Wellington Scoop

Creative NZ explains its funding policies affecting Verb Wellington and Pyramid Club

Creative New Zealand has asked us to clarify its funding policies affecting two Wellington cultural activities. Here is its explanation:

Release from Creative New Zealand
Creative New Zealand has not cut funding to Verb Wellington or Pyramid Club, therefore the term “cut” in the headline and body text is inaccurate.

Creative New Zealand did not turn down Verb Literary Festival for funding, as the 2019 Festival was funded through the 1st Arts Grants round in 2019. The Verb Literary Festival did not apply to the most recent Arts Grant round.

While the Verb Literary Festival is currently not eligible for a new opportunity, the inaugural Annual Arts Grants round which opens in April 2020, this does not mean that they are ruled out from being eligible in future.

In the case of Pyramid Club, “no longer to be supported” is also misleading. Pyramid Club are not excluded from making future applications for Creative New Zealand funding. Pyramid Club will be able to apply to the first Arts Grants round of 2020 for activities taking place after the notification date/s in May (for both Arts Grants up to $10K and Arts Grants between $10-75K).

More detailed information about Annual Arts Grants is on the Creative New Zealand website.

Two unexpected decisions by Creative New Zealand have cut funding to two lively and established Wellington cultural activities.

Verb Wellington, which has just completed a successful second year, is no longer receiving any help from Creative New Zealand. On twitter, the organisers said:

It’s been clarified that no we can’t apply for the new annual grant and there’s no room for any further investment clients. We can continue to put in apps for the usual arts grants (though now appear to be more willing to support producers). Meaning we continue to fly by the seat of our pants for the foreseeable and continue to find other ways of making it work. It’s just very hard to plan for a future this way.

And the Pyramid Club in Taranaki Street, which presents a lively weekly schedule of music, has also been told that it is no longer to be supported. It has advised its supporters:

We received news that Pyramid Club’s application for funding from Creative NZ for 2020 was unsuccessful. This puts Pyramid Club in a precarious position… we only have enough in the coffers to last until around April next year. For the last few years Pyramid Club has operated with a small amount of government assistance. This has enabled us to produce a diverse programme of events and keep paying the ever increasing rent. Behind the scenes we are all volunteers – no one who is involved makes any money from running Pyramid Club.

After ten years of running spaces, supporting the creative music community in Wellington, producing 1000+ concerts, festivals, workshops, screenings, tours and artist talks, facilitating international collaborations, providing studios, rehearsal and recording space to many artists and musicians, enabling local acts to take their music far and wide, we had been optimistic that Creative NZ would see the value in what we do and award some funding towards our costs. If Pyramid Club is going to survive in 2020, we’re going to need the direct support of the community. How can you help? Unfortunately what we need most is money to pay the rent..