The Arts Council invested a record $43.6 million in the arts and arts organisations in 2014/15 with more organisations than ever receiving multi-year funding, according to the council’s Annual Report 2014/15.
Of the 82 organisations in Creative New Zealand’s multi-year investment programmes, 63 with continuous funding agreements presented almost 7,280 events and performances, which attracted more than 955,000 paid and free attendances throughout New Zealand.
Independent research commissioned by Creative New Zealand found that a record nine in ten (89%) adult New Zealanders are either attending or participating in the arts and eight in ten (82%) agree that the arts help to improve New Zealand society.
“It is heartening to see that the arts matter so much to New Zealanders,” said Arts Council Chairman Dr Dick Grant. The results were part of the triennial survey New Zealanders and the arts: Attitudes, attendance and participation in 2014.
More than 500 grants and special opportunities were awarded to artists and groups and every local authority in New Zealand awarded grants for projects in their community via the Creative Communities Scheme.
The Arts Council responded to a decline in New Zealand Lottery Grants Board revenue by using financial reserves to minimise the effect on the sector and prioritising existing obligations across Creative New Zealand’s funding programmes and initiatives.
Lottery revenue was $37.379 million in 2013/14 and $31.074 million in 2014/15 and forecasts for the next few years are materially lower.
“The Arts Council’s challenge for the next three years will be to achieve even better results for the arts, and services for its customers and clients, with fewer financial resources of its own,” said Dr Grant. “It is timely that we have already begun our strategic thinking for the period from 2016/17 to 2019/20.”
International success was achieved by New Zealand artists funded by Creative New Zealand with more than 200 participating in seven different Edinburgh festivals as part of the NZ at Edinburgh season in August 2014.
The New Zealand pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale presented Simon Denny’s exhibition Secret Power. The exhibition attracted the attention of the international art world and influential media such as the Guardian, New York Times and Frieze magazine, with numerous international publications recommending it as a ‘must see’.
The Arts Council Annual Report 2014/15 is on the Creative New Zealand website.
Published on 30th November 2015