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Creative Communities Scheme enables a colourful collaboration

Window’s on Manawatū is a collaborative project for the Feilding Civic Centre Trust and local artist Cheryl O’Brien enabled by funding through the Creative Communities Scheme.  Applications for the Creative Communities Scheme close March 31.

The Feilding Civic Centre plays an important role within the Manawatū.  From weekly sports clubs, to performing arts, cultural events and celebrations the event centre is the largest within Feilding and is centrally located on Aorangi Street.

To build exposure for the centre and to welcome those that host and attend events, the centre wanted to find a way to brighten an uneventful outside white wall while inspiring the community.

Partnering with local artist Cheryl O’Brien, concept drawings and costings for time and materials were calculated before being presented as a proposal for the Creative Communities Scheme.

The Creative Communities Scheme is a funding scheme offered to councils through Arts Council of New Zealand.  The Manawatū District Council administers the fund at a local level to help applicants fund art projects within the district.  Whether the applicant is a trust as in the case of this example, a single artist or a group of passionate and creative residents working together, the scheme has enabled a multitude of exhibitions, projects and passionate people to connect with other like-minded creatives.

The Feilding Civic Centre Trust received funding through Creative Communities Scheme for their project. The project titled Windows on Manawatū contains six painted panels that each have a layer, representing a different aspect of the Manawatū.  For example, clouds or mountains in the background with things like notable activities or local places at the forefront of each painted panel. O’Brien has planned to include the kapa haka, badminton, and instruments as some of the activities then the Coach House, clock tower, and sale yards as some of the places that will be represented. As O’Brien paints the murals outside, the work is weather dependent, though she hopes to be done in the next two weeks.

O’Brien is a personal Creative Communities Scheme recipient so to work with an organisation that shares the value in community funding and makes a special project. She encourages others who are looking to explore their creative passion to apply for the scheme.

The first round of funding closes March 31.  For more information about the Creative Communities Scheme or to apply, please visit: Creative Communities Fund | Manawatū District Council (

Feilding artist Cheryl O'Brien at work.