Kate Ricketts

Wellington born and bred, Kate Ricketts has travelled the world, taught English in Japan and missed out on two Radiohead concerts. From overplaying her Red Hot Chili Peppers and Aqua cassettes as a young girl to discovering local music at The Rogue and Vagabond, Kate has now fully immersed herself in arts, music and daily acts of generosity with Boosted, and through her regular support of One Percent Collective and our partner charities.


After studying Art History in Otago, running a gallery in Queenstown and working in Maˉori art promotion at Toi Maˉori Aotearoa, I decided to move to Japan. My plan was to learn Japanese and support the building of arts relations between Japan and New Zealand, but fate intervened and instead I moved to London with my partner. Unfortunately, fate played its hand again and my partner got ill so I was unable to work in the arts. When he recovered we continued to travel the world until ending up back home where I scored a role with the Arts Foundation of New Zealand (they run Boosted) who have been raising money for the arts for 15 years. 

As Project Manager and Digital Producer I lead a team of eight kickass individuals who grow and support the number of arts projects that successfully crowdfund with Boosted. We have a pretty broad definition of what art is and cover a range of creative endeavours including the sonic arts, fashion, game design and architecture.

Through great mentoring, and a bit of osmosis, I have picked up really valuable fundraising experience. Most groups I am involved with need money to achieve their goals, and for a lot of people figuring out where to go and how much to ask for can be really tough. One of my favourite parts of my job is helping people discover what makes them unique and exciting; what it is about their story that will resonate with their crowd. 

I love that Boosted educates, funds and connects creatives. Crowdfunding is a tool based on really old-school fundraising strategies; it is a tool that helps gather supporters in one place, exciting them and making it easy for them to join something. Thanks to crowdfunding, music that is considered ‘uncommercial’ now has a way of being supported by the many generous communities out there. It’s such a fun process for the person donating, but also requires a generosity of spirit from the artist too. 

For example, the artist can take fans behind the scenes of the recording process or invite them to be part of creating something new. Now, non-music makers suddenly have access to something that they think is pure magic – music. Supporters need to be fostered and loved, and when an artist shares something special with them this relationship continues to grow and creates a cycle of giving.

Working in the arts I would come across amazing acts of philanthropy every day and Boosted is no exception. So many projects have received last minute, incredibly generous donations and, more often than not, these knights in shining armour swoop in and save the day anonymously. While this is awesome, I do think that you should put your name against what you support – it’s an endorsement that you believe that person or group are doing great things. Your excitement and support can be contagious.

Being at Boosted has taught me a lot of valuable skills but it has also made me far more generous with my time, my money and, strangely, my social media output. I get a thrill from seeing projects I was part of come to fruition. I celebrate the successes of organisations that I support and get some awesome feel-good factor as they become stronger or try new things. Now it’s your turn – go forth and be generous!

Get ya boost on at www.boosted.org.nz

Photography by Pat Shepherd. Words by Jd Nodder

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