Sarah began her career in the arts as director of the Space Contemporary Art Gallery, showcasing Christchurch’s up and coming contemporary artists, hosting avant-garde performance events, and managing a cross-discipline artists studio facility. A unique platform for an experimental and highly collaborative arts culture quickly emerged with many artists going on to launch their own ventures and testing out new approaches to combining creativity and business.
This experience across a range of creative disciplines and start up ventures lead to the co-founding of FUSE Art Business Ltd, a New Zealand based company specialising in business development strategies, mentoring and consultancy for artists in business. Sarah is passionate about creating workable business strategies for the arts that are financially sustainable and enable creativity to thrive.
Sarah joined the Christchurch Central City Plan Team to design a recovery plan post-earthquake for the arts sector to retain the cities creative talent and create vibrancy in the central city. Working with the sector on an integrated approach to arts and urban regeneration led to the establishment of the Creative Industries Fund.
Three years on central Christchurch is a hot spot for artists, designers and change makers, all focussed on collaborating to realise their creative vision for the city. The Creative Industries Fund is successfully harnessing this energy and supporting the launch of a range of dynamic new arts businesses.
The model of the Creative Industries Fund to support urban regeneration and a thriving arts culture has begun to attract attention nationally and internationally. As the rebuild of central Christchurch gains momentum, the opportunity to further develop this vibrant hub of creative entrepreneurship and innovation is entering an exciting new phase of development.