COVID-19 Preparedness at The Vera Project

Hi VERA Community, 

As I’m sure you’re aware, COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has become a significant public health concern in King County.  In order to keep everyone in our community safe and help slow the spread of the virus, The Vera Project will be working closely with King County Public Health, Seattle Center, and our friends in the music and art community to take all recommended precautions and respond proactively to potential risks.  

At this time, The Vera Project will remain open and all programming will continue as scheduled. We will, however, be monitoring the situation closely and implementing a collaborative action plan for staff, volunteers, show attendees, and program participants.  Please check your email and our website regularly in the coming days and weeks for any relevant updates, as we will be responding rapidly to changing conditions. In the meantime, please see below for The Vera Project & King County’s safety recommendations:

  1. Personal Health & Hygiene:

    1. Wash your hands and utilize alcohol-based sanitizer significantly more regularly.  

    2. Keep your distance from others, use appropriate coughing etiquette (use your elbow), and avoid touching your face.  

    3. Eat well, rest enough, get plenty of fluids, and work to manage stress to keep your immune system strong.  

    4. If you are experiencing any symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) or believe you may have been exposed to the virus, please stay home if at all possible, check in with your doctor, and contact King County’s novel coronavirus call center at 206-477-3977 or Washington State’s at 800-525-0127.  

    5. If you are considered to be “higher risk” by King County Public Health (Over 60 years old, pregnant, have underlying health conditions, or have a weakened immune system), please stay home and avoid large crowds & congregations as often as possible.  

  1. Community Safety

    1. Again, stay home and avoid large crowds and congregations when you are sick, and encourage others to do the same.  

    2. Avoid visiting hospitals, long-term care facilities, and nursing homes. If you must visit one of these facilities, limit your time and keep at least six feet away from patients.  

    3. Do not go to the emergency room unless it is essential to ensure that our medical facilities can effectively care for those with the most critical need.  

  1. The Vera Project Safety & Precautions – If you are working, volunteering, or participating at a show, class, or other program at VERA, here are a couple of things you need to know:

    1. Do not come to The Vera Project if you’re sick or experiencing any potential COVID-19 symptoms.  All of our staff and volunteers will be taking this guideline very seriously to ensure our collective safety. Please do not put our shared community at risk- there will always be more opportunities to catch a band or take a class.  

    1. We need your help to keep The Vera Project clean, safe, and open to all. Be mindful and responsive to show staff instruction and posted precautions, wash your hands regularly at VERA events, and keep a safe distance from other show-goers as able.  Reminders about such precautions will be announced at all VERA shows and detailed on signs throughout the venue.  

    1. Keep VERA staff informed about potential safety and cleanliness issues. We’ll be doing our best to take every precaution, including updating cleaning procedures, adding custodial staff, and informing our community about safety procedures and COVID-19 updates, but please let us know what we can be doing better.  Contact ricky@theveraproject.org or reply to this message with any questions or concerns.  

Thank you so much for helping keep The Vera Project and our shared communities safe and resilient.  We hope to see you soon.  

We’re Hiring a Marketing Coordinator + a Civic Engagement Intern!!

We’re hiring! Vera is looking to bring on both a Marketing Coordinator, and a Civic Engagement Intern. See below for overviews of the positions, plus the link to the full description!

Marketing Coordinator:

Position Overview: The Marketing Coordinator facilitates The Vera Project’s marketing, social media, outreach, and community relations efforts. Reporting to the Artistic Director & Executive Director, and collaborating daily with the Production Coordinator, Talent Buyer Team, Education Manager, and Volunteer Engagement Manager, this position develops and executes marketing plans, various external communications, and other assorted promotional activities.

Civic Engagement Intern

Position Overview: The Civic Engagement Intern works with the Education Manager and Executive Director to facilitate The Vera Project’s voter engagement, community organizing, and advocacy efforts. Over the course of the internship, intern will gain significant experience in developing voter education programs, community organizing field work, volunteer management, and nonprofit administration.

 

New street address!

Hi! As of 2/1/20, The Vera Project has its own street address (as opposed to the umbrella address of 305 Harrison Street). We’re at 161 Republican Street, Seattle WA 98109. We are still in the exact same spot, the city has just assigned us our own address. Please refer to the staff directory and email the appropriate party for any questions. Thanks!

Closed 1/23/20

Hi! Our office will be closed on 1/23/20 as most of our staff is out of town for the Timbrrr! Festval in Leavenworth this weekend! We’ll be open on Friday 1/24 and Saturday 1/25, so feel free to stop by during open hours (all classes are still happening, don’t worry). Thanks!

 

 

 

Open Session Registration News!

Hi! We’ve created a new open session registration system using Acuity, which allows screenprinters to register for slots in the studio rather than drop in/call/email to schedule for available dates. You’ll need to create an account with Acuity in order to register for a slot in the studio going forward; please limit it to 2 stations a session. Huge thank you to Jessica Schollmeyer for finding and creating the new format that will make everyone’s lives easier for years to come. Please email Kelly or Jessica with any questions or concerns, and happy printing! 

Giving Tuesday Starts NOW! Help VERA keep All-Ages Music Alive in Seattle!

2019 has been an incredible year of impact and innovation at VERA!
 
From launching our off-site series of benefit shows via Vera On Yr Block to kicking off vital, advocacy-driven programs like Vote with VERA & Neurodiversity Nights, we’re bringing MORE opportunity to MORE people in MORE places than ever before.  
 
