A brilliant, essential resource
– Richard Benge,
Executive Director of Arts Access Aotearoa
Creative New Zealand’s Community Arts Toolkit Keteparaha Mō Ngā Toi Hapori is helping build a strong and prosperous New Zealand. An online best-practice guide, the Toolkit inspires and guides Kiwis to create successful community arts projects.
Strengthening arts in the community means that more people get more of the benefits that the arts can bring.
And more and more people recognise these benefits. As Jacinda Ardern said when she launched the New Zealanders and the Arts survey, Kiwis are “more likely than ever to believe the arts benefit our economy, our local communities, and our personal well-being. And we’re right to do so.”
Participation in the arts helps develop the connections, skills, jobs, cultural identity and knack for problem-solving that we need to succeed as a creative nation.
The arts benefit our economy, our local communities, and our personal well-being
– Jacinda Ardern
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
The Toolkit gives artists, community groups, councils and others involved in community arts a practical set of tools and resources. Alongside these resources, the Toolkit highlights inspiring examples of successful projects, showing the kind of value they can create.
By following the guidance and resources, and the successful examples, community arts groups can create their own inspiring projects.
“We wanted anybody developing and delivering community arts projects to understand what best practice looked like, and to give them tools and resources to support that,” says Briar Monro, Arts Practice Director, Community & Youth at Creative New Zealand.
A great resource for anyone developing a local project
– Carterton District Council
Bottom left: Nelson Fringe Festival 2017. Photography by Doug Brooks. Right: A Waka Odyssey, Wellington (2018), A Waka Odyssey Creative Team, New Zealand Festival and Te Āti Awa / Taranaki Whānui Iwi. Image courtesy of Jeff McEwan.
The Toolkit starts by setting out what is meant by community arts.
“Community arts are created by, with, and for a community. The community is actively involved in creating the art.”
It ranges from small local projects to huge cross-country collaborations like A Waka Odyssey.
The Toolkit features videos of Kiwis sharing their experiences and what they’ve learned taking part in community arts projects. Working hand in hand with these videos is a set of downloadable tipsheets detailing what makes a strong project. Plus there are links to local and international resources, funding guides and advice on where to find further support.
A precious asset
– Arts Regional Trust
Much of the content came out of a road trip around the country.
“As we went around videoing people about community arts, we started getting really rich material on what made a good community arts project,” says Briar. “The depth of material and the expertise and generosity of the people we talked to … it was just brilliant,” Briar says.
With content and design concepts already in the can, Boost’s brief was to create an online Toolkit that was:
“Seeing the Boost team work together was really cool, because I’ve never seen web design work so well with development,” says Matt Allen, Digital & Visual Media Adviser at Creative New Zealand.
Bottom right: A children’s spoon carving workshop underway at the Rekindle workshop, at Te Matatiki Toi Ora Arts Centre, Christchurch – Rekindle is a recipient of a 2019 Arts Grant. Image: Johannes van Kan.
To ensure the Toolkit was engaging, visual and easy-to-share, it was built around the videos gathered on the road.
“We only had a tiny budget. We needed to be smart,” Briar says. “We had to think carefully about how we gathered and used the material to make sure we didn’t duplicate what was available elsewhere. And about what would actually reach people, what would people engage with, what would hook them in?”
“Once I saw the videos coming through it was like, “Wow, this is awesome!”,” says Matt.
We only had a tiny budget. We needed to be smart
– Briar Monro
Arts Practice Director, Community & Youth at Creative New Zealand
The Toolkit has been a hit with the target audience; arts groups and councils have welcomed it with open arms, and the videos have been hugely popular.
Not only have the videos received over 300,000 views on Facebook, but the numbers watching all the way through have been impressive, showing that viewers are finding them engaging and useful.
The Creative New Zealand team are very proud of the Toolkit’s potential to embed the arts in communities and improve the well-being of Kiwis.
“I still look at it and go, “That’s a really good, strong visual piece of work”,” says Briar. “It’s really engaging. I still feel really confident steering people towards it.”
Video views on Facebook