know your city is hiring: tour guide and kiosk teller

In preparation of Know Your City’s kiosk opening next month, we’re hiring two part-time contracted positions: a Kiosk Teller and Tour Guide. The deadline for applications is next Friday, April 18th.

The Kiosk Teller will work out of Know Your City’s mobile bike kiosk, primarily located in SW Ankeny Alley, opening in mid-May 2014. Job is approximately 25 hours/ week (hours 11:30AM-6:30PM, Thursday-Sunday). Responsibilities include:

  • Manage tours and coordinate tour guides
  • Post tours and manage back end of ticketing system
  • Serve as ambassador for organization and answer questions about programs
  • Sell tickets to Know Your City tours
  • Sell Know Your City publications
  • Sell other related publications and Portland gifts
  • Manage inventory of cart and order merchandise
  • Manage organization social media
  • Move cart, open cart and close down
  • Answer general questions about Portland

Download the full job posting for the Kiosk Teller here.

The Tour Guide will work approximately 12-15 hours/ week (approximate hours are late afternoons, Thursday-Sunday). Job is part of a growing opportunity, with potential for growth depending on sales. Responsibilities include:

  •  Lead tours of the city with the following themes: Multicultural Portland (Portland’s multicultural heritage), Portland 101 (Portland’s political history) and DIY PDX (Portland’s independent business community). Tour Guide will be provided with scripts and coaching.
  • Engage groups of 5-25 people at a time as a public speaker
  • Serve as ambassador for organization and answer questions about programs
  • Communicate regularly with Kiosk Teller
  • Answer general questions about Portland

Download the full job posting for the Tour Guide here.

Again, the deadline for applications for both positions is EOD Friday, April 18th. See full job postings on details on how to apply. No phone calls, thanks!

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Know Your City awarded 3 major grant awards

Today, Know Your City announces it is the recipient of three grant awards totaling $36,700. This is a major development for the organization, and the three awards will provide funding in several capacities.

Most significantly, Vital Projects has awarded Know Your City $25,000 for our general operating fund. After nearly five years of programming, this is a huge step – our first general operating grant! Starting next week, Amanda Tillstrom will start the part-time position of Programs Manager. Amanda has been a volunteer for more than 3 years, helping with our publications and programs. Funding will provide devoted staff time for outreach, managing the growing number of programs and ensuring the sustainability of the organization. Additionally, a portion of this grant funding will go towards funding a comics program in local prisons.

Know Your City is also the recent recipient of a $6,700 grant from Travel Portland to make possible “Off The Map,” a new print map project that will serve as a resource for visitors to find out about the city of Portland’s cultural attractions. Funds from this grant will be used to develop, design and print 5,000 copies of the map. Content for the map will be compiled by Know Your City staff and will be intricately illustrated by artist Kate Bingaman-Burt.

Last, but certainly not least, James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation has awarded Know Your City $5,000 to provide finishing funds for our bike kiosk. Drawing on Portland’s popular food cart model, Know Your City is opening a mobile kiosk in Ankeny Alley in May, with the purpose of representing and promoting all of our programs. Last fall, we ran a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $9,000, and this grant will provide the remaining funds needed to make this project a reality.

While our hearts are filled with gratitude for this institutional support and this foundation support is essential, so is your individual support. If you value the types of programs we have been providing, there has never been a better time to show your support and consider giving to the organization as we grow. The more that we continue to grow, the more programs we will be able to offer. So, pitch in what you can! It takes all of us to help ensure our programs will continue to thrive.

It is truly incredible to have see this organization grow from our humble origins to become a more established organization. We thank everyone for their continued support and look forward to continuing to engage people in the critical issues of art and social justice through creative placemaking projects.

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Renter’s Rights project launched

renter's rights
Know Your City and Community Alliance of Tenants proudly announce a call for submissions for Renter’s Rights, an educational comic book for Oregon renters. The publication builds on the success of Know Your City’s previous graphic arts projects, like our Don’t Move Out! poster, Comics For Change! and Oregon History Comics.

Please check out our short promo video below and share with your friends! Then, download the application on the call for submissions page (applications are due April 25th).

In other publication news – don’t forget our big Comics For Change! reading coming up at Powell’s Books April 16th. You can also check out the OPB program on the project here. And, of course, you can purchase our publications here in our shop. Publications are made possible, in part, through contributions from our members. Find more information on membership online here.

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Comics For Change! featured on OPB’s Think Out Loud

comics for change
UPDATE! You can now listen to Comics For Change! segment on the Think Out Loud show online, below.

This just in: tune in tomorrow Wednesday, March 26th to Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud program for a special feature on Know Your City’s Comics For Change! The radio program will feature interviews with several people involved in the comics’ creation, including artist Natalie Sept, writer Douglas Wolk and community activist Paul Knauls. It should be a lively and spirited conversation. The program airs at noon tomorrow: more info here.

