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1 Jul 2024

Elevate Programme on Pause

The Elevate Programme

ELEVATE is an initiative that Creative Waikato has been delivering since 2021 as part of a nationally funded government pilot programme to support the development of creative careers.

The goal was “to support people in the creative arts sector to find or retain creative careers. Participants will be supported to develop business skills and knowledge that will help them to sustain a career in the creative sector.”

Creative Waikato was one of five providers nationally selected to deliver this Creative Careers Service (CCS) pilot as a joint initiative between the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. The pilot was delivered in Auckland (3 providers), Waikato (1 provider) and Nelson (1 provider).

The programme proved to be a success with support for artists seeing positive outcomes across the different providers’ programme delivery. While this pilot was extended multiple times with additional funding, the pilot funding contract has now come to an end – effective as of the 30th June 2024. In the most recent government budget, there was no additional funding allocated to a programme like this, so the end of the contract marks the end of this iteration of ELEVATE. 

We want to acknowledge what the delivery of this pilot programme has enabled for Creative Waikato in service of our community of Waikato creatives. This programme has enabled us to connect with more artists, develop and share new workshops and resources and to bring together a diverse group of professional creatives throughout the region to find connections and develop new possibilities for sustainable careers.

While the Ministry-funded pilot-project delivery for Creative Careers Service that was the basis of our ELEVATE programme has come to an end, Creative Waikato is now exploring opportunities to ensure a new version of this support will be accessible to our community into the future. 

Programmes like this remain viable, sustainable and accessible through funding, and unfortunately the lack of ongoing investment into the programme will limit our current capacity to do this work in the same way. It also will have an impact on our scope for continued implementation, further development, and delivery. While the end of this funding contract is unfortunate, it is the nature of pilot programmes to come to an end.  Creative Waikato will continue to be committed to a Waikato region that thrives with diverse and transformative creative activity. We know that helping professional creatives thrive in our ecosystem is an important component of that mahi. 

We know that there is value in this programme going forward, and that it had an important impact on the lives and careers of local creatives. So we are exploring ways to make versions of these resources available to creatives in our communities who are wanting to build their creative careers into the future. We will have more information on this as it is available.

This type of capability building work takes sustained investment to ensure the support services are in place, as well as to create spaces for innovative practice, collaborative skill development, and also to work collectively towards the building of audiences and communities that also contribute to the flourishing of the creative ecosystem.

The ELEVATE programme was more than a career development programme. It provided the support, resilience, community building, and other soft-skill development that helped to develop people preparing to navigate the complexities of a creative portfolio career in the current system. Designed to help artists and creatives think and act more like small business owners, whilst at the same time recognising, acknowledging and valuing the significant difference that comes with being an artist in the creative ecosystem. 

We want to thank all the Waikato artists who were part of the delivery, activation and community of the ELEVATE programme and look forward to continuing to connect with you in other capacities in the future.

So, in short, What does this mean for ELEVATE in the Waikato?

– For now, the delivery of the ELEVATE programme goes on pause. There will be no new applications to Elevate and access to the resources will be limited to those who are currently on Elevate.

– For those who had completed the programme, well done! We trust your creative career is continuing to flourish and we hope these resources continue to be useful into the future.

– For those who are already on the programme, don’t worry. You will continue to access the support and resources in order to enable you to complete this component of your journey. 

– For those who hadn’t already signed up, ELEVATE as it has previously been delivered will not be available. You can still contact Creative Waikato to connect with our Creative Development team, and they can guide you towards resources and other material that is available to support you.

There will be an iteration of many of the ELEVATE resources made available in the future. But for now this is a pause as we take time to reflect and set plans for the next part of the ELEVATE journey.

If you are looking for other kinds of support, please check out the other resources like ArtReach available on our website.