July 24th, 2019

The Artist Volunteer Center (www.avcenter.org) is seeking a new Director. This is an opportunity to take over a small fiscally-sponsored project with the strong potential of growing it into a thriving nonprofit organization.

ABOUT THE ARTIST VOLUNTEER CENTER:

Mission: The Artist Volunteer Center (The AV Center) promotes socially-conscious volunteerism by artists and supports the creation of artwork inspired by volunteer action.

The AV Center is fiscally sponsored by the Brooklyn Arts Council and founded on the principle that art is most powerful when inspired by or attempting to establish a dialogue around social justice issues. The AV Center is a destination for those seeking a forum to witness, present, and participate in artwork that is derived from direct action.

We are first and foremost a support service for artists. We believe fine artists are the true innovators and leaders of culture, we trust in their innate ability to turn problems into solutions. Our artists are given a framework but encouraged to move fluidly within its structure, working closely with community participants to empower and inspire all involved.

PAST PROGRAMMING & GRANTS:

The AV Center aims to establish long-term artist volunteer projects involving critical issues. From 2014-2017 we successfully executed a residency called Engaging Artists, which was conceived and led by Founder Jason Maas, and produced by More Art in partnership with the AV Center. The focus of this program changed annually; in our first year (2014-2015) the program was centered on the issue of homelessness, and our emerging artists served 3,000 New Yorkers. In its second year (2015-2016), the program was open to the underserved community of foreign-born emerging artists. Our cohort of 14 artists from 14 countries received shared studio space and completed their volunteer work with immigrant seniors. Our final exhibition was at the Queens Museum in 2016. In 2016-2017, the program focused on housing justice. The 14 artists in the cohort received shared studio space and volunteered with nonprofits and community groups working to fight gentrification, promote tenant rights, equitable housing laws, and community engagement. Their final exhibition was at Flux Factory.

The AV Center co-created and led FOOD FIGHTERS, an art and community internship program that focused on food justice as it related to income inequality through a collaboration with With Food In Mind. Over the course of six weeks, teens completed volunteer internships at different food justice organizations in New York City, such as Drive Change, Mt. Sinai Health, and Harlem Grown. The students contributed a minimum of eight hours per week for the six weeks. The students also met weekly at CUE Art Foundation where they shared their experiences, heard from guest speakers (activists, artists, advocacy experts), and engaged in art projects that drew from the students’ volunteer and workshop experiences.

The AV Center was also able to distribute the Jessie Streich-Kest Memorial Grant. Through this grant, the Artist Volunteer Center supports an artist’s project that is dedicated to advancing themes of social justice, equity, and/or education. This grant prioritizes the needs of underserved artists, particularly emerging artists, artists of color, queer artists, and immigrant artists.

HISTORY:

Jason Maas founded the Artist Volunteer Center in 2013 after his experiences working as a coordinator helping volunteers rebuild the Rockaways for nine months following Hurricane Sandy. The experience completely changed his relationship with the city and his own artwork and he recognized a need for an organization to both support artists in volunteering in their communities and promote the artwork they create from their experiences. Through his work with artists and communities, Jason recognized he was being called to become a psychotherapist. He attended Brooklyn College’s Mental Health Counseling graduate program in the Fall of 2016 and put the AV Center on pause, where it has been in stasis ever since; it is a ship that has been fully built but currently missing its captain.

ABOUT THE POSITION:

The role would be to take over the duties of the Founding Director, which involve: creating new programming aligned with the organization’s mission and building existing programs; working with artists one-on-one and in small groups; fundraising through grant searching and writing, board development; marketing, social media campaigns, and maintaining web platforms; sourcing partnerships; curating; event planning—this is a job for someone who is versed in doing a little bit of everything.

NOTE: Apart from some small seed funding, this is a position where your own fundraising, grant writing, and/or consulting work you acquire through the duties and development of this position will be your sole sources of income, this is not a salaried position.

This position is ideal for someone who has employment in the Arts Nonprofit sector and is looking to build something on the side that is already set up and ready to grow into a meaningful nonprofit organization.

Ideal candidate must be independently driven and:

  • 5+ years experience in the Nonprofit sector, preferably the arts.

  • Have grant writing and fundraising experience.

  • History of program creation and/or management experience.

  • Comfortable leading groups and individuals.

  • Ability to navigate various web platforms and create content.

  • Excellent writing and communication skills.

  • Have a deep commitment to socially-conscious issues and artwork.

  • Work with Founding Director to take over past partnerships, contacts, and revamp programs and fundraising work.

TO APPLY:

Please submit a cover letter expressing what vision you would bring to the Artist Volunteer Center and the reasons why you would be uniquely qualified to lead and grow this project. Also include a resume and three references. Email submission to jason@avcenter.org with “last name_first name Application For AV Center Director” in the subject line.

Please be advised that we cannot respond to all inquiries.

The Artist Volunteer Center has a strong commitment to diversity and equity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, gender/ gender identity/ gender expression, age, ethnicity, national origin, or sexual orientation. People of color, women, LGBTQ+, immigrants, and members of other historically marginalized groups are encouraged to apply.

www.avcenter.org