US Department of Arts and Culture: Co-Director (Organizing and Organizational Development)

by Glasstire

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The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) seeks a collaborative, visionary, experienced, movement-oriented leader to steward and evolve the people-powered department at a moment of significant transformation and opportunity.

The person in this role will join a collaborative effort to evolve strategy and vision, grow capacity, and transition the USDAC into its next chapter. They will contribute to “holding the whole” — developing and coordinating programs and partnerships, deepening organizing strategy, and creating the conditions through which a growing team can support and activate the USDAC’s network of 22,000+ artists, cultural organizers, educators, policy-makers, arts administrators, activists, and allies.

We are looking for someone with significant leadership experience in both organizational development and social justice organizing. Background in arts or cultural work is not a requirement for this role. A successful candidate must have an appreciation for and understanding of the power of cultural work and creativity. Experience in community cultural development, the intersection of arts and social justice, and/or cultural organizing is, of course, also a plus!

Our team is currently comprised of five contractors, all compensated at an equal rate. We are looking for someone with vision and energy, ready for a significant new leadership opportunity and eager to bring their experience and expertise to the next chapter of our shared work.

QUALIFICATIONS. We are looking for a new teammate with:

Strong organizational development experience: fundraising/development, growing and managing teams, creating and running programs, leading or co-leading organizations.

Experience in grassroots organizing, coalition-building, and/or advocacy. (Ideally at least 5 years.) Experience with volunteer-driven organizing, distributed/digital organizing, and networks a plus.

Collaborative leadership style and expertise or interest in alternative organizational models with shared leadership.

Good at developing and implementing processes and systems for collaboration, and moving a team forward.

Local and national leadership experience.

Willingness to “make the road by walking.”

Experience and comfort working remotely.

Strong managerial experience.

Ability to handle multiple, concurrent and high priority projects.

Strong writing and communications skills as well as a good people-person/listener.

Strong operational chops with an eye for detail and the ability to track multiple campaigns and actions as well as organizational priorities such as fundraising and base-building.

Track record of moving visionary ideas into action.

Values-alignment. See our statement of values.

RESPONSIBILITIES: In collaboration with the other Co-Director, this person in this role will:

Build organizational capacity by raising resources and bringing in talented teammates.

Coordinate a team of cultural organizers and provide oversight of major programs/services.

Establish shared vision, guide strategic direction and provide dynamic leadership.

Oversee preparation of organizational timelines and budgets.

Develop communications plans.

Deepen USDAC’s organizing capacity and strategy, designing and implementing programs and campaigns that build our base and advance our goals and values.

Develop strong and collaborative relationships with partner organizations, coalitions, and other stakeholders to advance shared goals.

Seek out, identify, and pursue opportunities to advance organizational mission and policy goals.

Initial contract would be for a rate of $39,000-$46,800/year, depending on agreed upon scope of work. USDAC team members are all independent contractors, compensated at an equal rate and working flexible schedules that allow for other projects/clients.

This is a work-remote position, with no geographical requirement. However, a portion of our team is based in New Mexico, and the person in this role will be expected to travel to New Mexico for team retreats as well as to other locations for meetings, gatherings, and other work-related responsibilities. The successful candidate must be available to join the USDAC team for a retreat during the week of March 30th, 2020.

The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) was founded in 2013 as a people-powered department—a grassroots action network inciting creativity and social imagination to shape a culture of empathy, equity, and belonging. We connect artists, organizers, and allies in an ever-expanding learning community by sharing vital information and creative tactics, taking action together, and devising policies and programs to catalyze culture shift in the service of social and environmental justice. (The USDAC is *not* a government agency.)

Over the past five years the USDAC has:

Built a translocal, intergenerational, intercultural network of 22K+ Citizen Artists working across issue areas and media.

Hosted participatory, arts-based community dialogues and actions engaging tens of thousands of people in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Created free guides, toolkits, and trainings on cultural policy, artistic response, Indigenous land acknowledgment, creating a culture of health, arts-based community dialogue, and much more. These resources have been used to shift culture in thousands of community, cultural, educational, and civic settings, and been featured in a range of outlets—including Teen Vogue, Native America Calling, and the New York Times.

Developed a network of more than 100 Affiliate Organizations and 20 local Outposts, committed to USDAC values.

Hosted two sold-out national convenings that have been called “life-changing” and “transformative” by artists, activists, policy-makers, and educators in attendance.

Created an inclusive ethos of “serious play” and grounded hope that has inspired and drawn in a broad array of people and partners working to create a society rooted in love and justice.

This is a moment for new leadership and vision, rooted in the values, community, and legacy of work that the USDAC has championed. The cultural/social/political climate in the U.S. has shifted significantly since the seeds for the USDAC were first planted in 2011. We continue to adapt the USDAC to be a relevant convener and catalyst for action in these times, and seek to further align our potential and capacity with this moment of social, political, and ecological crisis. During the past five years, the cultural organizing and “arts and activism” landscape has also shifted significantly; we’re looking for someone who has knowledge of both social movement and cultural ecosystems.

As a fiscally sponsored project, the USDAC has maintained an agile core infrastructure. We desire to maintain our nimbleness and flexibility while co-manifesting leadership in ways that model the collaborative ethos and cultural transformation we seek in the world. We envision—and have begun to create—an organizational model that de-centers the traditional role of the ED/founder, distributes leadership among multiple “stewards,” creates intentional space for Indigenous, Black and Person of Color leadership, and enables visionary practitioners to lead projects and leverage the USDAC network as a commons for powerful cultural work. The Co-Director will play a key part in stewarding our organizational transition and implementing our collective vision.

As Co-Directors, Gabrielle Uballez, current Minister of Collaboration and Activation, and the USDAC’s incoming Co-Director will steward the next stage of organizational evolution. After more than six years of leadership, USDAC founder and Chief Instigator, Adam Horowitz, will move into a support role.

Click here to access the application form. Be sure to read instructions at the top of the form and to submit by December 9th.

NOTE: This application form requires a Google/Gmail Account to upload materials. If (and only if!) you don’t have a Google Account, you may use this form instead and follow instructions for emailing cover letter and resume.
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