Sally McKittrick [sallymckittrick]
What is your profession? What is your title printed on your business card?
Gallery and Communications Coordinator at fortyfivedownstairs. I don't have my own card, working for a not for profit space I hand write it on and we all work together to keep this place humming.
What did you study and why did you choose to study that field?
I am about to complete a masters in Museums and Collections with the Australian National University. It has been a flexible program, enabling me to tailor my courses to my interests.
What is expected of you in your job, and how do you accomplish it?
I assist the team to coordinate the day to day operations of a hybrid art space - gallery upstairs and theatre downstairs. We all do a bit of everything - answer phones, sell tickets and artworks, liaise with hirers, visual artists and theatre companies, contact the media to promote our events and activities and so on. It's a tight knit team, like a family. We accomplish all this with a good sense of humour as well as the obligatory coffee and chocolate that keeps most arts venues afloat.
What links do you have on the Internet: website, blog, social networks?
If you want to hear up to the minute news from fortyfivedownstairs follow our blog, become a fan on our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.
Are you satisfied with the education that you received?
I have been taught by some amazing lecturers and industry professionals however, I believe that text books and theatre need to be balanced with hands on experience in the field.
In which areas have you thought of building upon your education?
Social media, design programs, conservation, marketing and publicity, fundraising and development - there's always more to learn.
In which tasks are you good at, and in which could you better yourself?
Good at: communicating with artists, keeping in touch even after their show has ended to follow their progress.
Could do better: eating lunch before 3pm and leaving on time.
Do you usually attended seminars or coursework to advance your professional work or would you consider yourself a more self-taught person?
A bit of both - I try to read broadly and keep abreast of what other organisations and peers are doing. I think it's important to be a life long learner and always think about how you can diversify your experience by initiating conversations with like minded professionals.
I also enjoy attending workshops, lectures, seminars and festivals to expose myself to new ways of thinking. There is no one size fits all skills set in the arts industry and rather than a linear career path, it's often necessary to traverse sideways, and unexpected directions present themselves.
What are the most common mistakes clients make when they judge your work?
The biggest myth perhaps is that fortyfivedownstairs is a funded organisation and that we don't need further financial support. The facts are that we rent our building, have bills to pay and our Artistic Director is unpaid. We work hard to make more for artists and not from them which is why every donation is crucial to our survival. We couldn't keep our doors open without the generosity and support of our volunteers and dedicated donors.