Work with Us
The Uni Project creates programs for public space across New York City. Using custom-designed infrastructure, we pop-up in parks, plazas, and other public spaces to offer reading, drawing, and hands-on learning experiences for all ages. We partner with community organizations and city agencies, and we prioritize underserved locations. We also send kits around the world so that other cities can copy our model. We do this work to improve the urban environment, strengthen New York City neighborhoods, and bring New Yorkers together.
We’re looking to hire great people for these positions:
Two positions: Program Coordinator and Program Coordinator for Youth
Program Coordinators $20/hr
Program Coordinator for Youth Education $20-25/hr depending on experience
We’re seeking friendly, motivated, responsible people to run our pop-up installations in NYC as Program Coordinators. Work will include lots of time on your feet outdoors, and you’ll meet New Yorkers in neighborhoods across the city.
The positions are part time, and Program Coordinators typically work 5-15 hours per week, with fewer hours in the winter. Shifts are typically 4-5 hours. We will develop a custom work schedule based on your availability. We’re especially interested in hiring Program Coordinators who want to work weekends in spring, summer, and fall. We are also seeking a Program Coordinator for Youth Education who can work 20+ hours/week on weekdays from July 1 to Aug 15, to bring our programs to play streets and playgrounds.
As a Program Coordinator, you will be responsible for:
- Working with the public: You must be comfortable and skilled at greeting the public, making people feel welcome and safe, and introducing patrons to the materials and activities in our reading rooms, drawing studios, and more. This position requires a significant amount of communication and interaction with the public.
- Making the program materials look great: You will be responsible for making sure the installation looks attractive and materials are well organized on shelves.
- Working with a team: All events are staffed with at least two staff or volunteers, often more. You will need to work with a team and be ready to guide less experienced staff and volunteers.
- Getting access to equipment: Program carts and benches will be delivered by truck or stored in a nearby building. If our Program Manager is not present, you will be responsible for coordinating with the driver or local partner to access equipment.
- Set-up/pack-up: You will be responsible for moving the carts and benches by hand into public space. In most cases, other staff and volunteers will be on hand to help roll gear into place, but you should be prepared to take the lead in moving items (wear sturdy shoes and clothes).
- Communicating with community host partners: At each event, we are hosted by a community or neighborhood group. If our Program Manager is not present, you will need to check in with our community partners and make sure their needs are being met.
- Data collection/documentation: You will be responsible for recording head-counts, conducting occasional surveys, and taking photos where possible.
- Experience with and passion for interacting with diverse members of the public of all ages
- Experience in a similar position of responsibility
- Strong commitment to community engagement
- Ability to anticipate needs of patrons and offer friendly “customer service”
- Excellent communication skills
- Confidence in representing our organization and explaining our work to the public
- Ability to roll bureau-sized stage cases by hand and lift 15lb items to a height of 3-4 feet
- Spanish, Chinese, and other language skills and knowledge of NYC neighborhoods a plus
Additional responsibilities, Program Coordinator for Youth Education:
- Take the lead in welcoming and engaging children of all ages at our pop-up installations.
- Assist with the design and development of program activities and materials.
- Conduct interviews to measure of impact of our programs on kids and community.
Additional qualifications, Program Coordinator for Youth Education:
- Graduate-level educational work or substantial work experience in youth education.
- An interest in developing innovative ways to reach at-risk kids with learning experiences.
- A desire to work in non-traditional environments, e.g. next to basketball courts, at a public pool, and more.
To apply, contact Leslie Davol with a resume and cover letter or email. If interviewed, references will be required.
Download a PDF of this job posting.
POSITION: Artist-in-Residence for the Uni Project’s DRAW NYC program 2019
EMPLOYMENT DATES: Seven 3-hour sessions, starting anytime after May 15
HOURS + PAY: Stipend of $350 and basic materials
LOCATION: Various outdoor public locations across New York City.
The Uni Project is accepting applications from NYC-based student artists to serve as Artists-in-Residence for its DRAW NYC Program in 2019.
The Uni Project is a nonprofit that brings learning and enrichment opportunities to public space in New York City. We began with portable open-air reading rooms (our READ NYC program), and then in 2015 launched DRAW NYC, offering New Yorkers access to high-quality art materials and a place to draw together in public. Between March and November, the program gets an estimated 3500 people of all ages drawing together and making a public performance out of drawing across the city.
The DRAW NYC residency will give student visual artists the chance to explore the city’s neighborhoods and create site-specific work in a public context, deepening their own work while inspiring others along the way. The residency may begin anytime after May 15 (start date is flexible) and may extend through the fall season. One or two artists will be selected. Each artist will receive a stipend of $350 and be provided with basic materials for working on-site (drawing board, paper, pencils/charcoal) as needed. Here’s our schedule and more about where we work.
