Grants for Emerging Artists


Following festival successes including the 2019 LUMA Gnome Project, LUMA and the South Island Light Orchestra (SILO) have established an Emerging Artist Programme and grants trust to help ambitious New Zealand artists make the leap from aspiring creator to practising professional.

Thanks to partnerships with Queenstown Lakes Arts & Culture Trust and Queenstown Airport Corporation the LUMA Emerging Artist Programme now has an available grants fund of over $25,000.


  1. To identify and reach out to new and emerging artists throughout New Zealand.
  2. To encourage and support the development of their unique talents.
  3. To establish and promote opportunities for these artists to create work and share it with the world.
  4. To maintain an active arts culture and support network accessible to all new and emerging artists.


LEAP makes available funding for small grants (ranging from $500-$2,000). Eligible art forms include but are not limited to: Visual Arts (all media), Performing Arts (acting, directing, circus, dance), Music (composition, performance, recording & production), Film & Digital Media (video, mapping, projection, lightworks).

Grants typically fall into one of two categories:

1. Professional Development Grants

For young or emerging artists to assist with the development of their artistic career through activities such as research and/or creative development (e.g. skills development activities such as an accredited course of study, master class, artist residency, mentorship program, internship).

2. Project Grants

For young or emerging artists to assist them to develop new work, or present and promote their arts practice through public exhibitions, performances, etc.



LEAP defines “emerging” as those early in their artistic careers (regardless of age), who are gaining momentum, and may be at a critical juncture in their career when this support would be the most impactful. These artists demonstrate potential in their practice through risk-taking and pushing their work in dynamic ways, and are not yet considered well established professionally by indicators such as major gallery representation, significant exhibition history, awards and commissions, or sustaining an income derived solely from art sales.

Individual applicants should meet several of these criteria:

  • Be a New Zealand resident
  • Have shown evidence of a passion and commitment to pursuing a career in art
  • Have minimal show, exhibition or publication presence
  • Be attending or have recently completed secondary or tertiary studies
  • Be taking an established art career in a significantly new direction.

Projects or initiatives which can be funded should:

  • Demonstrate artistic and cultural merit
  • Promote and advance arts and cultural development in New Zealand and increase awareness of and participation in arts and creative cultural activity.
  • Support and encourage local involvement or content.


A project grant may be awarded specifically for the development of an artwork or installation to be exhibited at a LUMA Southern Light Project event. Such a grant will be assigned to cover:

  • Entry fee and exhibition space at LUMA
  • Logistical and technical support
  • Networking facilitation with LUMA’s artistic partners
  • Marketing support
  • Professional mentoring relating to the proposal
  • Production facilitation
  • A proportion of materials and production costs
  • Transport of artwork and materials
  • Some of the artist’s travel expenses


Applications must be made on an official application form and submitted by the due date.

Applications must be supported by:

  • A CV outlining relevant qualifications and previous experience
  • A clear and succinct artist statement (approx 300 words)
  • A reference from someone familiar with your work (eg. industry representative, mentor or tutor; no family members)
  • Evidence and examples of your work in a suitable format
  • Where the application relates to a specific project, artists must complete a Concept Proposal Submission

Applicants may be asked to attend an interview in person or by video link.



LUMA20 – VivoExotica Project Grant

The Call for Artists to enter LUMA20VivoExotica is open from 10 February – 24 March 2020.

Applications for a Project Grant to assist with the production of an artwork for this event are open at the same time, 10 February – 24 March 2020.

You will find information on the event and the form for Concept Proposal and Grant Application here

Artists seeking a grant should submit a LUMA20VivoExotica Entry form and complete the LEAP Project Grant Application section within the form.


For further information please contact the LUMA crew by email at: