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Opening up to new ideas

Published on Wednesday, 25 May 2011
The Hong Kong Arts Centre provides programmes and venues catering to the needs of different groups.
Edith Chiu, HKAC.
Eva Kwong, WKCDA.

There has never been a better time for people interested in arts and culture to achieve their dreams. With the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) project underway, opportunities are gradually opening up. If you ever  wondered whether there would be any jobs for artists, performers and those who simply love arts, the answer is a resounding yes. Better still, it is not too late to get into the field, as recruitment will be staggered over time.

In the meantime, the groundwork has been laid and people who are keen to join the arts scene but do not perceive themselves as artists are welcome to apply.

“This year, we will recruit 50 to 60 people. It is quite a challenge to double the number of staff,” says Eva Kwong Pui-han, human resources executive director of WKCDA. Kwong explains that the recruitment will focus on back-office  positions for the time being, in support of the project delivery team. These functional departments include finance, human resources, law, marketing and communications, and even project delivery engineering.

“These are all very different departments but they all have to work together. Even the engineers have to understand arts and culture. We need people who have the knowledge to build buildings related to arts and culture,” she says.

WKCDA is also hiring curators to expand the team to 14 people within the next two to three years. In the development phase, they help with museum planning, and will later work in the museums as curators or in education  programming. The West Kowloon Art District is a ground-breaking project, with no models to follow in Hong Kong. Accordingly, the authority wants to hire people who are flexible and have the passion to build and create something new.

“You’ve got to have patience. Everyone is new to the project; no one can tell you what the answer is. This is a team play. Open your mind to accept good ideas which may be different from yours. If you have a rigid attitude, it will be difficult for you to work here,” Kwong says.

Edith Chiu, programme manager of the Hong Kong Arts Centre, also believes patience and flexibility are important traits for landing a job. The Arts Centre, which has 110 staff, wants someone to join its 10-member programme team of co-ordinators and officers, their most often advertised position.

“We need someone who has the persistence to liaise with different parties. We also look for someone who is a team player, capable of achieving project goals,” she says.

How to get in

  • Besides having an in-depth knowledge of the arts, good language skills are essential.
  • Graduates should be flexible and open to creating something new.
  • Right attitude includes patience and persistence to liaise with different entities. Candidates should be a team player who can achieve company goals.

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