Appalshop News

We're hiring a director for our Community Development Program!

1 month ago

Who We Are:
Appalshop’s mission is to enlist the power of education, media, theater, music, and other arts to document, disseminate, and revitalize the lasting traditions and contemporary creativity of Appalachia. 

We are telling the stories the commercial cultural industries don’t tell, we are challenging stereotypes with Appalachian voices and visions front and center. We foster a community-centered approach to solving problems in Appalachia, striving to support communities’ efforts to achieve justice and equity and solve their own problems in their own ways.

Appalachia is a diverse, incredibly creative region, and we seek to not only shine a light on that, but to show that Appalachia’s past, present and future are powerfully connected to the creativity and brilliance fostered here. When Appalachians are given the power to decide for themselves what a brilliant Appalachian future looks like, the possibilities are endless.

Appalshop’s staff is a collaborative and creative group that’s wholly committed to this mission. We value doing good, impactful work for our community that is a collective effort, with all voices heard and accounted for. As a democratically structured organization, we leave our ego at the door and come together in a respectful partnership with each other, every day.

We are an equal opportunity employer and we value a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and/or veteran status.

Who You Are:
We’re looking for an energetic and driven community organizer. You’d be a good candidate for this position if you love to build relationships and partnerships, enjoy seeking out and applying for funding opportunities, and have a deep understanding and commitment to locally-led development to build strong and vibrant communities in Central Appalachia. 

You’ll want to grow your experience in the non-profit arts and culture sector and put your organizing, writing, and strategic skills to use by working on everything from supporting local music and arts festivals to leading development projects Appalshop is a part of - everything from walking trail installation and preservation to community mural projects to local storytelling festivals. 

You’ll be a careful planner and detail-oriented researcher who enjoys managing projects from start to finish. You’ll enjoy meeting with local officials and community partners to move ideas from inception to execution. You’ll also be a skilled fundraiser with experience writing for and being awarded grants for projects and be able to discuss and showcase Appalshop’s community development work to partners and funders alike.

What You’ll Do at Appalshop:
Lead the community development team. As program director, this role leads Appalshop’s community development efforts and is the face of this work both to the local community and to leaders and funders outside the region interested in our work. You’ll be looking for new ways to engage in Appalshop’s service area - Eastern Kentucky, Southwest Virginia, Southern West Virginia, and Northeast Tennessee and will be tasked with building out the relationships, funding opportunities, and strategic execution plans to support vibrant local life in Central Appalachia.
Build relationships for Appalshop. This position will have you face-to-face with local officials, Appalshop partners, and members of the community and funders - and you’ll be able to employ your best interpersonal skills and networking skills to present an authentic voice of Appalshop in these spaces. 
Have a leadership mindset. Our team is small but mighty, and depends on all of us pulling our weight and sharing leadership roles as needed. Sometimes you’ll be asked to head up specific projects - with support from the rest of Appalshop’s team - and organize and manage project needs. 
Be a team player. The Community Development program at Appalshop not only engages with local partners and the community, but also helps with larger program events and projects as needed. You’ll be part of this team that ensures all the trains run smoothly and on time. 

What Skills and Experience You Must Have:
  • At least 4 years experience in community development, creative placemaking, non-profit development, community organizing, or related fields.
  • Have a passion for just and equitable economic development.
  • Demonstrated ability to apply for and receive funding for projects.
  • Budget creation and management experience.
  • Ability to prioritize projects and tasks on often-changing timelines.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and experience managing staff and projects with multiple partners/stakeholders.
  • Have an understanding and appreciation of Appalachian culture and the region.
  • The ability to travel.
What Would be Nice to Have (but not required):
  • At least 2 years of development and/or grant-writing experience.
  • Knowledge of organizing across rural/urban, racial, and political divides.
  • Bachelor or graduate degree in urban planning, landscape architecture, community organizing, public administration, project management or similar fields. 
  • Experience and comfort with GIS software, data analysis and basic graphic design.
  • An appreciation for community-based arts and media institutions.

Pay and Benefits:
This role’s starting salary is $45,000-60,000. This is a full-time salaried position with full benefits including 100% employer paid health insurance, generous retirement and life insurance benefits package. Appalshop’s main offices are located in Whitesburg, KY. This role is flexible/hybrid work eligible, though candidates must be willing to relocate and be based in Whitesburg, KY or the immediate area.

How To Apply:
Please submit the following materials to [email protected] with the subject line: Community Development Program Director – Application.

  • Resume
  • Cover letter addressing at least the following questions:
    • Why do you want to work at Appalshop? 
    • Where did you learn about this opportunity? 
    • What excites you about this role? 
  • At least two writing samples.
  • List contacts for three references.

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