Comics for Change! celebrates people who are making Oregon a better place for everyone. The box set collects 10 excellent mini-comics by some of Portland’s best comic writers and illustrators.The project aims to honor our community’s unsung heroes.

The radio piece comes in advance of our big reading at Powell’s Books on April 14th. At the reading, several of the artists, writers and activists will talk about their involvement in the final publication, with an accompanying slideshow. It’s free and open to all. Don’t miss it; RSVP on Facebook here.

Purchase the comics online here. Members save $5 off the cost, as well as receive discounts to events and more – all the while supporting our work of engaging Portlanders in issues of art and social justice through creative placemaking projects. More info on membership here.

Be sure to listen in tomorrow…and we’ll see you at Powells April 14!

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welcome new board member megan mccarthy

Megan McCarthy

Our new Board Chair Megan at a bookbinding workshop at the IPRC (Megan is with the large glasses and scarf)

We’ve had some significant changes to our Board of Directors in the last few months, and it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to some of our long-time members: Pollyanne Birge, BJ Thomsen, Lucy Rockwell, Karie Burch, Cary Clarke, Dale Davis and Kyle Von Hoetzendorff. They have each contributed immensely to the organization.

While the changes have presented some challenges, it also has provided us with the opportunity to to refocus and rebuild – and we have been actively recruiting some new folks to lead the organization forward. Over the next few days, we’ll be introducing you to some of the new faces around the KYC office. It’s an exciting time and we are lucky to have such phenomenal leadership and support!

Today we welcome Megan McCarthy to our board, and to her new role as Board Chair. Over the last decade, Megan has worked in economic development and city and regional planning at Portland Business Alliance and Portland Development Commission. While working at the city, she served on the team responsible for completing the City of Portland’s 2010 Economic Development Strategy, the Portland Plan and other regional plans supporting the growth of the state’s targeted industries. Most recently, she served as the Operations and Programs Manager at Equity Foundation.

Megan was nice enough to take the time to answer a few questions for our blog…

What speaks to you about Know Your City’s programs?
I’ve been engaged in different community development programs in Portland for the last decade or so. At every level of participation I have been engaged with, from starting non-profits, funding non-profits, working, as a volunteer or staff member, in non-profits and working as a city planner/strategic planner in the City government, there is a sense of disconnection between what programs intend to do to build healthy communities and the impact those programs actually have… not to mention what people take away after participating in community building activities.

I was inspired to contact KYC because I was struck by the simplicity of the mission: connecting people to place can nurture activism and give people a sense of ownership over their lives in this city. If people don’t walk away from something this lofty after engaging in one of KYC’s programs, they will at least feel uplifted by knowing more about the city around them and that is special too. Informed people make better citizens.

And: being the person who gives tours to my friends and family when they visit (whether they like it or not), it was exciting to think that if I could join in KYC’s work, I could learn more, do more and meet people who care about the city too.

The mission speaks to me in a way I don’t know how to articulate. How do you describe your favorite song or a work of art that hits you in that spot that suddenly makes everything make sense and gives you hope?

Where do you see Know Your City in the next several years? How can we improve?  What role do you see yourself playing in our growth?
In two to four years, I hope KYC has a stronger and stable base of members who give at the highest level, institutional support from granting foundations and a broader base of relational support from organizations in the city that are also invested in inspiring engaged citizenry and the connection of people to place.

In a broad sense: I envision KYC being a first stop hub for civic engagement that is accessible and interesting (and fun) to Portlanders and people who are visiting Portland. KYC is unique in its ability to be meaningfully accessible to different audiences and its ability to engage different participants in creating content relevant to the mission. I think KYC can expand its impact by partnering with sister organizations that build off the momentum KYC generates to encourage more sophisticated kinds of activism and civic engagement. It can also be the historian of what inspires.

One idea I have for future Know Your City programming:
I love the idea of KYC being able to do more to put story telling into the hands of the people. Connect people to place. Connect people to people in that place. Let the people talk about history as it is being made. There could be a more seamless transition between tours, lectures, publications and films so an issue could be explored through each medium.

Thanks Megan, and welcome! For more on our board, visit “Who We Are“.

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know your city zine workshop with caldera

Know Your City zine workshop

Last weekend, Know Your City led a zine making workshop with youth enrolled in the Caldera arts program. During the course of a 3-hour workshop students interviewed each other, took photos and wrote about their experiences growing up in Portland. The end result was turned into the template for a zine that will be photocopied for all students in the class.

This was our first time working with Caldera, and it was a great learning experience. View some samples of the students’ work below. We were honored to work with such an esteemed organization and we’re looking forward to future collaborations.

In the meantime, we’ll be tweaking some of the program activities and gearing up for another workshop – this time at Caldera’s camp in Sisters, Oregon, April 12-13. For more on our youth programs, visit our main page here.


caldera zine workshop, a set on Flickr.

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