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery

Walking About - a series of artist-created and led walks

Kognika Ltd (representing Chromacon Arts Festival)

Chromacon Arts Festival 2019

Te Pou Theatre Trust

2019 Kōanga Festival - Māori storytelling and theatre

Red Leap Theatre Charitable Trust Board

Owls do Cry - physical theatre

Theatre Stampede Charitable Trust

Mr Red Light - accessible performances for schools

Massive Company Trust

Performances - Like a River, I Disagree; and Half of the Sky

Indian Ink Theatre Company

Mrs Krishnan's Party

Short+Sweet New Zealand Ltd

Short+Sweet 2019 (final year)

Pop-up Globe Foundation Ltd

Audience development through youth and community ambassadors

Bach Musica NZ Inc

2019 concert programme

The Large Group Ltd

The Illiad, including schools performances

Auckland Choral Society Incorporated

Choral performance of three works

 Business and capacity project grants 

Te Pou Theatre Trust

Strategic and operations development project for Te Pou at its new venue

Te Tuhi Contemporary Art Trust

Website development, including space for promotions by community groups

The Arts Foundation of New Zealand

Auckland delivery of the arts crowdfunding platform, Boosted

Chromacon Arts Festival

Digital strategy stage two

Tim Bray Theatre

Governance development project

 Strategic relationship grants 

Manukau Orchestral Society

Provide high quality, engaging orchestral concerts and development for artists from throughout the region

Applications open now

The next Regional Arts and Culture grants funding round is now open. Applications close on 19 July 2019.

Visit the council’s website to learn more about the programme.

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