Backing artists to make their mark, the Arts Foundation was established in 1998 to honour extraordinary New Zealand artists.

By the close of 2019, our generous community had gifted 205 artists with awards totalling $6 million. Award recipients include writers, choreographers, screen artists, visual artists, theatre practitioners, musicians, composers and multi-disciplinary artists who keep things fresh.

We exist to recognise and reward outstanding artists who are having an impact on New Zealand’s society, with gifts and support from our philanthropic community. We then set out to tell New Zealanders all about it – encouraging participation and democratisation of the arts through videos, social media, New Zealand’s mainstream media channels, and a dedicated month in September to help show the value the arts have on Aotearoa.

Our awards include:

Up to 10 Laureates a year – a $25 000 tax-free gift awarded to outstanding artists who are having an impact on New Zealand. Some of our philanthropists have committed to these awards for the long-term or perpetuity, for example the Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award, the Sir Roger Hall Award for Theatre, the Theresa Gattung Award for a Senior Female Artist, the Burr/Tatham Award, the Dame Gaylene Preston Award for a Documentary Film Maker (supported by the NZ Film Commission, NZ International Film Festival and Vista International), and the Marti Friendlander Photographic Award.

Up to six Springboards a year – a $15 000 funding package awarded to artists kickstarting a career in the arts. They are selected based on their potential to start a sustainable career in the arts, then matched to a past Arts Foundation award recipient who is paid to mentor them.

The Icons, Whakamana – a living circle of 20 of New Zealand’s most significant artists, awarded for their extraordinary lifetime achievements and mark on the arts.

Partnership Awards – We administrate several endowed awards, including the Harriet Friedlander Residency and the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship.

Boosted.org.nz - In 2013 we launched Boosted, New Zealand’s only arts crowdfunding platform. Boosted crowdfunding campaigns have an 85% success rate, and the platform has raised over $6 million for art projects since its launch.

Leave your mark on the arts