Successful applicants must commit to working on-site a minimum of seven days for three hours at a time during the residency period, at any of the various outdoor neighborhood locations where the Uni Project has programming scheduled. While on site, resident artists will be free to create work of their own but must also be available to talk to the public and encourage others to draw. Ideal candidates will be able to switch between these roles easily, engaging with the public while they are working, and applications should be written with this requirement in mind.
Eligibility: The residency program is open to student visual artists or recent graduates living in New York City who:
- work in painting, drawing, printmaking, illustration;
- are enrolled in or recently graduated from a degree-seeking visual arts program, either part-time
- are comfortable traveling on the subway to all kinds of neighborhoods; and
- are comfortable sitting outdoors for periods of time and engaging with people of all ages.
To apply, send the following to email@example.com:
- a one-page letter of interest and a current resume or an experience statement;
- PDF portfolio of 10 representative images of your visual artwork;
Selection: A panel made up of Uni Project staff and Advisory Committee members will review applications and select residency participants. The Uni Project’s Advisory Committee includes arts professionals.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How will I get to each site?
All of our locations are accessible by public transportation, and we’ll help you find your way.
What do I need to bring to each site?
We’ll provide you with some basic art materials, and you will be responsible for bringing those and whatever else you’d like to work with each day. You will also be outside for several hours at a time, sometimes in hot weather. Sunscreen and a water bottle are recommend. All of our locations have seating and are managed by our staff.
How does the DRAW NYC relate to the Uni Project’s existing programs?
We believe that taking activities such as reading, learning, and drawing out from behind walls increases access to these activities and also has a broader social benefit, connecting people to each other and fostering stronger connections to community and place. We want to encourage New Yorkers to practice drawing, a hands-on activity that has been a deeply important and fulfilling part of the human experience across thousands of years. When people draw in public space, they are transformed into artists on a kind of stage, and feel proud. Neighborhoods are transformed into places where the value of art-making is recognized, promoted and shared. People walk away feeling good about themselves, their community, and the city. For young people in some neighborhoods, this opportunity can provide inspiration and confidence to think of themselves as an artist.
Besides being an artist-in-residence, are there other ways to get involved?
Sign up to volunteer with the DRAW NYC program by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org! Volunteers help manage the DRAW NYC program on-site by keeping materials neat and by engaging the public in various drawing activities.
Will I own the work? Will the work I do eventually go on view somewhere?
You will retain ownership of all original work as part of the program. To promote the program, we appreciate receiving scans of ongoing work to share on our web site and social media during residency, and at the conclusion of the residency, many artists have donated one or two pieces to the Uni Project to be included in our permanent collection. In all cases where art is displayed, loaned, or donated, the you will receive a credit line and be allowed to use the artwork in their own public portfolio.
Van and Truck Driver
POSITION: Van and Truck Driver for the Uni Project, NY, NY.
EMPLOYMENT DATES: April-September, 2019 (flexible, based on availability).
HOURS: Occasional, up to 10 hrs a week. PAY: $20/hour.
LOCATION: New York City.
The Uni Project is hiring drivers for vans and 16 ft box trucks to work as part of a team that deploys our programs city-wide. We are looking to hire motivated, highly responsible people who can drive, unload/load, and manage vehicles during our summer season. Drivers will pick up vans or trucks from a parking lot, deliver equipment to destinations at a scheduled time, unload items via lift gate and hand truck, sit in the vehicle during the event, and then re-load and return to the lot. Drivers are expected to maintain a professional manner at all times, communicating by email, text, and phone with supervisors regarding any delays or equipment issues. Safety is a top priority as there are often children at the locations where we work. Qualifications:
- 21 years of age or older
- One year commercial truck driving experience or recent CDL graduate
- Familiarity with and driving knowledge of NYC streets
- Ability to access Internet for planning routes and email communication with Uni Project staff
- Ability to move cargo on truck ramp or lift gate
- Ability to professionally tie down and strap cargo inside a truck
- Must be comfortable interacting with fellow staff and have a strong commitment to customer service and safety
Driving Record requirements:
- Must have a valid NY driver license
- CDL is not required, but a plus
- 3 points or less on a motor vehicle report and no suspensions
To apply, contact Sam Davol. Attach resume if available. If interviewed, references will be required.
Program and Operations Manager (position filled)
POSITION: Program and Operations Manager for the Uni Project, NY, NY.
EMPLOYMENT DATES: Position filled for 2019. Full-time, Exempt.
LOCATION: New York City.
