Title: Southern New England Apprenticeship Program 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 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 managing and growing its apprenticeship program in traditional arts. 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 (CHS) 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.
About the Position:
One of the important long-running CCHAP projects is the NEA-funded Southern New England Apprenticeship Program in traditional arts, started in 1998. This program supports communities in sustaining their cultures through regular, intensive, one-on-one teaching by a skilled mentor artist or craftsperson to a student apprentice, or a mentor sharing skills with an equally accomplished mentor, through stipends of up to $3,500. Each team that participates in this program is visited by CCHAP staff, who document their work and teaching, conduct ongoing fieldwork within cultural communities to make contacts with people who would be good candidates for this program, offer technical assistance to applicants, and educate the public more broadly about these types of cultural learning/teaching. Each apprenticeship team is also required to present their learning in some type of public demonstration, performance, or workshop to raise awareness within their own communities, and frequently the CHS also hosts presentations, concerts, and other apprenticeship-related programming.
For more information on CCHAP and the Southern New England Apprenticeship Program, 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)
- Administer program application, evaluation process, onboarding, follow-up, and final evaluations for program participants
- Improve equity in program application process, with particular focus on making the process easier for non-fluent English speakers and better outreach and recruitment practices. First phase to be accomplished by 2022-2023 application window, May 2022-July 2022
- Manage project budgets
- Offer technical assistance to traditional artists and community members
- Design effective ways to assess the needs of the region, demographics, creative communities and programmatic feedback.
- Build financial sustainability by working with management and the Advancement Department to identify and apply for grants and other funding opportunities
- Build new and strengthen existing relationships with stakeholders and community members
- Hold meetings with regional partners; in 2022, we will hold 3 meetings with existing and new partner artists and organizations; in 2023, these organizations will help suggest candidates to apply to the program, be ambassadors for the program in their communities, and suggest community members to serve on the application review committee in 2023
- Look for opportunities to strengthen an inclusive network that considers all cultural heritage that promotes Connecticut’s cultural vibrancy
- Help manage events that feature apprenticeship teams, as well as assist with CCHAP departmental events
- Work alongside Marketing and Communications Manager to strengthen public performances through new and more effective outreach, and reaching new and diverse audiences
- 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
- Support expansion of marketing and publicity projects surrounding the apprenticeship teams and their communities, created in partnership with CHS marketing
- Work as part of a collaborative team with CHS staff, artists, and community members on project and program design, development, implementation, and evaluation
- Travel throughout southern New England, and especially throughout Connecticut (5% of time)
- Position is based at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, CT
- Other duties as requested or assigned
Skills & Qualifications
The successful candidate will have:
- Commitment to community-driven, collaborative work, with a willingness to learn
- 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
- 2 to 4 years of community engagement work or public folklore/ethnomusicology work, or an equivalent combination of education and experience (which can include more than only 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
- Ability to assess problems and develop possible solutions
- 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.
- 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 need to 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.