Hutt at Heart
Head and shoulder photo of musician Amba Hollyician

Applications open for Creative Communities Scheme

Hutt City Council’s Creative Communities Scheme (CCS) is now open for applications for its second round of 2020. The scheme provides support for artists and art groups that create opportunities to increase community participation in arts and culture in Te Awakairangi Lower Hutt. The scheme allocates $40,000 twice a year for eligible projects.

Amba Holly Te Ngoungou a.k.a. Amba Holly (Tainui) is a former grant recipient. Winner of the Best Māori Songwriter and Best Māori Female Solo Artist award in the 2019 Waiata Māori Music Awards, she says applying for the scheme was “Not that hard”. “Think outside of the box. Anything that you feel is an issue, or you feel like there’s a need in your community, make sure you look for the funding because it’s there and it’s available.

“I hope that everyone feels confident to get the support for the mahi that they want to get done,” continues Te Ngoungou.

Now an award-winning artist, Te Ngoungou’s passion for singing started off on the marae with her nannies asking her to sing for the manuhirhi (guests). Since then Te Ngoungou has risen to stardom with her latest hit single Toku Reo, celebrating te reo Māori. It reached 45,000 people around the world in the first 24 hours of its release.

Last year Te Ngoungou delivered a song-writing workshop for rangatahi (young people) funded by the Creative Communities Scheme. Te Ngoungou says the grant enabled her to, “Utilise local artists and their talents, discover their skills and resources, and hold a space for young people to attend. It allowed the young people to be creative and comfortable.

“One of the highlights was that it allowed young people to come from all across Te Awakairangi, and to see the connections they made, not only with us as the mentors, but between themselves as young people, and young aspiring artists, and to know that those relationships will grow and flourish.”

Deadline for applications: 12 October 2020

Find out more and submit an application.

If you’re interested to know who will assess your application, meet the CCS panel members and watch an interview with one of the panel members.

You’re also welcome to contact Council’s Community Arts Advisor if you’d like help with the application process.

Email: or
Phone: 04 560 1257 Cell: 027 356 4103

Successful past CCS applicant, Amba Holly, talks about her project and the process of applying

More about Amba Holly

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