The Uni Project reaches an average of 45 neighborhoods annually, providing a total of 150 days of programming. Through partnerships with the NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation and NYC Dept. of Transportation, we focus on underserved parks and plazas and spend 85% of our time in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. We need a hands-on manager who can oversee this level of programming activity for our organization, managing logistics, staffing, and operations, and ensuring a high-quality experience for the public.
This is not a 9-5 desk job! Work hours will include some weekends, evening hours, and time on your feet in the heat and sun. The work also requires lots of travel around NYC by public transportation. Everyone at our small organization splits time between an office desk and working in the field. You should be ready and excited to step in and tackle physical tasks and also interact with the public. For example, the Executive Director and Program Director often work alongside front-line staff at our installations, reading books to kids, cleaning up program carts, and even driving the truck before returning to the office to work on reports etc. All staff are also invited to participate in the creative side of our work, helping to curate our installations and participating in program design. This is an exempt, salaried position that does not pay overtime, however we will work with you to create a flexible work schedule that does not exceed 40 hours/week.
- Supervision: Directly supervise at least four part-time Program Coordinators, two part-time drivers, and over 40 active volunteers.
- Planning: Plan event logistics including truck routes and staffing. Develop and implement a community outreach strategy and work with community host partners.
- Fieldwork: Meet driver at event site to oversee load-in and help set up. Maintain inventory of supplies and distribute to appropriate carts at each event. Troubleshoot field operations as needed (emergencies, weather). Cover shifts for Program Coordinators and other staff as needed, and be prepared to participate in any capacity necessary, including rolling carts into position, setting up, greeting the public, cleaning up, and loading out.
- Administrative: Compile weekly program data, such as head counts, time sheets, and other paperwork to submit to Executive Director.
- Meetings: Attend staff meetings and provide information to senior staff. Attend programming meetings with city agencies and other community groups across the city as needed.
- Any other tasks that will help ensure the safe and successful implementation of the Uni Project’s public service and programming.
Desired Qualifications and Experience: You should be highly motivated and have experience or skills in organizing, staffing, and supervising public events. You must be able to work well with diverse communities and stakeholders across New York City. We are a small, fast-growing nonprofit with a start-up feel. You should be excited about helping the organization grow, pitching in, and working alongside the organization’s founders to create a new kind of cultural organization for New York City. Other things that we’re looking for:
- Strong organization, planning, and time management skills
- Strong interpersonal relationship-building skills
- Strong oral and written communications skills
- Experience with and passion for interacting with the public
- Strong commitment to excellent “customer service” and safety
- Experience working with low-income communities
- Confidence in representing the Uni Project as an organization
- Willingness to travel by public transportation throughout all five boroughs of NYC
- Ability to roll bureau-sized stage cases by hand and lift 25lb bins to a height of 3-4 feet
- Spanish, Chinese, and other language skills and knowledge of NYC neighborhoods a plus
- Photography skills a plus
- Basic computer skills and comfort in a Mac-based office environment
To apply, contact Leslie Davol with a resume and cover letter describing your interest in working with us and relevant skills. If interviewed, two references will be required.
Quotes from our staff:
“I definitely felt like I was making an impact. Whether it was introducing young kids to different areas of science/things I will be studying in college, or reading books to kids who don’t have someone at home to read to them, I felt that my presence aided them in several ways. Hearing all the different stories and working with children has also inspired me to do more service work” – Marco
“I want to thank you for allowing me to be part of the Uni Project this summer. It allowed me to travel to different pockets of the city that are very overlooked, some places where most never go, and feel like I had an impact.” – Rasheed
“All was well on Saturday. We had about a dozen kids overall, and some stayed all day. Several I recognized from last time I was there, and some kids asked for Greig, so it’s nice that we’re getting a regular crowd. The kids also have favorite books that they remember from prior weeks. One little boy had been obsessed with a book about frogs, and when I pulled it out for him he said ‘Oh no. Now I like funny books, like the book about Mr. Grover.’ (He was, hands down, my favorite kid.)” – Emily
“It’s a great way to see the city!” – Kelleen
Name change ahead:
Since 2011, we have been know primarily as the Uni Project in New York City. In 2019, we are re-introducing our original name of Street Lab, and the name Uni Project will refer specifically to the part of our work focused on reaching at-risk kids in NYC. For now, information about our programs and schedule are available here on the Uni Project web site. Soon, this content will move to our new web site: www.streetlab.nyc. Thanks for sticking with us!
The Uni Project does not discriminate against any applicant or employee with regard to hiring, retention, promotion, benefits or compensation because of race, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship, gender, age, marital status, creed, sexual orientation, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law.