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New Urban Arts is seeking an Archivist and Documentarian Volunteer

New Urban Arts is no longer accepting applications for a Archivist and Documentarian Volunteer. We’re really excited to have our volunteer this Fall!


Location: New Urban Arts, 705 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

Time Commitment: 1 year at least 4 hrs/week

Expected start date: September 2015

Supervisor: Director of Development Connie Colvin


Organization Description

New Urban Arts is a nationally recognized community-based art studio and gallery for high school students and emerging artists. Since 1997, we have served over 2,500 Providence teens and 150 artists. Each year, our public programs reach over 2,000 visitors and participants. Our mission is to build a vital community that empowers young people as artists and leaders to develop a creative practice they can sustain throughout their lives. Our core program, Youth Mentorship in the Arts, brings Providence public high school students from low-income families with local artists, building powerful mentoring relationships through the arts.

 Our pedagogy empowers and trusts youth to create their own educational space. In our teaching model, student interests and creative impulses drive learning: most educational institutions require teachers to develop rigid lesson plans before they even interact with students; at New Urban Arts, students bring their creative visions to mentors, whose role is then to teach the skills necessary to realize that vision, using inquiry to help students refine and articulate what they want to convey. On the administrative side, youth participate in all major decisions, including hiring, programming decisions, and event planning. Most notably, they select each year’s cohort of artist-mentors.

Position Description 

In 2017, New Urban Arts will celebrate our 20th anniversary. In preparation, we are planning to publish a retrospective catalog and mount an accompanying exhibition that seeks to capture our artistic output, pedagogical development, the evolution of our practices, and our impact on students and artists. New Urban Arts seeks a candidate with a strong interest in unique and innovative practices in youth development, arts education, and alternative pedagogy to lead the following ongoing projects:

  • Create and maintain permanent virtual and physical archives of New Urban Arts’ artistic and pedagogical output, with an eye on our approaching 20th anniversary. This project will include the publication of a retrospective catalog.
  • Document New Urban Arts’ ongoing artistic and pedagogical output.

In service of these projects, position duties will include these tasks:

  • Assess our current physical and virtual archives.
  • Consult with community members across the organization about improvements to current archival practices.
  • Propose and implement improvements and new practices.
  • Collect significant documents related to our pedagogy.
  • Maintain and expand The Exchange section of our website
  • Work closely with program and development staff on strategies to use documentation and archival materials to support youth programs and fundraising.

 New Urban Arts is a collaborative work environment, and all staff should expect to support each other’s work and participate in high level conversations about New Urban Arts’ pedagogy, as well as trends in youth development and arts education.


  • Strong written, verbal, and visual communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Strong skills in organizing information
  • Open-minded, creative thinker
  • Advanced degree in the humanities, social sciences, library and information science or arts encouraged
  • Proficiency with a scanner preferred, but not required
  • Photography skills preferred, but not required
  • Experience that demonstrates commitment to New Urban Arts’ core values of connection, risk, leadership, voice, inclusion
The Archivist and Documentarian Volunteer will have access to New Urban Art’s facilities including studio space and supplies.