Create - An Arts, Heritage & Culture Fund

Create Fund

Our Create programme is for emerging/early career artists, ngā toi Māori (Māori arts), heritage and cultural activators and practitioners across all art forms, heritage fields and cultures.

Create is designed to support a range of activities and opportunities that:

  • encourage and support emerging/early career artists, ngā toi Māori (Māori arts), heritage and cultural activators, and practitioners to develop and grow their skills and practice

  • strengthen engagement and participation in arts, heritage, and culture

  • increase the visibility of the arts, heritage, and culture


Funding is available to individuals under three categories:

  • Recognition & Achievement

  • Creative, Heritage & Cultural Skill Development

  • Promotion, Production, Presentation, Exhibition & Touring

Total fund: $50,000 per annum

Apply: Anytime - but you do need to apply before your activity has started 

We also support the arts, heritage and culture sectors through our various granting programmes.

Read What We Fund to find out more.

Can you apply?

You can apply to the Create Fund once in a 12 month period and applications are accepted from emerging/early career artists, heritage or cultural activators or practitioners who are:

  • at least 15 years of age
  • Aotearoa New Zealand citizens or a permanent resident
  • currently living in our area (includes Southland, Queenstown, Glenorchy, Arrowtown, Tapanui and Heriot areas) and have done so for 3 years or more. Consideration will be given to those who have lived in the Trust's area for three years or more and whose immediate family still reside in here, but you have left the province to:
    • access specialist training related to your art, heritage or culture 
    • attend boarding school or
    • undertake tertiary study
    • and can show evidence of ongoing connection/involvement/giving back to art, heritage, or culture in the Trust region.
  • undertaking their artistic, heritage or cultural activities in the Trust area
  • able to provide evidence of and/or demonstrate a track record of involvement in their art form, heritage field or their culture.

In addition, your project must be time limited with a definite start and end date.


Recognition & Achievement


Recognising outstanding achievement and artistic excellence.


  • artists and practitioners supported to reach their potential
  • artists, the arts, heritage and culture help to promote the region as vibrant and a great place to live, work and create

Types of activities supported

Artists, heritage or cultural activators or practitioners selected to attend, present, or showcase in a premier event or activity.

Amount of award

  • NZ, Trans Tasman, Oceania & Southeast Asia - up to $1,000
  • Asia, Europe & Americas - up to $1,500
Creative, Heritage and Cultural Skill Development


Emerging/early career artists, activators and practitioners:

  • learning new or improving creative, cultural or heritage skills in a practical hands-on environment
  • developing the art, heritage, and culture practice
  • upskilling in traditional cultural or heritage skills or crafts and sharing with community in the Trust's area
  • undertaking activities that meet a traditional cultural or heritage skills deficit


  • artists, heritage and cultural activators and practitioners increase skills and knowledge
  • artists, heritage or cultural activators and practitioners supported to reach their potential

Types of activities supported

  • mentorships and internships with established or professional artists
  • specialised programmes, courses, workshops or other activities.

Amount of Award

Up to $1,500 for e.g. mentorships and internships

For specialised programmes, courses or workshops:

  • Regional - up to $300
  • South Island - up to $500
  • North Island - up to $750 
Promotion, Production, Presentation, Exhibition & Touring


  • supporting professional development and raising the profile of local emerging/early career artists, activators and practitioners
  • raising the profile of and access to the arts, heritage and culture in the Trust community
  • sharing traditional arts, heritage, or cultural skills with the community in the Trust's area


  • artists, heritage or cultural activators and practitioners and practitioners supported to reach their potential
  • increase awareness of, access to and engagement in art, heritage and culture in the community

Types of activities supported

  • public exhibition in a community facility, a recording, publishing and promotion of literary arts, produced play in the Trust's area
  • a hui, wananga or workshop in the Trust's area open to the public and/or communities of interest
  • touring (activity in at least three communities in the Trust's area)

Amount of award

30% of budgeted costs up to a maximum of $3,000.


For the purpose of the fund the Trust has adopted the following definitions.

Arts the creative skill, imagination and expression of artists, practitioners and organisations that contribute to creating, presenting, and distributing the arts (in all its diverse forms) and that make up the diverse forms of arts practice, such as dance, music, sculpture, visual, performing, and literary and ngā toi Māori.

Activators and practitioners are the range of people/professions contributing to, creating, documenting, conserving, presenting, distributing or caring for arts, heritage and culture.

