Meet Christina Chiam, our State Manager for NSW & ACT
Christina Chiam talks about her experience working with international film festivals and the challenges and opportunities of arts in NSW & ACT.
You’ve recently been working with film festivals both in Australia and overseas. Why the move to Creative Partnerships?
There are some significant challenges facing the arts sector at the moment, making the role of Creative Partnerships more vital than ever. It is such an important time to use my experience to help support my fellow fundraisers and play my part to help rebuild the industry.
You’ve worked across different artforms and in different parts of the world. Can you tell us a bit about you and how your background has formed your professional approach?
Culture and the arts have been a constant in my life and I am fortunate to have turned this passion into a profession. After completing a post graduate diploma in Arts Management, I bought a one-way ticket to Canada with the goal of working for the Toronto International Film Festival. With a little luck, that goal became a reality and set me on the fulfilling path of arts engagement and fundraising.
While my early career was motivated by specific interests, it has developed into one that prioritises projects that make an impact, regardless of artform or location. Applying myself in these different contexts reinforces the importance of adaptation and collaboration in building mutually beneficial relationships, which are critical to successful fundraising.
It’s an unusual time for the arts in Australia. How do you think we can rebuild capacity in the sector?
Each organisation and artist is dealing with their own set of circumstances. But broadly speaking I believe revitalisation would be supported by:
- Staying true to purpose and values: why do you exist – yet not being afraid to reimagine how your vision could be achieved.
- Keeping an eye on the end goal: despite the uncertainty, decisions we make today must also consider the future we want to create.
- Increasing collaboration within and outside the sector: this experience has forced everyone to develop new skills, ideas and processes. A strong sector response means sharing these experiences and learning from each other’s attempts and achievements.
- Supporting staff on both sides of the curtain: as well as a sector crisis, this is a personal crisis for many. Staff and artist wellbeing is critical.
As a State Manager part of your role is providing one-on-one coaching and advice to artists and organisations. What do you think makes this a productive and effective service?
By empowering and motivating fundraisers to keep going! Fundraising can be a lonely and challenging process. I see the coaching and advisory service as providing an empathetic, objective and free support network tailored to each situation.
What are you looking forward to most about your new role?
Being out and about – and not just because travel has been restricted! As a relatively new Sydney resident, I am looking forward to getting to know the wonderful artists and organisations across the whole region and adding value where I can.
To book an appointment with Christina please submit an enquiry form.