Why You Should Work For The Arts Alliance

Hello again! This is Jamie Feinberg, former Program Manager of the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire.

If you’ve followed this blog, you’ll remember that back in the spring of 2016, I wrote my last blog post in my role with the Arts Alliance. I left my position so that my husband and I could travel the country, search for a place to settle down and pursue our work in music and theater full-time. (I share stories about it here.) But I’ve been finding work as a writer and virtual assistant as well, and I’m thrilled to be assisting the Arts Alliance with their next big task: finding a new Executive Director!

Frumie Selchen, the current Executive Director of the Arts Alliance, is retiring in early 2018. So as we congratulate her on her retirement, we are hard at work finding the next arts leader for northern New Hampshire. I think it’s an amazing opportunity, and I’d be thrilled if you’d share it with your networks or even consider applying yourself.

Why Work in Northern New Hampshire?

The Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire (AANNH) serves over 50 towns and
cities across northern New Hampshire. There are lots of challenges in working in this
region, but there are some wonderful and compelling reasons to consider working here.
We hope this helps you decide if northern New Hampshire is the right place for you!

Fact #1: Northern New Hampshire Is Beautiful

Yup. There’s really no debating this. When people think about New Hampshire, they
think about the gorgeous mountains, lakes and quaint communities and farms. You’ll find all of those things in northern New Hampshire! Northern New Hampshire thrives on tourism, and people from across the state, New England and even international travelers make a point of visiting the region. Highlights include hiking and skiing the White Mountains (Mount Washington is the most famous peak, and the Mount Washington Cog Railway is a popular attraction), kayaking and swimming in the incomparable Connecticut Lakes region and experiencing the changing leaves in the fall. Nothing beats a glorious drive through the mountains as you head to a business meeting or conference.

Fact #2: You’ll Be Living in a Vacation Destination

That’s right — work with the Arts Alliance and you’ll have a vacation destination in your
backyard year-round! Whether you like to hike, ski, watch professional theater, eat farm-
fresh food or experience cultural programs offered by local and international artists, there are a surprising numbers of opportunities to live like you’re on vacation year-round in northern New Hampshire. Why commute hours to a second home when you can be a part of it all year-round?

Fact #3: Northern New Hampshire Can Feel Isolating if You’re Used to the City

The Arts Alliance serves over 50 communities. While some, like Littleton and Plymouth,
are right off the interstate and relatively easy to get to, many towns are a half hour or
more away from large groceries or Big Box stores. There’s definitely the potential to feel
isolated. Some children may never leave the area. And adults may find that if they lose a
job, finding a new one is really difficult unless they take temporary, seasonal or lower-
paying work or decide to commute an hour or two. AANNH works with many
underserved towns, all of which must reckon with their relative isolation in some way.
The plus side of this? Our communities feel pretty safe. You’ll recognize your neighbors
and make meaningful connections more easily. Many of our schools are excellent, despite ongoing funding challenges. And real estate, with a few exceptions in “second-home” communities, is very affordable.

Fact #4: Northern New Hampshire is a Great Place for Families! And Adults!

One of the surprises you’ll find in northern New Hampshire is that while many residents
have lived in small local communities their whole lives, many residents are relatively
recent transplants. It’s extremely common to run into people who’ve moved to northern
New Hampshire to raise a family or to enjoy their later years in an area they used to
vacation in. You’ll meet adults and families from New York City, Lake Tahoe, San
Diego and beyond. And you’ll meet people who grew up locally, went to college and
moved to a city, then ultimately decided to make their way back to New Hampshire.
Those who’ve lived in cities and who are used to diverse cultural offerings are great
supporters of the work of the region’s cultural institutions like the Arts Alliance and
many are artists themselves. They have a great awareness of – and interest in — what’s out there, and they know the importance that arts and arts education play in our lives.
You may be surprised to learn that there are places to hear punk rock or study hip hop
dance in our region!

Fact #5: Working Remotely with a Flexible Schedule

One of the perks of working for the Arts Alliance is that while a good deal of time is
spent traveling, the majority of your work will be done from home or wherever you are.
You’ll have the flexibility to work when and where you prefer, as long as you can
coordinate with Arts Alliance staff, partners, schools and other contacts. Being able to
prepare lunch at home or have a late start for a doctor’s appointment is a wonderful
bonus. So while there will be days when you’ll need to drive an hour or two to attend a
conference or meetings, give a talk or pitch a residency, most of your time will be for you
to structure in the way that works best for you.

Fact #6: The Arts Alliance Staff Does It All!

As a small organization with a very small staff, the Arts Alliance has historically faced
the challenge of wanting to do it all (Arts in Health! Arts in Nature! Arts in Education!)
with limited personnel and resources. Like many small nonprofits, AANNH needs to
continuously re-evaluate its commitments to ensure that it’s fulfilling its mission in the
most efficient ways possible.

On the other hand, having a small staff means your job never gets stale. Your focus will
shift from grant writing to marketing to donor relations; you’ll also be developing and
overseeing artist residencies and coordinating early learning workshops and convening
meetings. Honestly, most weeks (and days) will be a combination of many of these
things!

So if you like the idea of hands-on leadership, and you think of yourself as a writer, a
speaker, a leader and a collaborator, this just might be your dream job. It’s a rare
opportunity to be a jack-of- all-trades and the go-to resource on the arts for people across
northern New Hampshire.

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