Aotearoa Creativity Awards – Library Awards

  Are you an aspiring young creative and want to learn visual storytelling skills over the summer?  Then grab your $600.00 Scholarship for the ACA awards. Because you belong here.

  • 10 scholarships per library - 1st come, 1st served
  • For homeschoolers and students who have left school and haven't started tertiary training yet
  • Ages 10-24

(If you are seeing this and you are in school, talk to your art teacher as each school has their own number of scholarships.  If no luck there and you are really keen get in touch with us.)

(There is no extra cost to the student.  The $600.00 covers the full tuition and the masterclass series is held online so no travel costs)

Green Simple Photo Trip and Adventure Banner (9)
Green Simple Photo Trip and Adventure Banner (21)
Green Simple Photo Trip and Adventure Banner (12)
ACA Black

 What does the scholarship give the participant?

What you get

  • $600.00 Scholarship the the Aotearoa Creativity Series
  • Learn Device Based Visual Storytelling (So you can better express your vision)
  • Learn Creative Wellbeing Tools (to help shift blocks to your best ideas)
  • Learn how to use new creative AI tools (so you don't get left behind)
  • Opportunity to be selected for the Create Happy Magazine Crew
  • A year of mentorship with industry creatives

Who is it for?

  • homeschoolers and students who have left school but not started tertiary training.
  • Ages 10-24
  • if you are often drawing, tinkering, or photographing
  • If you are neurodiverse and wondering if you will fit need to worry, some of the most creative people are neurodiverse (many of us are as well).

What do you learn?

  • Composition skills useful in any artform
  • How to use a cellphone like a DSLR camera.
  • Photography from New Zealand's top photographers and from each other
  • How to give compassionate critical feedback to each other on your images to help each other grow.
  • How to utilize free AI tools to enhance their imagery and exponentially expand your storytelling capacity
  • Creative Grit and resilience tools necessary for creative mastery.

What gear do I need?

  • Access to a device with a camera, either a phone or a tablet over summer.

Why are these scholarships for homeschoolers and school leavers?

  • Because school isn't for everyone and often creative souls struggle or are not interested in traditional school settings.
  • Because homeschoolers have more ability to follow their interests and therefore could become interesting contributors to our youth magazine (founded by a homeschooler).
  • Because schools tend to have more funding and support than homeschoolers.
  • Because school leavers often find themselves in a disorienting limbo and need a positive place to belong.

When does it start?

  • 1-15  January The ramp up to the program -Learn at your own pace
    • Introduction to cellphonography
    • Get familiar with the chat rooms and how to give image feedback
    • Get to know other youth going through the program from around the country.
    • Success skills and the Grit Pit - Tools to succeed in this course and life
    • Online safety skills
    • Our Community Values
    • Image post production - how to make your shot look even better
    • Best image storage practices
  • 16 January the Master Classes Kick off
    • Runs for the last two weeks of the school holidays
    • Daily content delivered
    • You choose your classes and creative challenges
    • Get feedback on your work in the chat rooms


Funding for your schools scholarships is made available by a combination of funding from:


Are You More Creative than a Robot?

AI is rapidly changing the face of the creative world.

In this summer series we explore art created with digital devices.   It is all about visual storytelling and adapting to the rapidly changing creative scene.

(Can you identify the number of images in this website created by hand vs. those created in one minute by AI?)

When the camera was invented the artists cried that it was the death of art.  Since the new AI generators like Midjourney have come on the scene the same cries have been issued all over the internet.  As tide is turning you can either learn to go with the flow  get lost in the churn.

This summer is about learning the values and skills needed to gracefully surf the tsunami of innovation heading our way.

Is human art threatened? Nah...It's just transitioning to cooler tools.

Green Simple Photo Trip and Adventure Banner (6)
Green Simple Photo Trip and Adventure Banner (4)

3 Phases of the Student Award

*** Students can choose to take the whole series or drop in for classes that are most relevant to their learning needs.


Visual Storytelling Bootcamp

(16-21 Jan 2023)

  • Learn composition skills that can help with any form of visual storytelling
    • Painting
    • Graphic / architectural / landscape Design
    • Photography
    • Game design
    • Filmmaking
  • Taught using device photography but participants can answer the challenges in any medium that speaks to them.
  • You will learn the basics of cellphone photography (gateway art to many other forms)
  • Workshop held online via zoom and national chat room.
  • Your 4 Linked Creative Brains - a Holistic way to get your best ideas into the world
  • Types of Photography - explore  your options, push out of your comfort zone
  • How it runs:
    • Daily content delivered online to do at your own pace.
    • Daily creative challenges
    • Wednesday 7pm zoom session.
    • As a group we will be collectively creating a reference book on Visual Storytelling Techniques and winning images will be used as illustrations in the book.  The book will be made available free online to schools and libraries to use as a reference.
blended masterclass

Creative Photography Master Class Series (23-28 Jan 2023)

Advanced classes

  • Visual Storytelling - The five elements of every good story (you will create a 5 image visual story about something you treasure)
  • Manual Settings on a DSLR + Advanced Cellphonography
  • Mirrorless vs DSLR
  • Embodied Creativity- A trauma informed philosophy about how to unblock your best creative work.
  • AI Art generators - How to use them, How to create hybrid art blending your own and the computers, and AI art ethics

Interviews with New Zealand's top photographers

  • Tony Carter (Gritty Documentary)**
  • Richard Wood (Virtual Reality folded into photography)**
  • Esther Bunning (Passion Portraiture)*
  • Katherine Williams (The power of Passion Projects)**
  • Amber Griffiths (Dance and Music Photography)

* Has won New Zealand Photographer of the Year

** Has won New Zealand's Photographer of the Year Multiple times


Year of Creative Collaboration and Mentorship 2023


  • Set yourself up for a career as a creative
  • Contribute to a collective youth photography exhibition.
  • Learn the Embodied Creativity framework to improve your ability to see your ideas through to completion.
  • Co-Develop a national creative community of young artists
  • Deepen your visual storytelling skills
  • Have an opportunity to create or write for New Zealand's Coolest by Youth for Youth Magazine -   Create Happy Magazine    

Register Here

So we can contact you if we have any issues with your registration.
We use zoom to record our workshops if your child participates in the zooms we need your permission to record them and grab screen grabs and use the videos to promote the ACA awards. For safety reasons we ask that all zoom participants keep their camera on to ensure that our students are infact our students and we don't have hackers or trolls in the room. Therefore if you cannot agree to this we cannot have you in the program for the safety of all.
You will always retain copyright to your images but we require the students in the program to pay forward some of their work to help other students. We will be creating a book about photography skills at the end of the program and your child's imagery may be included in the book or used to promote the ACA program. They or their family or descendant will not receive compensation for this use at any time from publication date and into the future. Just lots of pride and good karma. It is too difficult to manage who gives consent and who doesn't; for our small trust as it would layer excessive complexity on our program so if you do not agree then we will have to decline your access into the program.
Clear Signature

Read about the precursor to this program in the Education Gazette

Dive into what is possible


If this is what an AI image generator can create in its infancy...what is coming next?


Aotearoa Creativity Awards – Library Awards

Updated on 2022-11-04T15:05:19+13:00, by Mandi.