Culture is the shared values, ideas, knowledge, stories, customs and social behaviours of people, society, or a social group.

Emerging/Early career artists, activators or practitioners are those in the early stage of their career development (regardless of age), that have either created some original artistic/creative work, have some track record of involvement in their art form, heritage field or culture and are locally recognized by peers or experts and are showing commitment to their art form, heritage field and culture.

Heritage is diverse and can be tangible/physical (such as historic buildings, structures and objects, precincts, bridges, archaeological and site/places, marae) natural (such as places/areas, landscapes and landforms, tribal landmarks, flora and fauna or intangible (such as voices, customs and rituals, knowledge, language). 

Nga toi Māori includes Māori heritage, and contemporary arts practice such as waiata, kapa haka, raranga, whakairo.

What We Don't Fund

Arts, heritage or cultural organisations and groups as funding may be available through our General Grants programme.

Trustees and staff of Community Trust South and their immediate families (immediate families include: partners, parents, children, step children, grandchildren, grandparents and siblings) due to a perceived conflict of interest.

Employees or councillors of local government, employees of central government departments/agencies (including schools), tertiary institutes or for profit organisations unless the application clearly relates to a wider community benefit outside of the organisation. We regard professional development related to these organisations as the responsibility of the organisation and the expectation is the organisation would also be contributing.

People applying as part of a service club or for profit organisation.

Applicants from outside the Trust's area.

Individuals are only eligible for one Scholarship within a 12 month period, but can apply again in 12 months' time from the application decision date.

Types of projects and activities we don’t fund:

  • Arts, heritage or cultural organisations and groups as funding may be available through the Trust's general grants programme
  • Retrospective activities i.e. an activity that had already started or completed
  • Professional artists i.e. who undertake their activities either as a major part of their working life (rather than as a pastime), as their predominant job and/or receive compensation (through sales, fees, commissions, salaries etc)
  • Artists represented by a dealer gallery or who have an agent
  • Activities related to a commercially run space/gallery
  • Books except where the focus of the activity is on literary arts/literature in the forms of fiction and poetry
  • Commercial events or other activities undertaken purely for commercial reasons
  • Activities that do not involve original artwork
  • Study towards a formal qualification e.g. certificate, diploma, degree or higher-level study
  • Applicant’s own artistic fees or wages
  • Research
  • Capital expenditure e.g. equipment or instrument purchases
  • Facilities
  • Website development
  • Business start-ups or development
  • Commissions
  • Fundraising activities
  • Game design or commercial design

How To Apply

Applications are accepted anytime and are made online.

If you haven’t applied to us before you need to register by providing your name and email address as well as creating a password – it only takes a moment. Once registered you can log in at any time to start an application or to access it again later, so you can work on it over time. 

If you are under 18 years of age you will also need to include a completed Parent/Guardian Consent form as part of your application.

The application process includes an endorsement from a recognised peer/expert in the relevant art form, heritage field or culture.

To help you prepare you can also download the application form so you can see the questions we ask.

How We Assess Applications

We carry out an initial review of your application to make sure you are eligible to apply.

Our staff then review your application to support Trustees in making an informed decision on your activity. We will often contact you to ask further questions about your activity or application.

What we look for when we are assessing your application: 

  • Alignment with our Arts, Heritage and Culture Pou priorities and outcomes
  • Artistic, heritage or cultural ability and experience and degree of achievement (i.e. your track record)
  • Degree of recognition from appropriate peers, experts, or recognised body
  • Strength of idea, proposed project process and budget
  • Relevance of activity to stated learning and career development objectives and to stage of development
  • Impact of the proposed activity on the applicant’s artistic, heritage or cultural skill development, practice and to the wider community
  • Expertise and capacity of hosting organisation or individual
  • Merit of workshop, conference, or training event
  • Potential benefits to the relevant community and/or sector

When Will You Hear Back?

It takes approximately 8 weeks for a decision to be made and you will receive an email letting you know the outcome.

If your application is successful, the email will outline the amount approved and any funding conditions. You can read Managing Your Funding for more information.

If your application is unsuccessful the email will outline the reasons for your application being declined.

Successful applicants will need to provide an accountability report within 2 months of completing the activity for which funding was awarded. The report will be available online.

If you have any further questions about funding for individuals ring 0800 500 185 or email info@communitytrust