NOW HIRING: PLACEMAKING SERVICES COORDINATOR
Deadline: Monday, June 22, 2020 at 12pm EDT
Anticipated Start Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2020

We are seeking a creative, energetic and organized team player with passion for placemaking who is eager to develop creative solutions to urban design challenges and transform underused spaces into safe, attractive, and vibrant places for local residents, workers and visitors. Reporting to STEPS’ Program Director, this role is responsible for planning, developing, and implementing placemaking activities on behalf of STEPS and our partners: property owners, developers, BIAs, community and business groups. This is a Toronto based one-year full-time contract position, with the possibility of renewal and salary commensurate with experience. Following a probationary period, this position is eligible for group benefits and flexible working arrangements including remote work. 

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Develop public art plans, installations, and engagement strategies for the public realm (parks, sidewalks, underpasses, construction sites and other open spaces), like murals, hoarding exhibits, street furniture, storefront animations, wayfinding and community cultural plans.
  • Identify public, private and community partners with whom to realize public realm enhancements.
  • Respond to inquiries from prospective clients/partners and facilitate initial needs assessments, which may include reviewing site plans, performing site visits or speaking to stakeholders.
  • Support preparation of RFPs, as well as client and grant proposals for placemaking initiatives.
  • Establish, foster and maintain strong relationships with clients, partners, artists and suppliers.
  • Design initiatives that consider the historic and structural inequities experienced in public space by communities of colour, Indigenous communities and other equity-seeking communities.
  • Prepare budgets, negotiate contracts with clients/artists and coordinate project logistics.
  • Facilitate community outreach and consensus building regarding placemaking initiatives.
  • Work closely with City Councillors and municipal departments involved in approval processes. 
  • Track project timelines, workflows and progress against social and financial objectives.
  • Keep current on best practices, trends and opportunities in public art and creative placemaking.
  • Become a trusted resource for our partners and stakeholders on creative public space strategies.
  • Increase visibility of the STEPS professional services among relevant sectors across Canada.
  • Develop strategic partnerships that will extend the reach of STEPS’ placemaking programming.
  • Prepare impact reports, articles and presentations on placemaking initiatives.
  • Draft press releases, blog posts and web updates on placemaking initiatives.
  • Create website, newsletter and social media content to market STEPS professional services.
  • Gather project data, feedback and testimonials to evaluate service effectiveness.
  • Have a continuous improvement mindset that strengthens STEPS services and internal systems.

WHO YOU ARE:

Our ideal candidate will be passionate about the role of the arts and artists in building vibrant inclusive public spaces and communities. You will be creative, entrepreneurial, proactive, observant, well organized and thrive in a fast paced environment. You stay current on urban and cultural issues. You see what could be, rather than what is. You love brainstorming, problem solving and connecting with people. You’re often told by coworkers that they know something will get done if it gets passed to you, and you are not afraid to ask for support or clarification if needed. You have experience jumping in and helping to put processes in place that make an improvement on what has been built, while being respectful of the work that has come before. You relish making sense of things, executing logistics, anticipating problems and fixing them. You’re good at keeping information confidential. You thrive on each day being different and presenting new opportunities and challenges. If you are organized, not easy to overwhelm, and you have a positive attitude that makes people want to be your teammate, we are looking forward to meeting you!

WE THINK IT’S IMPORTANT THAT YOU HAVE THE FOLLOWING:

  • Postsecondary education in urban planning/design, architecture, arts management or visual arts.
  • No less than two (2) years experience in community planning or arts administration, with a demonstrated experience in placemaking in community or businesses settings.
  • An ability to flex a high degree of creativity in response to diverse public space challenges.
  • Strong organizational skills, including setting priorities, budgeting, and juggle competing tasks.
  • Great interpersonal skills, including meaningful collaboration with external groups on joint projects, as well as openly and respectfully communicate with colleagues.
  • Excellent and confident communication skills — written, in person, on phone/web conferencing.
  • Strong leadership skills and decision making, including clear delegation as appropriate.
  • Ability to read and interpret complex documents and explain them in plain terms. 
  • Comfortable with numbers — will need to review site measurements and develop budgets.
  • Professionalism — a punctual, quick-learning customer service oriented self-starter.
  • Independent worker — one who is detail oriented and able to prioritize and self manage. 
  • Highly self-motivated, achievement-oriented, able to work individually and in collaborative teams. 
  • Positive, open-minded attitude that shines when working with diverse communities.
  • Strong problem-solving skills — asks questions to discover information and underlying issues, then rolls up sleeves, gets things done and resolves issues before a problem arises.
  • Interest in improving our services, partnerships and being a part of taking them to the next level.
  • Critical thinker with ability to keep calm, seek clarification before deadlines and problem solve.
  • Commitment to organizational development through giving and receiving respectful feedback.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Google Drive (Zoom, Adobe Suite, Asana, CRMs a plus).
  • Capacity to diplomatically work with clients who sometimes have high-pressure fluctuating needs.
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends to facilitate community programs.
  • Comfort working within an open office environment and video conferencing technology.
  • Commitment to working within an equity framework.

