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Painting a bigger picture: Asian artists design $550,000 fund to address granting inequities

21 February 2024   /   News & reports
The first Asian Artists’ Fund information workshop of 2024 held in Auckland.

Asian artists are encouraged to prepare their applications for the third iteration of the AAF – a grant-making initiative designed by Asian artists – that will see a total of $550,000 in grants distributed among successful applicants.

This year, the AAF seeks to respond to recommendations made in ‘Enter the Multiverse – Building a Stronger Sector for Our Asian Arts Practitioners’ (Rosabel Tan, commissioned by Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi), and acknowledge the place of Asian peoples in Aotearoa in relation to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Designers of the fund say, “Understanding the place of Asian New Zealanders goes hand in hand with understanding their roles and responsibilities as Tiriti partners – in this context, we define Tangata Tiriti as inclusive of all who call Aotearoa home.”

Established in 2022, the AAF is a co-funding initiative created by Foundation North and Creative New Zealand (CNZ) using participatory grant-making principles.

The AAF has been designed to provide greater support for applicants than traditional funding pathways.

Four Outreach Advisors from the AAF team are available to support applicants on their funding journey, providing advice and drawing on their funding experiences and learnings to ensure applicants feel confident and comfortable throughout the process.

AAF applicants are also able to access funding information workshops, where applicants can meet with the Outreach Advisors in-person to receive further support.

This year, applicants can participate in Engaging more deeply with what it means to be Tangata Tiriti in Aotearoa, a two-day programme that creates a safe space for Asian arts practitioners to deepen their understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni.

“It’s a chance to think through and more deeply understand the rights and responsibilities that we, as tauiwi, have in Aotearoa – and how that might show up in the work we do as artists,” say designers of the fund.

The initiative was created in response to CNZ research that found Asian artists face barriers and inequity when seeking funding support. With each iteration of the fund designed and assessed by Asian artists, over $1.08 million in 48 grants has been approved since the funds’ inception.

Early and mid-career artists, practitioners and collaboratives with Asian whakapapa are encouraged to submit an application through the Foundation North Funding Hub.

For those interested in applying, visit the Foundation North website for more information on how to apply.