staff q – desima connolly (arts + cultural services officer)
DESCRIBE YOUR AVERAGE WORKING DAY
Where do I start? As Manager of the Centre, I oversee the general running of things. That could be anything from dealing with maintenance issues or supply goods with Billy, to meeting with staff, resolving public or council enquiries, meeting with partner arts organisations or ensuring events promotion. Running a public facility means you have to be flexible in your methods of working and able to juggle a varied workload. If I’m lucky, on a reasonably less hectic day, I focus on programming events and activities for the Centre. This can be organising a theatre or music event, educational activity or researching an exhibition.
An average day? Every day is so different! Today I was caught up in arranging the courier transport of multiple artworks from Dublin, Wales, London and Cork for an exhibition which opens in August. I also worked on invitations for the show plus finalising copy and images for the exhibition programme in consultation with the five artists, issuing design briefs to various companies. After sending off some press releases for forthcoming events, I then co-ordinated additional events marketing, had a programming meeting with Stephanie and reviewed some staff development plans for HR purposes. I also harassed a few touring companies as we’re finalising our Autumn programme at the moment.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
Sincerely, I believe that we are blessed to work in the arts sector. Despite the downsides such as poor salaries and unconventional working hours when compared with other sectors, it is a vocational route which thankfully most of us choose because we’re passionate about what we do. I love the variety of my job, and I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved in a considerably short space of time. I started in July last year when the building was unfinished and there was still a lot to do. I oversaw completion of the venue and recruited the arts team, most of whom started by September. We opened our doors at the end of October, so it was a baptism of fire for us all. Since then, we’ve had hundreds of arts events and have built an audience from nothing. We’ve still got a long road ahead and it has been extremely challenging, but also so rewarding.
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE RVACC?
We’re establishing the first Arts Centre in the Borough, the first provided by Council and the first for the people of the borough. It has been a huge learning curve for all but we continuously receive such positive feedback which reinforces the real benefits of our work. No matter how many years you’ve worked in the industry, seeing the enjoyment and positive impact our service has had already on our patrons, the wider communities and to the borough on the whole, provides a real sense of satisfaction and pride amongst the team. We focus on exhibiting community arts and local artists as much as featuring international artists. I like to think that we’re making sure the Centre is really at the heart of the community and vice versa.
GIVE IT UP: TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE CULTURAL ACTS/ARTISTS/ARTY THINGS YOU LIKE TO DO
One of the ironies of the job is that I don’t get a chance to visit other arts venues as much as I’d like, though I’m so fortunate in being able to see lots of varied quality arts events at work. I love viewing exhibitions and going to the theatre and museums, and am trying to squeeze in more of this now when I can. I need the buzz of creative environments to ‘feed’ me, both personally and work-wise. I’m a bit of a film freak and also love reading, dipping into some poetry daily as it relaxes me so much. Currently, I’m also picking up my own creative work again – visual arts with a bit of writing thrown in!
You can find out more about the team on our About Us page.This entry was posted on July 15th, 2011 at 4:03 pm by admin