We write
great emails.

If you’d like to stay in the loop with the arts and creativity in Aotearoa, get ‘em in your inbox.

If you’d like to join a movement of people backing the arts and creativity.

The Arts Foundation

Awards Selection Process

The Arts Foundation celebrates and increases the impact of New Zealand artists with financial awards. Understand the selection process for Arts Foundation Awards.

Each of our awards has a different selection process. Scroll down for more information about each award and how recipients are selected.


The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Awards celebrate and empower Aotearoa’s most outstanding practising artists – artists whose practise also has an impact on Aotearoa. Every year we recognise up to ten exceptional artists with a $30,000 award and share their story with Aotearoa.

Laureate Criteria as follows:

  • A practising New Zealand artist (a NZ citizen, working anywhere in the world)
  • Have produced a substantial / significant body of work of outstanding quality and excellence
  • Have made a significant impact within their disciplines/sectors and/or within their communities
  • Have an ongoing commitment to their practice and the potential to contribute more as a high achieving artist (or collective)
  • Recognise and acknowledge an artist who’s practice is making a significant impact on New Zealand
  • This award would enable and support the artist to make a significant next step in their career

Laureate Selection Guidelines

An independent panel of experts from across the arts and creativity sector are chosen by the Arts Foundation Trustees. They asses artists based on the above criteria. Consideration will be given to diversity of recipients each year, across regionality and art form.

Please note it is not possible to apply for The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi Laureate Awards.

Partnership Awards (which include the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship, the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award, the Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award, the Dame Gaylene Preston Documentary Award and the Toi Kō Iriiri Queer Arts Laureate) have their own selection panels.

Laureate Selection Process


  • GM liaises with Arts Foundation Trustees to select potential independent panel members


  • Up to seven panellists representing experts from across the arts and creativity sector are appointed by the trustees.
  • Each panel member is sent a list of potential recipients created by previous panels and asked to add their own suggestions to the list.
  • The panel is asked to assess artists against the criteria of the awards.
  • The panel are asked to recommend (by email) up to 3 artists based on a matrix – showing they adhere to each of the criteria.
  • The panel will focus on the areas in which they are knowledgeable.
  • GM collates a master short-list and distributes prior to the panel meeting.


  • The panel meets in person.
  • This is chaired by Arts Foundation lead arts trustee in a non-voting capacity.
  • The panel is organised by GM – and they are an observer.
  • Arts lead trustee and GM present selections to the trustees including subjective and objective summary of the recommendations.


  • All chosen recipients are ratified the by The Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi board
  • Artists are offered awards via telephone.


  • Laureates are announced publicly at The Arts Foundation Laureate Party
  • The panel will be made public when Awards are announced.
More information on the Laureate Award


The Arts Foundation Springboard programme aims to kickstart arts careers for up to eight artists in Aotearoa every year. Recipients are gifted $15,000, alongside a partnership with a senior artist mentor from our alumni of Arts Foundation Laureates, Icons, New Generation, residency, or Fellowship recipients (and if we can’t find the right match, we sometimes venture out).

Mentors are remunerated with $5,000, and an additional budget is dedicated toward running the selection process, travel expenses for mentor partnerships, and promotion/documentation of the partnership to show impact – bringing the total award value to $25,000.

Springboard Criteria as follows

  • The artist must show potential to develop a sustainable career and practise in the arts.
  • The award must have major impact on the artist to carry out working as an artist for a year.
  • The artist could be in their final year of formal education ready to develop a practice after completion or have developed a practice independent of any formal teaching institution.
  • They will show potential to develop their careers either as independent artists or within a creative community.
  • The artist needs to show commitment and intent for a career.

A Springboard artist is someone who…

  • Is looking at the potential for the deepening of knowledge around a practice.
  • Has not yet had significant exposure of their practice and/or participation in exhibitions that were independent and not linked to their studies.
  • Would this opportunity support that person to go further in their practice?

Things you need to know.

  • The artist must be endorsed by a nominator (who will act as referee if need be).
  • Attention will be given to diversity of gender, regional location and representation of a variety of artistic disciplines.
  • The artist must be a permanent resident of Aotearoa.
  • The artist must be available to promote Springboard and the Arts Foundation.
  • Number of nominations does not mean you’re more likely to be considered – ensure that your nomination is quality.

There are some awards that have specific criteria:

  • The Springboard Award for Dance, funded by Abby McCormick O’Neil and D. Carroll Joynes.
  • The Springboard Award for Visual Arts, funded by The Edgar Family.
  • The Springboard Award for Film, funded by Selkirks.
  • Wai-Toi-Moroki – an award dedicated to a Ngāi Tahu artist, funded by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.
More information on Springboard