Title: Community Engagement Manager
Reports to: Director of Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program
Department: Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program
Deadline: Please apply by January 31, 2022. Expected start date is February 2022.
What makes Connecticut Historical Society special for employees:
The CHS is proud of its culture that attracts and retains a professional, ambitious, and innovative staff. We are inspired to collaboratively and supportively work to further our mission: “We cultivate deep understanding of the history and culture of Connecticut, and its role in America and the world, through reflection of the past, active engagement with the present, and innovation for the future through our collections, research, educational programs, and exhibitions,” with our vision: “Working with an inclusive audience to promote historical and cultural perspectives as essential tools to connect with others, shape communities, and make informed decisions.” The right candidate will bring to their colleagues their high standards and love of often fast-paced and challenging work.
Who we are looking for:
Our team is interested in filling this full-time grant-funded position with a professional culture worker who is skilled at developing relationships with diverse communities, institutions, and traditional artists in the state of Connecticut, and whose interest and background in cultural heritage arts and community-based arts and commitment to equitable practices will support the state’s folk and traditional arts program through expanding its impact through long-term partnerships and projects with diverse communities in Connecticut. We hope that this position will improve our organization’s service to diverse cultural communities, as well as address historically marginalized and underrepresented identities and perspectives in the broader fields of public folklore, public history, and museums.
What is the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program?
The Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program (CCHAP), is the state’s official folk and traditional arts initiative based at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, CT. CCHAP helps to enhance and sustain community cultural vitality through active and inclusive partnerships with cultural communities.
CCHAP partners with artists and their communities to record their traditional art forms and cultural practices, provides technical assistance that strengthens their resources, and develops public presentations that bring traditional artists and the stories of their communities to new audiences. CCHAP fosters relationships of trust with community groups and organizations; local colleges, universities and schools; artists, performers, and tradition bearers; scholars and community historians; cultural leaders; and related affinity groups. These mutual partnerships help to gather research and information, develop collaborative programming, and assist community-based artists to tell their stories and sustain their heritage while also increasing awareness of CHS and its programs.
The program’s activities include (but are not limited to): fieldwork with Connecticut artists and communities; documentation through photography, videography, and oral history interviews; exhibits; publications; public programming such as gallery talks, workshops, artist demonstrations and performances, panel discussions; educational presentations; services to artists; information services to the public; collaborative initiatives; and special projects.
Part of the challenge of every folk and traditional arts program is to find ways to build long-term, sustainable relationships with artists, communities, and institutions that support cultural vitality and the well-being of cultural communities through community-led, inclusive, and cooperative endeavors. To address this concern, the CHS secured grant funding to expand the work of CCHAP by hiring a new Community Engagement Manager who in partnership with the CCHAP Director will launch new initiatives and support current work. The Community Engagement Manager will step in to grow the visibility of existing partnership programs between CCHAP and Connecticut cultural communities, while also be part of growing new initiatives through in-person outreach to cultural communities. This work will help transform the larger organization of the Connecticut Historical Society to become more community-centered, meaningful, and relevant to more Connecticut residents.
The position will work closely with the CCHAP Director, the Southern New England Apprenticeship Program Manager, the CHS Community History Project Manager, and other CHS staff as you closely listen to different communities to learn their strengths and desires, and how CCHAP can effectively and inclusively partner with them. This position will also work with the CHS Marketing Manager to develop promotional materials while they also help to manage new and existing partnership activities, such as assisting traditional artists to teach arts in Hartford Schools through Hartford Performs, the Día de Muertos Community Celebration, and other CCHAP programming.
For more information on CCHAP, see https://chs.org/cchap
Duties and Responsibilities:
Your duties will include, but not be limited to:
- Conduct fieldwork (including ethnographic interviews, documentation, and contextual information), at a minimum of 4 locations across the state, resulting in 8 in-depth interviews of culture-bearers annually
- Build new and strengthen existing relationships with stakeholders and community members; initiate planning for 4 community-based, community-directed projects to start or take place in 2023
- Continue and expand ongoing community partnerships and projects in 2022 and 2023
- Work as part of a collaborative team with CHS staff, artists, and community members on project and program design, development, implementation, and evaluation
- Increase accessibility, diversity, inclusion, and equity in CCHAP partnership programming
- Offer technical assistance to traditional artists and community members
- Help to run at least 4 summer concerts in both 2022 and 2023
- Support Advancement Department with development of written and multimedia materials to promote and raise the profile of artists, their communities, and the cultural work they are doing with CHS Marketing Manager
- Assist the CHS Community Historian Project Manager with planning and execution of 3 community collecting days, 11 listening sessions to be conducted with local stakeholders and organizations with collections, and 3 public presentations on the process and progress of the community historian project
- Manage project budgets
- Travel throughout Connecticut; position is based at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, CT
- Build financial sustainability by working with management and the Advancement Department to identify and apply for grants and other funding opportunities
- Look for opportunities to strengthen an inclusive network that considers all cultural heritage that promotes Connecticut’s cultural vibrancy
- Design effective ways to assess the needs of the region, demographics, creative communities and programmatic feedback.
- Other duties as requested or assigned
Skills & Qualifications
The successful candidate will have:
- Experience in ethnographic fieldwork, arts-based programming, and coordinating projects and events, and comfort in both in-person and virtual/digital methods to accomplish them
- Capacity to think strategically about building and sustaining relationships with organizational partners and community members
- Comfort and enjoyment working within and among people from diverse socioeconomic, racial and political backgrounds
- Commitment to community-driven, collaborative work, with a willingness to learn
- 2-4 years of community engagement work or public folklore/ethnomusicology work, or an equivalent combination of education and experience (which can include more than just paid work)
- Proficiency in English
- High school diploma or GED
- Superior organizational and administrative skills
- Effective and consistent interpersonal and written communication skills
- Experience with writing and managing grants
- Ability to work independently and collaboratively
- Flexibility and excellent time management skills
- Willingness to work irregular hours including nights and weekends as needed
- Knowledge of programs including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Teams, Email, and Social Media
- Ability to assess problems and develop possible solutions
- Have own reliable transportation
- A graduate degree in Folklore or Ethnomusicology or related disciplines
- Fluency and cultural competence in any other language with a significant speaking population in Connecticut
- Knowledge of cultural and arts policy and research related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, or a willingness to learn
- Proficiency in video/sound editing, digital photography expertise, and Adobe design software a plus
- Be able to lift 30 lbs
Schedule: Full time for grant funded period, with the possibility of extension dependent on continued funding. Monday through Friday with evenings and weekends as needed for work with community groups. Expect work on-site at the CHS offices, with some remote work and travel within Southern New England.
Compensation: $55,000 per year. Full time for two-year grant period (through December 31, 2023).
Benefits: Eligible for full employee benefits package including medical, dental, vision, life, long term disability, employer contributions to 403(b) plan, and paid vacation and sick days.
How to apply: Please email cover letter and resume/curriculum vitae to Susan Presutti, Director of Human Resources, firstname.lastname@example.org, by January 31, 2022. Cover letter should describe qualifications, experience and reason for applying. Finalist group of candidates will provide three references (preferably current or former managers) with telephone numbers and email addresses.
The Connecticut Historical Society is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.