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15 Dec 2021

Bethany Rolston: A bittersweet goodbye

Bethany Rolston

When I landed the role of Creative Facilitator here at Creative Waikato, I knew I had hit the jackpot.

It’s not every day you get the chance to work in the creative sector in your own backyard – let alone with such a rad team.

So you’re probably wondering why the heck I’m leaving, and what I’m doing next.

And my answer – adventure is calling. After spending most of my 20s working in front of a screen, I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and go travelling next year.

Despite these uncertain and weird times, my husband and I are going to enjoy a Kiwi summer and then head overseas for a new adventure – to the UK, Europe and then wherever life (and our bank account) takes us.

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So it’ll be a bittersweet feeling when I finish up my time at Creative Waikato at the end of the year.

I’m stoked to have worked for an organisation hustling hard to make the region a more vibrant place.

What a treat it has been to work on powerful projects, support artists and creative organisations, run funding rounds and tell stories about our region.

I feel so lucky to have been a part of such a cool team – a group of humans worth their weight in gold. A team of deep listeners, belly-laughers and off-the-charts coffee drinkers.

One of my highlights has been the weird and wonderful daily Zoom chats while working from home.

I’ve loved the absurdly funny questions like “does the colour yellow exist?” and “what would your alter ego be doing with their life?”

These chats have taught me the value of gentle curiosity, that asking silly questions is okay, and that you can never stop learning new things about people and yourself.

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One project I feel super proud to have worked on was contributing to comms for the Kotahitanga virtual gallery, and then seeing how this project has impacted others.

It was incredibly moving and powerful to see tamariki come up with their own creative responses to the idea of Kotahitanga, or unity, through the School Kit resource.

Working on this project taught me a couple of things – that creativity can transform lives, and that creativity is essential to wellbeing. And that knowledge is something I’ll carry with me forever.

So, team. Thanks for everything – it’s truly been a blast.

I wish you all nothing but the best as you continue to do incredible things for our region.

Ngā mihi nui,
Bethany