Contribute to our #givingtuesday goal of $10,000 to ensure that VERA remains a home to extraordinary folx of all ages for many years to come!

DONATE HERE!

We’re hiring an Education Manager + an Admin Intern!!

We’re hiring! Vera is looking to bring on both an Education Manager, and an Administrative Intern. See below for overviews of the positions, plus the link to the full description!

Education Manager:

The Vera Project’s Education Manager works to continuously and collaboratively develop, administer, and evaluate educational programming organization-wide.  Collaborating closely with the program staff and VERA’s membership, this position is integral in offering transformative learning opportunities in music, visual arts & screen printing, community organizing, and career readiness to folx of all ages. 

Administrative Intern:

The Administrative Intern works closely with the Operations & Facilities Coordinator to provide administrative assistance at the front desk as well as day-to-day venue needs. The intern will be responsible for front desk coverage during office hours, answering phone calls, checking in patrons for classes, and scheduling screen printing open sessions. This position contributes directly to the daily administrative functions of The Vera Project and is an excellent opportunity for professional development in arts & nonprofit administration.

Big news!!

Hey there community,

Ashraf here (on Jessica’s website login, lol). As the subject of this blogpost suggests, big news and big changes are underway at VERA. But before I talk about the future, I want to first take an opportunity to recognize the amazing growth and revitalization the organization has seen over the last couple of years. 

VERA is in such a wonderfully stable and lucid position. We have meaningful financial reserves for the first time; we’ve solidified partnerships with neighbors new and old; our space looks better than ever, with new program equipment and regular maintenance and repairs to the venue; we’ve launched a slew of new programs that meet community needs, such as VERA On Yr Block, Neurodiversity Nights, VERA SAFE, No Place Fest, and Vote with VERA, and are doubling down on our core programs with a refreshed curriculum and renewed focus. We’re even on the precipice of launching a slick new website!

That’s not even close to everything! We accomplished so much, and that’s due to our incredible membership, board, and staff–not to mention our community of loyal volunteers, partners, and dearest supporters. Together, we’ve worked collaboratively, brought everyone’s unique perspectives together, and have created a shared vision that’s felt in every corner of the organization. Big ups to YOU!

And so comes the aforementioned big news. Deep breath!

An amazing career opportunity has presented itself, and I have decided to pursue it. I’m transitioning out of VERA this Fall and stepping into the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) as Youth Arts Manager in late November/early December. The work I’ll be doing at ARTS is directly aligned with our work here at VERA, and I’ll have the incredible privilege of continuing the collective impact work Lara Davis started with The Creative Advantage, working on systemic change in arts education with Seattle Public Schools, as well as out-of-school youth arts funding and paid internships for young people looking to apply their creative thinking (via arts education) to creative careers, so they can not only stay in Seattle, but thrive here—all while centering racial equity and youth voice. 

I love VERA and the work we’re doing around radical inclusivity, equity and social justice, “alternative” arts education, experiential learning, building the region’s creative economy, and empowering new leaders. Through this new career opportunity, I will continue to support organizations like VERA, while focusing on justice, equity, and access. I am excited to build new connections across communities in Seattle, support more inclusive conversations around arts education, and take on a broader role in helping our region to recognize the importance of investing in our young people. 

Though my time at VERA was short, know that it is certainly not over. Upon my formal departure as a staff member, I’ll join membership, the 2020 Gala Committee (save the date! Sat Feb 22, 2020 @ Washington Hall, 5-10pm), and help to form the 20th Anniversary Advisory Council with former board members, local big-deal influencers, and fellow True & Sincere Friends. You can’t keep me away!

You’re probably wondering who will step into the role I am leaving behind. Well fear not, dearest community! For the Board and I have a kick-ass transition and succession plan that we have been working on over the last few weeks. 

Our righteous Development & Advocacy Director, Ricky Graboski, will move into the Interim Executive Director role for a period of six months, ensuring that the Board can be deliberate and diligent about considering the extra-special role of ED. Establishing Ricky as Interim ED will also provide considerably less distraction with VERA’s Fall Fund Drive, Live From Our Living Room, and the 2020 Viva Vera Gala, all within the next few months. After the gala, the Board will consider whether or not to conduct an executive search and seek input from True & Sincere Friends as we march toward our 20th anniversary in 2021. 

In a short time, Ricky’s proven to be an effective, accessible, and inclusive leader within our community. He has earned credibility, exceeded all of his goals, and helped bring stability to the organization. He has also grown to be my key thought partner and strategic advisor within the organization, especially around long-term planning, financial health, and mission-driven programming. He grew up in DIY spaces like VERA, and brought the activism spirit from which we were founded back into the space. Ricky has been an Executive Director in his career (ask him about it!) and is familiar with the responsibilities, commitment, and dedication it takes to do the job with integrity.

A transition like this couldn’t have happened at a better time, really. As mentioned at the top of this post, we’re doing really great with a happy and motivated staff, board, and membership to boot. I have tremendous faith in VERA and its future. So let’s celebrate! It’s VERA’s annual Fall Fund Drive, and I hope you can help us ensure we smash our goals and enter 2020 strong. There’s so many ways to support! Give a gift of any amount here before the end of the year, join us for Live From Our Living Room, VERA’s annual holiday benefit show we just announced today, or come see me at any of our Cool Times (fka A Drink For The Kids) events, where I can introduce you to Ricky, with my *official* unofficial send-off party being at Life On Mars on Sunday 11/17 from 4-8pm

Much love,
ashraf