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Rebecca Kais is an arts manager who approaches her work through a social impact lens. She has diverse experience across a 10-year career and is currently working in the role of Philanthropy Manager at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, where she is responsible for leading PICA’s award-winning donor program. Rebecca is also a voluntary coordinator of the WA Cultural Development Collective – a sector-driven professional development group that promotes peer-to-peer learning in the arts fundraising community. For the three years prior to joining PICA, Rebecca was Foundation Manager at the Art Gallery of Western Australia where she led the establishment of AGWA’s next gen collective giving program, the Next Collective. Previously she worked at Perth Festival, including as Development Manager for the 2015 Festival encompassing The Giants – the biggest public arts event ever staged in WA. Rebecca has also worked at West Australian Opera in a variety of roles over a collective six years, including in artistic administration, marketing, sponsorship and education, and was a Board Member of Propel Youth Arts WA from 2010-2014. In 2014, Rebecca was awarded a Centre for Social Impact Scholarship to undertake the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact at UWA. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts Management from WAAPA, and a Certificate in Museum Studies from ECU.

Please tell us a bit about your journey since UWA

Since graduating from UWA I’ve been pursuing opportunities that exist at the intersection of arts management and social impact. Philanthropy is a powerful tool for achieving social impact through the arts and in my current role at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts I work with our supporters to make this happen.

How was your time at UWA important to your life today?

I reflect on my time at UWA as transformative; the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact rewired my brain in the best possible way. I was selected to participate in the Australia Council for the Arts’ 2020 Future Leaders Program and I’m confident that the thinking I learned at the Centre for Social Impact UWA gave me the competitive edge.

What’s your passion and how do you want to make a difference in the world?

I’m passionate about connecting the private, public and non-profit sectors to build capacity in the arts and enable positive social outcomes. For this reason, I have increasingly specialised in arts fundraising. I want to make a difference by connecting passionate people to causes they care about through meaningful action. If you have a passion for art and want to meaningfully connect with the people and places that make it happen in Perth, I would love to hear from you.

What is the most interesting aspect of your career? Where could it go from here?

I work in arts and culture because I believe our sector creates enormous social impact – I myself have experienced the positive benefits it has to our wellbeing, the way we express ourselves, and the way we relate to each other. In times of crisis, art has the power to unify people, provide respite, and help communities heal. This important role could be better demonstrated. I hope my career will contribute to this and to building an impact culture in the arts sector, putting impact at the heart of everything we do so we can achieve more for our artists, our audiences and our communities.