It's time for a change. 

It's been wonderful to be at the helm of creating and maintaining Valley Art Share for the last 7 years and the time has come for me to pass it on to someone else.  I'm looking for someone who is excited to take on full responsibility for the site and steward it into the future.  This could be an individual or a collective of folks.  

This is an unpaid position: I am not paid to manage Valley Art Share however there is potential for fundraising and income streams should you want to be monetarily compensated.

It is especially important that the calendar on Valley Art Share remain free and open.  Ideally every effort would be made for the site to continue to be free to it's members. 

Here are some details about the site:

  • Founded in 2008 in direct response to the need for a free community arts calendar and desire for building connections between artists in Western Mass
  • Currently has over 1000 members
  • Has gone through periods of increased activity in response to direct projects and organizing.  In the past it has received over 2000 unique visits a month
  • Based on a pre-designed social network service called Ning.com
  • Provides a platform that offers a community arts calendarphoto galleries and blogging to it's members
  • Minimal monthly fee to keep it alive ($25)
  • Potential for growth in revenue through ads and pay walls

At a minimum being the steward of Valley Art Share means managing it in its current form:

  • Managing the community calendar by featuring events to the main page 
  • Responding to member issues and questions
  • Authorizing new members
  • Paying the $25/month fee to keep it alive

Ideally the VAS steward would grow it into something that you are excited about and invested in.  

VAS nascent projects:

Over the years I've started and stopped various parts of Valley Art Share, all or some of which could be picked back up by the new steward.  I'm happy to share what I've learned about what made each of these projects tick.
  • Online exhibitions
  • Micro grants
  • Advertising
  • Residencies/opportunities to collaborate
  • Local outreach and organizing to increase site engagement, conversation and calendar use

Some ideas I've had over the years:

  • Publishing arts and culture reviews and criticism (maybe making it more like Big Red and Shiny)
  • Collaborating with local community access television stations to produce videos
  • Collaborating with area organizations that support creatives
  • Building more regional connections to arts and culture publications and support organizations in the Northeast
  • Creating opportunities for folks to gather in person
  • Designing print materials to market the site
  • Publishing an annual catalog of Valley Art Share member work
  • Organizing town or county VAS collaborators to help with organizing and member engagement
  • Rebuilding the network using an open source free platform such as BuddyPress

Necessary skills:

  • Project management
  • Strong verbal and written communication
  • Emailing Marketing (MailChimp)
  • Familiar with Western Mass and it's arts and culture

Helpful skills:

  • Web and print design
  • Marketing 
  • Community organizing
  • Budget Management

Are you interested in being the VAS Steward?

Please send a letter of interest to valleyartshare@gmail.com by Friday, May 22nd at 5pm.  You are welcome to send questions to the same address.

Please also help me to spread the word about this transition and the search for a new steward.  I look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,


Julia Handschuh

Valley Art Share Creator

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