APPLICATION / HIRING PROCESS:

We invite qualified applicants to submit a cover letter (250-word max re: why the position interests you) and CV as ONE COMBINED PDF to info@stepsinitiative.com by no later than Monday, June 22nd, 2020, 12pm EDT, with “Placemaking Services Coordinator” in the subject line of the email.

This is a multi-stage interview process that will make use of videoconferencing and respect public health guidelines. While we appreciate the interest of all applicants, we can only communicate with those shortlisted for an interview. STEPS encourages applications from individuals that represent the full diversity of communities in Canada, including complexities of intersecting identities such as ability, age, class, gender, race and sexual orientation.

Daily Migration Virtual Art Workshops: Call for Participation
Deadline: Friday, June 12, 2020 at 4pm EDT

Daily Migration is a community-engaged arts project offering creative engagement and social connection through a series of virtual art workshops that will lead to an exhibition and inform the production of a mural in Toronto’s Parkdale community.

Do you have a personal connection with the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto?
Do you self-identify as a newcomer and are between the ages of 18-35?
Want to contribute to a co-created mural?
Interested in creating artwork that explores stories of belonging, home, travel and migration?

The STEPS Initiative and visual artist Shalak Attack invite you to apply to be part of a unique virtual workshop series that explores the stories and experiences of newcomers in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto. 20 Participants will have the opportunity to work directly with Shalak Attack, while connecting with others and developing art techniques in watercolour, collage and mixed media approaches. The workshops will culminate with each participant creating a final artwork that will be presented as part of a Daily Migration exhibition in August.

Through Daily Migration, we seek to: 

  • create space for sharing, exploring, and growing,
  • inspire each other to develop new skills and modes of expression
  • build new networks and connections through a collaborative art process


How to Register? It’s super easy!

  1. Fill out our online application form here by Friday, June 12, 2020 at 4pm EDT.
  2. Please respond to the following questions:
    • What interests you about the Daily Migration project and why do you want to be involved?
    • What is your connection with Parkdale?
    • Do you self identify as a newcomer? If so, could you share a bit about your story (max 100 words)?
    • Have you participated in online art workshops before?
  3. Participants in this workshop series commit to attending two workshops, each 1.5 hours in length
    (BOTH workshops in Group 1 or BOTH workshops in Group 2).
    Which of the following groups are you able to attend? Please check one or both groups.

    Group 1: Tuesday, July 7 4pm-5:30pm AND Friday, July 10, 4pm-5:30pm
    Group 2: Tuesday, July 14 4pm-5:30pm AND Friday, July 17, 4pm-5:30pm

The STEPS program team will review submissions the week of June 15, 2020 and select up to 20 participants to take part.

What happens if you’re selected?

  • STEPS will notify successful participants by end of the day June 19, 2020.
  • Phone or video calls will be arranged to chat further about the project.
  • Workshop materials and additional project information will be delivered directly to participants following a video call and confirmation of participation.

Questions? Please feel free to reach out to Program Coordinator, Renee Castonguay at renee@stepsinitiative.com by June 10 at 4pm and we’ll be happy to respond. We look forward to hearing from you! 

This project was made possible by the generous support of:

 

Open Call for Community Art Projects
Deadline: Friday, May 29, 2020 at 4pm EDT

We may be physically distanced, but our desire to create, share and learn brings us together. 

Building on the success of our INsiders Artist Project, we are excited to announce HomeBase, a call for community art projects.

STEPS invites project ideas that use materials and objects you have in and around your home, incorporating DIY and upcycling approaches to connect individuals, neighbourhoods and communities through public art during a time of physical distancing. 

