What sustains staff in an event economy

Staff, who have worked with Sculpture by the Sea for over a decade, speak about what is needed to keep staff on board.
Sculpture. Staff head shots from sculpture festival

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi (SXS) is celebrating its 25th edition this month. It is an incredible achievement for a cyclical event, especially one that is produced by a not-for-profit organisation.

What is equally interesting is the event’s capacity for staff retention over that long history. Festivals typically fall within the gig economy – short contracts for intense work periods, and high-level delivery – a recipe for burnout, and everything but sustainability in the workplace.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina