Funding is now open for creative projects in Waipa, and applicants are encouraged to think outside the box in the wake of the nationwide lockdown.

The Creative Communities Scheme supports local arts initiatives that help grow and promote creativity through access and participation, diversity and young people.

Each year Creative New Zealand provides funding to councils for distribution in their local area, supporting more than 1800 projects annually.

Waipa District Council strategy and community services group manager, Debbie Lascelles, said the upcoming Waipa funding round would take a new shape due to restrictions around social interactions and mass gatherings.

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Workshop organiser Janet Smith. Photo / Margaret Bray
Workshop organiser Janet Smith. Photo / Margaret Bray

"We're encouraging our arts community to dream up innovative and creative projects that align with current restrictions — from virtual workshops to individual home-based art projects," she said.

Debbie said it was important to continue to support the Waipa arts sector through the fast-changing situation around Covid-19.

"Continuing to offer the funding during a nationwide lockdown is an opportunity for our arts community to show how they will adapt to the current environment and build resilience.

"Whilst our community can't physically attend events, workshops and festivals in the near future, we can still stay connected, entertained and inspired."

Creative Communities Scheme funding is available to groups and individuals. Funding can cover materials for arts activities or programmes, venue or equipment hire, personnel and administrative costs for short-term projects and promotion and publicity of arts activities.

"Due to current nationwide restrictions, we understand there will be some things that cannot be funded for this round. That's why we're interested in receiving applications for alternative and creative projects that align with public health guidance," Debbie said.

After the funding round closes, grants are allocated by a committee, consisting of a panel of judges appointed for their knowledge of and experience in local arts.

The committee will meet via video conference if restrictions around physical distancing have not lifted.

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Successful applicants will be asked to consider what impact Covid-19 restrictions would have on their project, and to show how their project will follow public health guidance on www.covid-19.govt.nz.

Application guides and forms are available at waipadc.govt.nz/creativecommunities. As Council offices are closed until further notice, application forms must be emailed to info@waipadc.govt.nz before the funding round closes at 5pm, Friday, May 1.