Do you have a public-facing space in your home, backyard, balcony or courtyard that could use a burst of creativity?

Want to create a captivating sculpture, mosaic, mural, installation, intervention, performance, (insert medium of your choice here!) to engage, inspire or share with your community using materials that you have available in your home?

Do you have an idea for a project that offers creative social connections during a time of physical distancing?

Could your project idea inspire others to create similar projects within their own space? 

 HomeBase aims to:

  • create artwork using materials you have on hand; reducing waste, encouraging upcycling and innovative approaches to material use, and space while fostering public connection; 
  • build connections between community members, artists and arts workers across the GTA that strengthen the creative fabric of our city, while supporting each other through this difficult time;
  • share the creativity of individuals across the GTA;
  • inspire each other through the arts to look at our relationship to public-facing spaces, materials, objects and processes in a new light – full of possibilities. We are in a time of change, so let’s do something different! 

 

How to apply – it’s super easy!

Fill out this short application form by Friday, May 29, 2020 at 4pm EDT that asks you to respond to the following questions,

  • What is your project idea?
  • What materials are you planning to use to bring your idea to life? 
  • Where do you plan to install, exhibit, display or feature the project?
  • How visible is this location? Describe who would be able to see or interact with the finished work?
  • Who is involved in making the work? Are you creating this work alone or with your partner, child(ren) or roommate?
  • Are there any materials you are missing in order to bring your ideas to life?
  • What types of support do you feel you will need from STEPS?
    • Promotion
    • Technical support
    • Supplier recommendations
  • What area of the GTA do you live in? Please identify the nearest major intersection. 

The STEPS program team will review the submitted ideas the week of June 1 and select 5 HomeBase, Community Arts Initiatives who will receive a $100 material supply honourarium. We will also do our best to support selected projects with any technical advice, outstanding materials or brainstorming that you may need to bring your HomeBase idea to life!

When reviewing HomeBase submissions, the program team will be considering projects that,

  • Creatively explore public-facing space and the ways we can connect with each other while distanced
  • Use materials, approaches and objects in a new and transformative way
  • Actively engage with the outside world, inviting community members to react, recreate or respond to your project
  • Compose an inclusive roster of creatives, representative of our city as a whole
  • Are fun, dynamic, unique and really make us wonder, “What will that actually look like if it was made?”

Questions? Please feel free to reach out to Program Coordinator, Renee Castonguay at info@stepsinitiative.com by May 27, 2020 at 4pm and we’ll be happy to respond. We look forward to hearing from you! Be safe and stay healthy.

FAQ – HomeBase, Community Art Call

Do you have to live in Toronto to apply?
HomeBase is open to anyone in the GTA, not only Toronto.

Do you need to be a professional artist to apply?
Not at all! We encourage anyone with an idea to activate space in and around their home to apply.

How is this call different from the INsiders that call you just promoted through social media?
While we can understand how the two projects initially seem similar, there are quite a few differences.

HomeBase is open to anyone (we are especially interested in engaging community members), while INsiders was geared towards professional and emerging artists.

HomeBase is open to those living in the GTA, while INsiders was a national call.

We are interested in projects for HomeBase that use materials at hand, exploring DIY approaches and upcycling.

How is this a community art project?
This and all of STEPS’ work is about building connections through public art and public space. In HomeBase, we are looking to engage not only artists, but community members in applying for this call. Additionally, we would love to see individuals in surrounding neighbourhoods and/ or communities inspired by the works created, maybe even creating their own versions using materials they have on hand.

Is there an artist fee for this project?
No. We are looking to support selected projects by offering a $100 material supply honorarium.

How long do my answers need to be in the application?
Use as many or as few words as you need to give us an understanding of your project, its intent and its impact. Some responses do have a word limit, so please be sure to review your application before pressing send. We encourage you to be thoughtful, clear, and concise in your responses. Think about what we are asking and how your project idea responds to the question.

When do the projects need to be completed by?
If selected, HomeBase projects will need to be completed, installed and documented on or before Monday, June 29.

How many projects are you selecting?
We will be selecting 5 projects from across the GTA.

How do I resize my images?
We encourage you to check out the following useful links to assist you with image editing and resizing.
Shutterstock – How to Resize Images for the Web
Squarespace – Formatting Your Images for Display on the Web