Performing Our Future Lead Organizer
Roadside Theater/Appalshop, Inc.
Performing Our Future (POF) is a coalition of community-led organizations representing rural and urban communities from around the nation, working through culture to build power and wealth in communities with a shared history of resistance to economic exploitation. The coalition was convened in 2018 by Roadside Theater, a division of the east Kentucky-based arts and humanities center Appalshop. Performing Our Future is a program of Roadside Theater, and the lead organizer will work with the support of the Director of Roadside. The Director of Roadside will be the direct supervisor of the lead organizer. The lead organizer will also work closely with the Performing Our Future Steering Committee, composed of leaders from each organization within the coalition.
The Performing Our Future coalition currently includes: The Arch Social Community Network, working to enrich the neighborhoods of West Baltimore by providing an outlet for cultural expression through arts, entertainment and social dialogue; Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice, working towards a Uniontown, Alabama and Black Belt region where all people will unite to act in love for shared liberty and justice for all; The Letcher County Culture Hub, a growing network of community-led organizations in the coalfields of East Kentucky, working to build a culture and economy where we own what we make; Rural/Urban Flow, bringing together producers of art, culture, and agriculture to harness, share, and grow community wealth across the rural-urban continuum in Milwaukee and Sauk Counties, Wisconsin.
The lead organizer will work alongside coalition leadership and the Roadside ensemble to develop and advance the coalition’s agenda and long-term goals. The organizer will be primarily responsible for building power—understood as organized people, building relationships, developing leaders, and expanding the coalition’s reach and connections; organized money, working from those relationships to raise funds and generate investment to sustain and grow the coalition’s work; and organized ideas, developing and advancing an understanding of culture, politics, and economics that furthers the work of the coalition.
The lead organizer must be comfortable leading, listening, creating, writing, thinking critically about power, and making sense of complex and potentially contradictory ideas, such as: to simultaneously agitate perspectives while also listening empathetically, to advocate for movement but not leave anyone behind, to assert bold and creative ideas while also representing the will of the coalition.
Specific projects in the first year include:
● Create a two year fundraising strategy.
● Create a two year communication plan, including a focus on branding, online functionality, and a publication schedule.
● Create a residency exchange program for sharing cultural knowledge, tools, relationships, and products between delegations and their communities.
● Support the creation of an original play in West Baltimore.
● Visit in-person each of the four delegations, at least two times, to establish an understanding of delegations projects and priorities (with an understanding that global travel and social restrictions might change the nature of this expectation).
● Strategize with each delegation to identify two years of specific co-created cultural products, rooted in the inherent values and priorities of each delegation, that partner across distances to build power and wealth in each delegation.
Ongoing duties include:
● Fundraising, with support of coalition delegations and Roadside staff, from regional and national sources in order to support the activities and grow the work of the Coalition, as well as the staff time and travel of the lead organizer.
● Facilitate regular communication between the delegations. Work alongside the Steering Committee Officers to ensure that Coalition meetings are scheduled, agendas are made and circulated, call logistics are clear, and coalition members are accountable for the tasks supporting the long-term goals of the Coalition.
● Communicate daily with delegations to ensure work is moving forward from meeting to meeting.
● Identify for the coalition, and build with the coalition, relationships with potential allies who share the values and commitments of the coalition (including philanthropists, policymakers, journalists, politicians, economists, development professionals, issue advocates, researchers, and organizers).
● To support Coalition leaders with time and labor articulating the values, philosophies, and activities of the Coalition in clear and creative ways. (This could include: publishing, speaking publicly, building and updating websites, and creating original works in other arts and media disciplines.)
● To be entrepreneurial in spirit; to communicate opportunities to the Coalition as they arrive.
The POF Lead Organizer is a year-round, full time position (which is defined at Appalshop as 40 hours a week), salaried with full benefits. At this time, the position is for two years, with the possibility of continuance in the future if funding becomes available. The candidate should have a minimum 2 years experience in organizing or a relevant field, and be comfortable living in and working alongside a variety of cultures with sensitivity and transparency. The candidate must be willing to travel, as they will be spending time in each delegation location. The candidate must also be comfortable with technology to facilitate long-distance communication, including but not limited to: Google Suite and Zoom.
Appalshop is an equal opportunity employer, and its employment policies and practices are applicable to all employees without regard to race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, creed, disability or national origin.
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