+LAB Embedded Artist

Posted: Nov. 26, 2018

Job Title:  Embedded Artist
Salary and Benefits: $25-$30 per hour DOE.
Hours: Part-time temporary. Approximately 30 hrs/week from January – February 2019, approximately 15-20 hrs/week March – December 2019. See below for more details.
Last day to apply: Thursday, December 13, 2018

About LTSC

LTSC is a social services and community development organization based in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. Our mission is to provide a comprehensive array of social welfare and community development services to assist low income individuals and other persons in need, contribute to community revitalization and cultural preservation in Little Tokyo and among the broader Japanese community in the Southland, and to provide such resources to neighboring Asian Pacific Islander and other low income communities. For more information about LTSC, visit www.ltsc.org

As an organization dedicated to promoting positive social change in Little Tokyo and beyond, LTSC is exploring how art and culture can enrich its work. +LAB is a bold initiative under which LTSC joins forces with artists and cultural institutions to find imaginative ways to strengthen this community, fight gentrification, and advance our vision of Little Tokyo as a place that is home to a diverse group of low-income and senior residents.

Job Description

Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) is exploring the intersection of arts and culture with community development. To this end, we are exploring deep partnerships with artists in non-traditional roles. Using innovative arts-based strategies and solutions to achieve our goals and strengthen cohesion among staff is an integral part of this exploration. This shift in organizational approach marks a vision that includes deeper collaborative work with local organizations, artists, and staff.

LTSC seeks an artist with creative and/or cultural practices that are oriented toward social justice and organizing to help lead this key organizational initiative. This is an opportunity to work in partnership with the staff of LTSC to develop new approaches to community development and social services work and collaboration rooted in the Little Tokyo neighborhood.

The selected artist will work with staff from various LTSC departments to facilitate, design, and deploy arts and culture- based strategies to rethink existing approaches to our organization’s work and increase impact around LTSC’s key goals for our Little Tokyo-based work. These include:

  • Preserving and strengthening Little Tokyo as a cultural center and sustainable and equitable neighborhood.
  • Fighting gentrification and displacement of low-income residents and small/legacy businesses
  • Asserting community control over publicly owned land
  • Strengthening the connection between Little Tokyo and the broader Japanese American community, and future generations
  • Making Little Tokyo a supportive place for low-income residents and seniors

Collaborators will include LTSC’s community planning, community organizing, small business development, social services, communications, resident services, administrative, and asset and property management teams along with other artists as determined by project needs.

The selected artist will help steward collaborative, interdepartmental processes that are focused on improving the ability of staff to respond to each other along with community needs, priorities, and desires. The selected artist will build on work that LTSC staff is conducting over the Fall of 2018 to develop priority action areas that cross departments. Examples of priority action areas might be:

  • Increasing the involvement of residents of LTSC’s affordable housing in our community planning & organizing activities.
  • Exploring opportunities for creative approaches to engagement in social services
  • Improving communication amongst departments/teams

We are asking the artist to engage in a two-step process:

  • Planning (time commitment: 30 hrs/week from Jan-Feb 2019):
    • Embedded artist will discuss selected themes with program departments o Embedded artist will either propose project(s) to carry out individually and/or design a process to engage other artists to help co-design projects
  • Execution (time commitment: depends on degree of involvement in project – minimum 15-20 hrs/week March – December 2019)
    • Embedded artist and staff team will work with project artist(s) to iterate and articulate project concept.
    • Embedded artist will supervise the work of the project artist(s) and coordinate the participation of staff in the project.
    • Embedded artist will be responsible for ensuring that the project is completed on time and on budget.
    • Embedded artist will evaluate the project with LTSC staff and document impact and propose ways of collaboration moving forward.

Though there will be a process for this work, the embedded artist should also be available to engage in impromptu, organic processes focused on challenges that arise outside of this structure.

Qualifications

We welcome both practicing artists and artists on hiatus from professional practice to apply for this position. However, applicants should ensure they can commit to LTSC for the duration of their employment.

Successful applicants will demonstrate all or most of the following:

  • Ability to bring diverse groups of people together to work collectively on a single project
  • Bring a creative and/or cultural practice to their work
  • Ability to connect groups in dialogue and conversation
  • Ability to identify and cultivate creativity in others
  • Experience developing and executing creative projects in which the community was an active collaborator
  • Experience working with people and communities from diverse backgrounds.
  • Ability to manage projects, partnerships, and budgets

How to Apply

Please submit all application materials to pluslab@ltsc.org by Thursday, December 13, 2018.

Application Materials (Word Documents, PDF’s, and media link only please, no Google Docs)

  • Resume/CV (no more than 2 pages)
  • Relevant Work Samples (Microsoft Word, PDF, links to videos/photos)
  • Please share a document or audio/visual recording of yourself responding to these questions:
    • Tell us about your practice, what inspires your work?
    • What element of this job interests you most and why?
    • How do you approach connecting people of different backgrounds?
    • What has been your experience cultivating creativity in others? Particularly those who feel they are not creative.