Wellington Scoop

Gisella Carr to head new city council business unit for arts and culture

News from WCC
The Wellington City Council has today announced the appointment of Gisella Carr – current Chief Executive of World of WearableArt – to head a new business unit for Arts, Culture and Community Services.

Chief Operating Officer Barbara McKerrow says this appointment signals the Council’s commitment to developing Wellington as NZ’s leading creative city and ensuring our arts, culture and broader creative industries and activities thrive.

“This is an important new role, which recognises the synergies between our city arts and events, libraries and community spaces, and community services teams. Gisella will provide the strategic leadership needed to maximise opportunities for how these different services work together for the social and cultural wellbeing of our city.”

Gisella says: “I am delighted to take up this role because I believe in the Council’s vision for a Wellington that is driven even more by a sense of community, our intellectual capital and our arts economy.”

Gisella brings extensive leadership experience within the creative and film sectors. She has held the role of Chief Executive at WOW since 2016. Prior to that, she was CEO of Film New Zealand for five years and has worked in senior roles at Te Papa, Creative New Zealand and The Royal New Zealand Ballet.

She was the inaugural strategist for the Arts Foundation of New Zealand, creating the Arts Foundation Laureate Awards. She also worked closely with local government customers during her time as an independent consultant.

Gisella will start with Wellington City Council on 16 March.

Press Release – WOW Awards
After four years at the helm, World of WearableArt (WOW) chief executive Gisella Carr is stepping down and the organisation is on the hunt for a new leader. WOW chair Sarah Smith said Ms Carr has made a lasting contribution to the organisation since she joined in 2016.

“Over the past four years, Gisella has done an outstanding job, further developing our commercial brand and growing our artistic reputation around the world. The Board is grateful for the huge effort and energy she has put into the renewal and extension across all elements of WOW. Gisella has appointed to WOW a strong leadership team who will ensure business continues as usual” she says.

WOW has begun a process to recruit a new chief executive to lead the company in the next phase of its development.

Ms Carr will leave WOW in February next year to take up a new role of Head of Arts, Culture and Community Services at the Wellington City Council in March 2020. “We are sad to see her go, but we’re delighted that she will be driving the arts and community service operations at the Wellington City Council, Sarah Smith says.

Ms Carr says the decision to leave WOW was difficult but she’s looking forward to a continuing relationship with the annual arts event in her new role at WCC.

“It has been a privilege to lead the globally unique phenomenon that is World of WearableArt. I have loved being part of the WOW family and it was a tough decision to move on, but now as we enter a new decade it’s the right time for someone else to add their imprint to the WOW organisation,” she says.