Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Is It Time for the Austin Scenic Coop to Hire Designated Staff?

As the fall season gets underway, the Austin Scenic Coop is moving from a long summer of making improvements to the space into a less (physically) strenuous phase. However, we are still kept quite busy with the day to day business of scheduling pick-up and drop off of materials, helping folks load and unload trucks, and keeping our stock organized.

There are two storage areas, one at Salvage Vanguard Theater where I am the general TD and resident designer, and the other at The Off Center, home of the Rude Mechs of which Thomas is one of five Co-Producing Artistic Directors. That space is essentially a shack, with a tin roof and mostly paved floor, but the stock is very well sorted and stored so that it is easily accessible. The space at SVT, the one for which I am responsible, is quite a bit less orderly. It seems that I no sooner get everything squared away than something needs to be dug out of the back of a storage bay in a hurry, and things don't get put back, anything flat from the lids of the bins to the pile of plywood gets covered with other loose bits and pieces, and one can probably guess what it looks like after a week.

So, given that Thomas and I both have other duties, we are now talking about creating staff positions that will be paid, to ensure that there is regular attention being paid to office duties as well as materials. Whether there will be one position, or two part-time positions hasn't been decided. It seems likely that we will need one person whose primary responsibility will be pursuing funding, by grant research and writing as well as petitioning the City for support. As most of us who work in non-profits arts organizations know, seeking grants can be a full time job. So we may need to have a daily/weekly supervisor as well as a grant writer. Frankly, we don't know-- but we're figuring it out.

--Connor Hopkins, Austin Scenic Coop, Coordinator

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