Ten of New Zealand's emerging artists are set to get the message of a lifetime during the next few months.

The Arts Foundation, an organisation which raises money to help artists further their careers, has started a new programme to help up-and-comers kick-start their working lives. Called Springboard, it has been launched during September's Arts Month which aims to get New Zealanders talking about what the arts mean to us.

More than $200,000 was raised at the Art Ball, which began the month's activities. It will go toward helping up to 10 artists develop their careers with a $15,000 grant and a partnership with a senior artist mentor or past Arts Foundation award winner.

Set up in 1998, the Arts Foundation has gifted around 215 artists with awards totalling just over $6 million. Recipients include a who's who of the country's writers, choreographers, screen artists, visual artists, theatre practitioners and musicians. In 2013, it launched the Boosted crowdfunding website which has raised more than $5m for art projects.

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This year, the foundation decided on a re-launch to better promote its work and get New Zealanders talking about the arts and creativity in everyday life. So far, around 1000 people have sent the foundation messages stating what they think art is and the role it plays in wellbeing, identity, creativity and economic growth.

To have your say on what art means to you, go to thearts.co.nz. NZME, publishers of the NZ Herald, are a partner in Arts Month.