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Katrina Aleksa: Revolutionising The Arts World For Women

Championing women and creating a collaborative community is at the core of AWITA – Association of Women In The Arts. Founded in 2017, the community fosters genuine connection amongst professional women via mentorship, events and workshops. Following the success of the AWITA 2024 conference this 5th June, Mumble sits down with co-founder and all-round powerhouse female Katrina Aleksa to meet the woman behind the movement. 



Let's start at the beginning... How did  you first become interested in the arts world, and the path you took when you were younger to make it your career?

 

KA: From a young age, I was deeply drawn to the arts, starting with formal education in fine art and art history. In my early twenties, I gained hands-on experience working with various art institutions and galleries, which solidified my commitment to a career in the arts.


What led you to found AWITA? Where did the seeds of the idea come from – did you feel the industry was missing something?

I founded AWITA to address the lack of networking opportunities for women in the art industry.

KA: Recognising that each woman brought unique experiences, we realised that by sharing our journeys, we could support one another with collective knowledge, contacts, and resources, filling a significant gap in the industry.


What is your ambition and mission with AWITA? 


KA: Our mission is to empower women in the arts through collaboration, mentorship, and professional development. We aim to break barriers, create an inclusive environment, and advocate for gender equality, inspiring transformative change in the industry.


Since founding AWITA in 2017, what have been your highlights and proudest achievements? Where do you think you've made the most difference?


KA: Since founding AWITA, the growth of our community and the positive impact on members' careers have been the key highlights. Our mentorship programs, networking events and workshops have provided invaluable support. We've made a significant difference by creating a supportive network that encourages women to pursue leadership roles and challenge the status quo in the arts.


What do you think is the biggest challenge facing women in the arts world right now? And what could be done to solve it?


The biggest challenge is understanding that women's career trajectories often differ from those of men, primarily due to caregiving responsibilities. Solutions include recognising and accommodating these differences without questioning a woman’s dedication to her work.

On 5th June, AWITA hosted a brilliant conference, ‘Build Your Own Art World’. Tell us more about the conference'


KA: ‘The Build Your Own Art World’ conference on 5th June was an opportunity to engage with industry leaders, insights into trends, and innovative approaches in the art world. It featured a diverse lineup of speakers and interactive sessions, with valuable networking opportunities.


As a female founder, what do you think you've learnt most about business, and about yourself, since founding AWITA?


I've learned the importance of resilience and adaptability in business, and focusing on the bigger picture amidst challenges. Personally, I've discovered the power of community, supporting and uplifting others, reinforcing the value of perseverance and collective effort.


Looking ahead, what are your future plans for AWITA and what can we look forward to?


KA: We plan to expand our programmes nationally and globally, enhance support for women in the arts, launch new mentorship schemes, develop professional development resources and create more opportunities for collaboration and networking.

AWITA will continue to drive positive change and champion gender equality in the arts.

Find out more about AWITA, and explore membership options, at awita.london

Editor: Alyson Lowe.



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