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Funds build creativity and community spirit

Council is inviting applications to the Performing Arts Fund and Creative Communities Scheme.
Updated: 16/07/2014 12:30 p.m.

​The call is out for communities to start applying for a share of the money Council pumps into Whangarei communities every year through funding grants.

"The ‘bang for buck’ of Council’s community funding is extraordinary," says Community Funding Officer Bree Kurtovich.

"The funding we provide combines with uncountable hours of volunteer labour put in by people of the District. These hours and funds together mean that the community gets so many special activities, spaces, and initiatives to engage with, which in turn makes Whangarei a pretty amazing place to live and work in.”

Ms Kurtovich says WDC financially supports a wide range of community activities, including projects, events, capital projects, and service delivery.

"In the last year almost $1.8 million of funding was distributed by Council’s Community Services Department. Much of this funding was used to support key organisations that provide significant benefit to the District, including Kiwi North, Citizens Advice Bureau, the Quarry Gardens and CHART. The rest is distributed through grants which the community can apply for. There were 101 of these grants last year that totalled $263,000.” 

Ms Kurtovich said grants range in value anywhere from $500 for a Piano Master class to $10,000 for a school holiday programme for children in lower income areas. Last year $700 went to each of the Resident and Ratepayers groups in the District, to support their administration costs and the District’s Community Halls received up to $6,000 each towards insurance and maintenance costs. $5,000 from the Performing Arts Fund went to Opera in the Garden held in Glenbervie on
8 March, The Whangarei Heads Art Trail held on 19 and 20 April received $2,000 through the Creative Communities Scheme and The Holland Festival held on 26 April at the Quarry Arts Centre received $5,000 through the Community Fund.

“The Creative Communities Scheme helps to fund creative projects and events that draw people together and create a happy, thriving community. It fits really nicely with the other work that we (at Council) do to generate the sense that Whangarei is a great place to live, work, play and invest." 

"Creative activities help to develop relationships, skills, sometimes even inspiring the directions young people decide to take in their adult lives. It also creates the kind of environment that attracts people to the District and makes those who are already here want to stay and participate,” said Ms Kurtovich.

Community groups can apply for funding from the Community Fund for community projects and events, the Performing Arts Fund for major performances, and the Creative Communities Scheme for arts projects and events. The Creative Communities Scheme is also open to individuals.

Applications to the funds are called for several times a year, through public notice advertising in the Whangarei Leader Council pages, posters at the Council service counters, and updates to this website.

“The Community Funding calendar and guide for July 2014 to June 2015 has just been released and we have over-hauled our Community Funding  pages on our website to provide lots more information and advice about these funds.”

“We will hold free workshops on 28 and 29 July and on other dates throughout the year to introduce people to community funding, and provide support for groups applying to the funds. We also provide free access to the FundView and BreakOut databases on the Whangarei Libraries website. These databases have information and contact details for most of the funds and funding agencies in New Zealand. Just use your Library card to access the sites.”

Ms Kurtovich said the Performing Arts Fund and Creative Communities Scheme are now open for funding applications.  Both will close in August.

“We are keen to see people applying for these funds and using them well because the entire community can benefit when that happens,” Ms Kurtovich said.



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