Click to open application form.Ara Poutama Aotearoa, the Department of Corrections, with the support of Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, has set aside $3m to fund a range of creative arts and cultural wellbeing programmes in prisons between 2022 and 2024/2025.

Ara Poutama Aotearoa acknowledges the value of creative arts and cultural programmes for people in prison to support their rehabilitation and reintegration. Access to the arts is considered by many to be a human right. Music, dance, theatre, painting, weaving, carving (to name a few) can give people new ways to express themselves, reconnect them with their culture, provide a positive learning experience and prosocial relationships.

This fund aligns with our Hōkai Rangi strategy to better understand ‘what works and why’ - especially for Māori, and to achieve better outcomes for people in prison. The initiative is expected to identify around 10 proposals to share the funding. An objective is to gather evidence to inform a strategic and sustainable approach to future creative arts and cultural wellbeing programmes.

Programmes will be selected on detailed criteria with the aim of offering a broad range of programme types and delivery approaches so we can assess comparative benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions and a full list of the considerations for selection are provided in the application form.

How to apply

1. Download and complete the Application for Creative Arts and Cultural Wellbeing Prison Initiative PDF, 1.1 MB.
2. Send the completed application form to Artsfund@corrections.govt.nz by 5pm, Monday 22 August.

Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application by Friday, 7 October 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section includes the FAQs from the application document and some additional questions received since the launch. If you have further questions please send them to Artsfund@corrections.govt.nz 


How did this funding opportunity come about?
The Ministry for Culture and Heritage has provided Ara Poutama Aotearoa up to $3 million to support the delivery of creative arts and cultural wellbeing programmes in prison over three years. This funding is part of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage’s Creative Arts Recovery and Employment (CARE) Fund’s Culture and Wellbeing stream. The CARE Fund was part of the government’s Arts and Culture COVID Recovery Programme, designed to support the cultural sector to adapt to the COVID-19 environment by funding projects that enhance access to, and participation in, the cultural sector and create employment and skill development opportunities.

Who will assess the funding applications?
Applications will be assessed by a panel comprised of individuals who understand mātauranga Māori, arts delivery, and practice in Ara Poutama Aotearoa, or who have had an involvement with prison sites. The panel will then recommend funding allocations for approval by Ara Poutama Aotearoa’s Deputy Chief Executive Māori.

How many programmes can be funded and for how long?
As the funding is one-off, the total available will support a small number of programmes for a limited period of time. It is expected up to 10 programmes may be funded, but the final number of programmes selected will depends on the amount of funding given to each programme.

What will the funds cover?
The funds will cover the costs of programme delivery (materials, travel, and delivery costs), over three years. A portion of the total funding will be used to evaluate the programmes (including matching providers with an evaluator). The evaluation will help gather evidence to help develop approaches to the delivery
of creative arts and cultural wellbeing programmes, and show each programme’s impact on additional employment and skill diversification opportunities for creative practitioners.

Will selected programmes be allocated the same amount of funding?
No. In the application form, you will be asked how much funding you need for your programme. In addition to detailing the delivery costs (including any materials required) for your preferred (fully funded) delivery option, you may also choose to outline an alternative option if the programme can be delivered in a scaled- down format, for the panel’s consideration. The funding may be used to support a mix of fully and partially funded programmes.

I have no or little evaluation and research experience. Should I still apply for this funding?
Yes. If your programme is selected for funding, we will work with you to ensure suitable evaluation arrangements are in place. This might include, for example, matching you with an evaluation team and ensuring you understand how you will work with them to enable evaluation (for example, what data and information you will need to record about participation and outcomes), before the programme begins.

Can I apply for this funding if I want to deliver a programme in the community?
No. The funding has been provided to support the delivery of creative arts and cultural wellbeing programmes for people in prison only.

Does this funding process replace existing funding for arts programmes in prisons? If I am currently delivering a funded arts programme in prison, will I have to apply under this initiative to retain my funding?
No. This funding is not intended to replace programmes that are already funded. You do not need to apply for funding under this initiative to retain your existing funding.

Will the funding process under this initiative be the future process adopted by Ara Poutama Aotearoa for funding of arts programme delivery in prison?
Evidence gathered during this initiative is expected to inform the development of a more strategic and sustainable approach to delivering future creative arts and cultural wellbeing programmes in prisons. However, this does not mean that the funding process adopted within the context of the CreativeArts and Cultural Wellbeing Prison Initiative will be the future funding direction of Ara Poutama Aotearoa.

If my programme is funded under this initiative, will I be eligible for any other Ara Poutama Aotearoa funding following the end of this initiative? What happens at the end of the funded period?
Total funding for this initiative is capped and time limited. Funding availability to allow programmes to continue beyond the period funded under this initiative cannot be assured. If your programme is funded under this initiative, it does not mean that your programme will automatically be eligible for subsequent funding under other Ara Poutama Aotearoa funds/funding processes. Nor does it exclude you. Check the eligibility criteria of any other funds/funding processes you may wish to apply for outside of this initiative’s funding period.

If my programme is funded under this initiative, are there any training, safety checks or induction that I would have to undertake?
Yes. You and your staff and facilitators will have to undertake personal vetting which includes New Zealand Police vetting and criminal record checks (note that having a criminal record will not automatically exclude you from applying). Facilitators delivering the programme may also be required to undertake a one-day induction course at the prisons where the programme will be delivered.

Additional FAQs

Are there any guidelines for the funding available per project?
Applications will be assessed by a panel, and a full list of the considerations for selection is provided in the application form.
The total amount of funding available is $3 million, and as the funding is one-off, the total available will support a small number of programmes for a limited period of time. It is expected up to 10 programmes may be funded, but the final number of programmes selected will depends on the amount of funding given to each programme.

Programmes will not necessarily be allocated the same amount of funding. In the application form, you will be asked how much funding you need for your programme. In addition to detailing the delivery costs (including any materials required) for your preferred (fully funded) delivery option, you may also choose to outline an alternative option if the programme can be delivered in a scaled-down format, for the panel’s consideration. The funding may be used to support a mix of fully and partially funded programmes.

What kind of programmes are appropriate for this funding?
We encourage you to refer to the Considerations for programme selection on the application form to determine if your programme is suitable for this funding. In addition, we note that given that the funding is one-off, the total available can only support programmes for a limited period of time.

If I am currently employed by Ara Poutama Aotearoa, am I eligible to apply for this funding?
If you are currently employed by Ara Poutama Aotearoa and intending on applying for this initiative, please discuss and seek guidance from your manager on Ara Poutama Aoteraoa's HR guidance on secondary employment in the first instance.

In filling out the application form, do I quote the monetary value of my time as a facilitator/project manager for the programme?
In identifying the key items of expenditure you are seeking funding for, please detail what the level of funding sought will provide (i.e. the number of arts practitioners to be hired/contracted, the quality of materials/resources, level of service, travel, and other programme delivery costs).

Is Ara Poutama Aotearoa able to review draft application forms?
As this is a competitive application process, we are unable to review or advise on individual applications and their suitability. We encourage you to refer to the Considerations for programme selection  on the application form.