September 1, 2011

CNZ Funding Responses

Fortune Theatre               posted 1 Sep 2011, 05:02 PM / edited 1 Sep 2011, 05:03 PM


Creative New Zealand’s decision on funding outcomes for the country’s arts organisations has been released today.  Dunedin’s Fortune Theatre has secured funding for the next two years under CNZ’s Kahikatea programme.  This result recognised the progress the Fortune had made in terms of its management and governance in the last 2 years but signalled that cementing those improvements in over the next two years was critical before the Theatre could be considered for inclusion in the Totara (Leadership) funding programme in the future.

While the Fortune has not secured a place in the Totara programme, the practical reality is that it is “business as usual” for the Fortune.  The Fortune’s core funding will actually increase slightly in 2012 before reducing by 4% in 2013.  “This is a positive result for the Fortune.  We have made great strides in the last 18 months and the security of another two years funding gives us the opportunity to consolidate that progress and show that the Fortune is worthy of a place in the vanguard of New Zealand professional theatre,” Board Chairman, Peter Brown, said.  “We have to earn that place and it is up to us, and our community, to show that a viable professional theatre can thrive in this part of the world.”

Mr Brown acknowledged the strong support received from Creative New Zealand and the Fortune’s other key funding stakeholders, the Dunedin City Council and Otago Community Trust.  “Without that support we would not have been able to change our management structure and bring in a new Artistic Director, both actions that have resulted in a steady improvement in the Fortune’s performance since the beginning of 2010.  The Fortune remains committed to presenting the highest quality professional theatre to our audiences.”

Downstage Theatre         posted 1 Sep 2011, 05:03 PM

Downstage Statement on Creative New Zealand Funding Outcome

Downstage Theatre Trust is pleased to have been offered on-going funding by Creative New Zealand (CNZ) as part of CNZ’s Arts Development Investment (Toi Uru Kahikatea) Programme.

CNZ is offering an increase in our funding and a return to a multi-year commitment. This is an endorsement of the significant operational changes we have undertaken since 2008, and the commitment shown by our core supporters. In that time Downstage has moved from a traditional producing company to a collaborative presenting partner, working with New Zealand’s talented independent theatre sector to bring high-quality New Zealand theatre to Wellington and national audiences. We aim to support the professional growth of local theatre practitioners through a commitment to providing paid employment, supporting audience development, and underwriting the financial risk involved in presenting New Zealand theatre works.

A specific allocation of funding for audience development initiatives will help Downstage to achieve our vision of building an appreciation and following for distinctive New Zealand work.

The funding offered does not enable Downstage to fulfil all our ambitions at present, however, we are actively seeking additional sponsors for our innovative programmes. We are also building support from regular donations; there’s more about our BackDownstage programme on our website 

The offer of Toi Uru Kahikatea funding is a positive step in Downstage’s development as a 21st century arts organisation, as we move towards our 50th anniversary.

Hilary Beaton



Helen Moody


Downstage Theatre Trust Board

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