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Think you have what it takes for a career in the arts? Get the inside scoop from Kimberley

Think you have what it takes for a career in the arts? Get the inside scoop from Kimberley

Kimberley Cleland, General Manager - Tauranga Arts Festival

What did you want to be when you were 16?
A Greenpeace Activist

What did you end up doing when you left school?
Studying Environmental Management and a Masters in Planning at the University of Otago in Dunedin. I took a gap-year with Volunteer Services Abroad in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea after studying and then moved back to Tauranga.

Describe a day in your life at work:
It's so varied! We organise a biennial Arts Festival and the Writers Festival Escape! which happened over Queen's Birthday weekend in 2018. The Arts Festival is from 24 Oct to 3 Nov 2019. It's a mix of relationship building, marketing, strategy, event logistics, operations, writing funding applications and any odd jobs that are needed. It's really hands on which I love. During the Festival we live at Baycourt and host performers, manage and market the events and see lots of great work!

Why do you love your job/career?
The diversity and how established and supported the organisation and the festivals are in the community.  Plus all the incredible and talented people that I get to work with.

How did you get into your career?
Learning by doing and not being afraid to act on ideas. Being open to trying new things and building on experience by working with lots of different people. I had been involved in the Festival as a patron, have attended lots of shows and volunteered in the past, so if you are passionate about something, get involved in making it happen!

What qualifications did you study?
Environmental Management and Urban Planning.

Do you have any advice for getting into your sector?
Look out for volunteer and internship opportunities, these are great stepping stones and learning opportunities.

What do you wish you had done differently?
I didn't really know about jobs in the Arts or that it was a career option which I was really passionate about in high school so went on a very different tangent (that I was equally passionate about).  But I have ended up back here so it has worked out well!  Everything I have learned along the way has contributed to the skills I have today so I wouldn't have done anything differently.

What would you say to your teenage self about defining your future?  
Do what you enjoy!  I think I was focused on what would amount to a career but you can make a career out of doing what you love, so do more of that.