A handful of Whanganui creatives have received funding in the inaugural round of Amplify Grants, an initiative of economic development agency Whanganui & Partners.
Glassblower Katie Brown was given money to to development e-commerce capabilities, YouTube content creator Te Wai-Nui Ranginui Mansell to help build a new workspace, creative co-working space owner Jack Mitchell-Anyon to build moveable walls, harakeke paper and Māori educational product creator Pakohe Papers towards a new computer system, and taonga puoro designer Tom Carroll to buy workshop tools.
The funding is intended to support the equipment and technology creatives need to take their work to the next level.
"Most arts grants support the stuff that happens out front, like exhibitions, gigs or performances," Whanganui & Partners' creative industries and arts strategic lead Emma Bugden said.
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"But the more I work with the creative sector the more I see the need to support and strengthen the behind-the-scenes infrastructure that enables creativity to flourish."
Bugden said the assessment panel evaluated applications based on how much impact the funding could have on the creative workers and on the sector itself.
"I hope that, over time, the Amplify Grants strengthen the creative sector, literally amplifying our creative voices. Whanganui is home to extraordinary talent, and I want to lift up the sector by helping that talent reach its full potential."
Creatives made 27 applications to the fund and Bugden said the panel was impressed with the quality and range of applications.
"I was excited by the recipients they ultimately chose, which cover the full range of creative industries.
"Four of our five recipients are Māori artists or organisations, and all have shown leadership and innovation in their field. I feel enormously heartened at the state of the sector and at the ambition, belief and generosity of our brightest and best."