Auckland, New Zealand
2009 - 2013
At the end of 2009 Cleo founded First Thursdays Auckland, a not-for-profit community-based art, music and culture event that happens roughly 3 times per year along Auckland’s iconic Karangahape Road.
With the support of local artists and businesses, the K Road Business Association and a healthy dose of blood, sweat and tears, First Thursdays was born. This was the first event Cleo had ever created, so safe to say it all begun here. First Thursday's Auckland was established to provide a platform for uncensored art making, to make art accessable to the public and to share unique cultural expressions and voices of local artists.
Since it’s establishment in 2009, 17 successful First Thursdays have taken place, each growing from the last. From the birth of First Thursdays in December 2009 which showcased 12 emerging artists, local DJ's, two dance groups and 900 attendees within the iconic St Kevins Arcade on Karangahape Road, Cleo's last First Thursdays in May 2013 attracted 10,000+ visitors and showcased 300 local creatives across a three day festival in over 30 local businesses and venues in the greater Newton area.
Throughout the five years of this events growth, Cleo's role included curation and production of the event, website and brand development, sponsorship management, marketing, budget and volunteer management, and everything else that it takes to put on a neighborhood wide art festival.
In May 2013 Cleo produced her final First Thursdays and from there gifted the event to the K Road Business Association. The event continues to take place, on average two times a year and has become a staple event in the K Road community.