Regional Arts and Culture grants programme supports Toi Whītiki

Last Updated : 24 Sep 2019
Regional Arts and Culture grants programme supports Toi Whītiki
Massive Company -Like A River. Photo courtesy of Ben Sarten

Auckland Council’s Community Development and Safety Committee has approved 30 applications for grants totalling $435,850 through round one of the 2019/2020 Regional Arts and Culture grants programme.

The Regional Arts and Culture grants programme is designed to help organisations, communities and artists to deliver arts and culture projects and activities across Tāmaki Makaurau. Grants delivered through this programme support the implementation of Toi Whītiki, Auckland’s Arts and Culture Strategic Action Plan.

Councillor Cathy Casey, chair of the committee, says that this fund aims to help all Aucklanders access and participate in arts and culture.

“Auckland Council values and invests in arts and culture and the diverse organisations receiving funding from our Regional Arts and Culture grants programme illustrates the unique cultural identity that we have here in Tāmaki Makaurau.”

Cat Ruka, Artistic Director for the Tempo Dance Festival, says that the New Zealand Dance Festival Trust is thrilled to receive funding at a time when the Trust is preparing to embark on a new and exciting strategic direction.

“In the past, the council’s funding has been instrumental in ensuring Tempo Dance Festival can continue to provide invaluable infrastructure and mentoring opportunities for Aotearoa's dance artists. Moving forward, it will enable us to activate even more opportunities beyond the festival that will service dance artists and enable all people of Tāmaki Makaurau to engage with and see themselves reflected in dance.”

Regional Arts and Culture grants programme supports Toi Whītiki (2)
Tempo Dance Festival -Festival Heroes. Photo courtesy of Ralph Brown, direction - Cat Ruka, dancers - Sofia McIntyre and Eddie Elliott, styling -Sammy Salsa, hair and make-up - Liz Laupepa

“Through the platforming of diverse styles of dance, we seek to affirm the cultural identity of all Aucklanders and give mana to diverse communities of dance artists. We are beyond thrilled that Auckland Council has given us the opportunity to deepen our impact on this incredible city and strengthen the important leadership role we occupy within the sector," says Cat Ruka.

Amanda Rees, General Manager of Massive Company says that the support received from the council has enabled them to reach a wonderful mix of young people and develop them as arts’ practitioners.

“We have provided young people with one-on-one training as theatre directors and provided professional actors for them to work with and develop their skills. We have worked with a group of rangatahi for 12 months to give them training as actors and storytellers. We have created theatre with them which has told uplifting stories of cross-generational whānau support, told multi-cultural navigational stories which tie in with Matariki themes and that have centred around empowering young people to speak up about how they feel, and fight for what they care about.”

“Auckland Council support has meant we've been able to attract a beautifully diverse group of youth and who we have been able to work with locally, it means we'll be able to continue with our free training and creation of theatre with youth.”

"I knew little to nothing about my heritage before joining Massive. Massive has allowed me to learn about my heritage and has encouraged me to ask and talk to family members about stories and my past. The best stuff was the connections I made! [it] made me ask questions to my family about my Whakapapa and I learnt sooooo much" (16-year-old female, Massive Theatre participant).

Regional Arts and Culture grants programme supports Toi Whītiki (1)
Massive Company - April Foundations. Photo courtesy of Tara Ranchhold

The Regional Arts and Culture Grants Programme budget is allocated under three categories:

  • Audience development and programming project grants: These grants support the delivery of a wide range of high-quality arts and cultural experiences that would not otherwise be economically viable. These projects should be capable of attracting audiences from across Tāmaki Makaurau.
  • Business and capacity development project grants: These grants are intended to increase the professionalism and build the sustainability of regional arts and culture organisations through the development of strategic, business and marketing plans; feasibility studies; organisational development and digital/web development activities.
  • Strategic relationship grants: These grants are single or multi-year funding relationships with a small number of strategic organisations operating at the regional level. These organisations are or are capable of becoming the ‘cornerstones’ of a thriving arts and culture sector in Auckland.

Members of the committee approved funding to the following organisations:






Allocation ($)


Audience development and programming grants



Touch Compass Dance Trust

A multi-sensory theatre work for audiences with profound and multiple learning disabilities



Action Education

Word The Front Line 2020



Maree Sheehan

Ootairongo audio portraiture exhibition



Auckland Writers and Readers Charitable Trust

Community and free programmes at Auckland Writers Festival 2020



Tim Bray Theatre Company

Community engagement with diverse audiences



Massive Company

Kia Puawai – theatre workshops and performances



TOHU Productions

PURE, an intercultural dance project



Peata Melbourne

Provocation, a play by Aroha Awarau



Girls Rock! Aotearoa

Music workshops, mentoring and performance



Brilliant Adventures Ltd

Everything After theatre production



NZ Ukulele Trust

Ukulele Festival 2019




18 at 18 art exhibition



SquareSums&Co Ltd

Development of a new Asian contemporary theatre work



The Oryza Foundation

Asian Playwrights Lab Series #2



NZ Barok

Musical concerts including Baby Barok free programme



Prayas Cultural Group

First World Problems 2.0



New Zealand Comedy Trust

Dialogue community event



Jumpboard Productions

Live Live Cinema



Manukau Orchestral Society

Concert Four, 2019



Taurima Vibes

Atawhai Festival arts events






Business and capacity project grants


Circability Trust

Organisational development project



He Waka Eke Noa Trust

Digital platform project



Theatre Stampede/Nightsong

Website development



Script to Screen

Strength in Numbers business capacity project



Manukau Orchestral Society

Business, marketing and audience development strategies



Documentary New Zealand Trust

Digital strategy



New Zealand Comedy Trust

Website development






Strategic relationship grants


New Zealand Dance Festival Trust

$25,000 per annum for one year


Massive Theatre Company

$20,000 per annum for three years


Documentary New Zealand Trust

$25,000 per annum for one year







Round one





The contestable programme has a budget of $1,141,976 for 2019/2020. The scheme allocates grants through two funding rounds each year.

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