Te Tumu Toi - The Arts Foundation

Artists are extraordinary creative thinkers. To engage with and to make art is the purest expression of creative thinking and its is essential for innovation, individual wellbeing, culture and solving the great issues of our time. By supporting New Zealand’s most important artists, the Arts Foundation ensures the arts are vibrant, developing and inspiring the next generation. We want all New Zealander’s to have the opportunity to engage in artistic expression and to live in a society that is full of possibilities.

Launched in 2000, the Arts Foundation is a private charitable trust founded by New Zealand’s most prolific and important arts patrons. Philanthropy is our specialist knowledge. We make it simple and rewarding to donate to the arts. Most of all, we ensure that giving is effective and that it reaches the right people.

We honour New Zealand’s finest artists with awards. Our highest honour is the Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon Award, which is limited to twenty living recipients and is presented at Government House. We have cash awards including the $50,000 Laureate and $25,000 New Generation Awards that are presented to eight artists per year. Recipients include writers, choreographers, screen artists, visual artists, theatre practitioners and musicians. By the end of 2017, the Arts Foundation will have awarded 222 artists with awards totalling $6 million.

Every year we present the New Zealand Arts Awards, where over $400,000 is awarded to artists. This prestigious event includes presentation and performance from artists and is a major gathering of philanthropic supporters of the arts.

Our goal is to establish a significant endowment fund for the arts through private donations and legacies. We are off to a good start with $7.8 million invested and $30 million promised in legacies. However, we have a long way to go to reach our first milestone of $100 million.

Donors can make annual contributions to the Arts Foundation as Patrons or establish a fund with us to support the arts through a donation and/or legacy. Named funds can be established with the Arts Foundation to support a purpose identified by a donor. Donors to the Foundation attend regular events in the private homes of our Patrons and educational events in the community.

We run a crowdfunding website called Boosted, where artists are given the tools to raise funds for their own project. When grants from Boosted are included, the Arts Foundation has distributed over $9.5 million to the arts since inception.

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter and receive invitations to events. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

Her Excellency The Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO, Governor-General of New Zealand is the Arts Foundation’s Vice Regal Patron.