Works Progress Wish List
We’ve spent the last month getting settled into our new space at 734 E. Lake Street, above Roberts Shoe Store. We’ve been opening our doors each Friday for a weekly happy-hour gathering. This picture was taken from the rooftop patio, where it’s currently too cold for hanging out, but just wait until spring!
In the meantime, there are still a few things we’re looking for:
- Water Dispenser
- Potted Plants
- A Coat Rack
- Office Supplies
- Folding Chairs
If you or anyone you know has any of these items to donate, or any idea where we can find them on the cheap, please let us know!
You can reach us at hello at worksprogress dot org
Works Progress Happy Hour
UPDATE: WE’VE MOVED! WPHH DISCONTINUED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
To celebrate our new home in the Robert’s Shoes building at Lake & Chicago, we’re hosting a weekly happy hour on Fridays from 4 to 6pm. Stop by anytime for a cup of coffee, tea, wine or beer. Learn what we’ve been up to, relax, brainstorm or share your ideas, meet and chat with other creative people, or just browse our growing library of books and resources.
Works Progress Happy Hour
Every Friday from 4 to 6pm
734 East Lake Street, Suite 208
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407
Important note: The buzzer is on the Chicago Avenue side of the building. Press # and then 09 to ring Suite 208 (a directory on the window will tell you the same) and we’ll buzz you in. Or call Colin at (612) 839-0810 if that’s giving you trouble. You never know who else might be there! We’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks now and some great connections have already been made. Please direct any questions to hello[at]worksprogress[dot]org. Looking forward to seeing you! Colin Kloecker & Shanai Matteson
Law of Two Feet
I’m Regan Smith, the new Project Assistant for Works Progress. I’ll be working here part-time helping out with communications and program-based work. In my non-Works Progress life I’m a freelance writer and the Co-Founder and Editorial Director of Paper Darts, a Minneapolis-based literary and arts magazine. If you have a pressing need to know more about me, please feel free to check out my half-finished personal website, follow me on twitter @regglandsbest, or send me an email at regan(at)worksprogress.org. Neat!
In a futile effort to catch up 1/100th of the way to the Works Progress genius, I’ve been doing a lot of reading from some of Shanai and Colin’s favorite books. Though I’m generally not one for inspirational quotes (except for obvious classics like “Live. Laugh. Love.” and “Dance like nobody’s watching.”), the text that really resonated with me and seemed most apt for this post is from Harrison Owen’s Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World.
“It is a common experience, shared by all of us, that when we encounter situations where we are neither learning nor contributing, we leave—if not physically then mentally and emotionally. It might appear that sitting in the corner inert is the proper thing to do, but our continued (physical) presence is rarely if ever inert. We impact the conversation, and usually in a negative fashion. Our bored, frustrated demeanor spews negative energy over the entire affair.
Much better that we actually allow our feet to follow our hearts and minds and just leave.”
As someone who recently quit my secure full-time job to pursue a relatively unstable creative professional life (freelancing, yo), this quote hit home. Much more than simply being a less cheeseball way of saying “follow your dreams,” the Law of Two Feet touches on something I think very few of us take into consideration before a major life change. When trying to decide whether to quit an unfulfilling job or time-consuming creative project, most of our thinking goes into how our current situation affects us—it’s draining, stressful, dissatisfying, management sucks, etc. But rarely do we consider how our feelings about our current situation affect those we’re working with, and even more rarely do we let that factor into our decision to stay or go.
Making a major career shift is usually complicated and always really effing scary, there’s no two ways about it. But maybe if we focus more on the negative ramifications—both for ourselves and for those around us—of staying in our current situation and less on the fear of the unknown if we leave, we’d all be a little bit more inclined to take a chance and make positive changes in our lives.
I’m pumped to be contributing to Works Progress, excited to feel invigorated and inspired by my job again, and so, so proud that I finally allowed my feet to follow my heart and mind and took the plunge.
Here’s to all the other people out there who are doing the same!
WORKS PROGRESS, an artist-led public design studio based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, seeks a PART TIME PROJECT ASSISTANT
This is an opportunity for an emerging cultural producer to assist a rapidly growing organization with large and small-scale public projects. The Works Progress (WP) Project Assistant will work directly with WP Co-Directors, as well as with project partners from diverse fields and backgrounds. This position requires outstanding communication skills, flexibility and independence, creative and critical thinking skills, confidence, and curiosity. This is an excellent opportunity for hands-on learning, teaching, and creative networking. Your weekly work schedule will be flexible, but some in-state travel with WP will be required.
Because of the commitment required for this position, we are not accepting applications from full-time students. Expanded Works Progress volunteer opportunities will be posted soon.
Qualified candidates will have experience creating or facilitating public art and/or design projects, public programs, or comparable creative activities; demonstrated communication skills; familiarity with online social and productivity platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Vimeo, and Google Docs); as well as an interest in public engagement and social issues. Graphic design and/or basic video production experience is a plus. We are looking to hire an individual with diverse life and work experience, and a unique perspective that is divergent from our own.
Compensation is $10 to $15 per hour, depending on experience, with a minimum of 10 to 20 hours per week; with an opportunity for more involvement and project-based work in the coming year.
To apply, please send a letter of interest and your resume to Colin and Shanai at hello [at] worksprogress [dot] org on or before November 7th, 2011.
The start date is December 5th, 2011. Please help us spread the word about this great opportunity!
How to make work and make it work?
Recently Colin and I decided to tie the knot. To get married, despite our initial objections to those roles and institutions that we don’t entirely believe in. It was a big decision, and we made it with our usual mix of pragmatism (“well it would make some things a lot easier”), collaboration (“because we both want to love & support eachother in life and work”), and dreaminess (“we can make our relationship be anything we want it to be”) - which I know confounds our friends and family, who expected that at least one of us would have gotten down on his or her knee.
This brings us to a question that we’re now faced with:
How do two people with enormous amounts of creativity and ambition, who both have very limited capacity for the everyday business of life, make work together and make it work?
One not-so-poetic aquaintance (our landlord) likened our whole creative/personal pursuit to a real suicide pact, “Do you both have to jump? At the same time?”
The answer is yes. Cooperation makes it happen.
On that note, I’m currently looking for examples - advice, inspiration, stories. How do people whose creative partnerships overlap with other kinds of partnerships (romantic, familial, friendship) manage to make work while maintaining intimacy, admiration and all the other good stuff? Or is it a recipe for disaster? What kinds of challenges have you had? How about the rewards of working together?
Post your story here, or send me an email. We’ll start a little series.
This is Colin saying goodbye to his full-time job.
Tomorrow is his last official day at the architecture firm where he’s been working since he finished college. That means that Thursday is his first official day as a freelance thinker-maker-doer, a gainfully underemployed artist, and sometimes, a first rate creative hustler. Maybe he will tell us what it feels like? It’s not exactly career suicide, more of an occupational growth spurt, but I think the result will be very good.
Hooray for uncertainty! Hooray for risk! Life would be so boring without you.