New Kid on the Block
Joss Richer, Program Officer
My first day on the job was March 31st, 2014, though I like to think that it was April 1st—April Fool’s is simply a more interesting date. It’s also the beginning of our fiscal year and the spring deadline for our Creation and Documentation programs, which makes it pretty much the busiest time of the year around the artsnb office.
One of my first tasks was to learn how to process hundreds of grant applications. I am very grateful to Vanessa Moeller for teaching me how to do this. Vanessa has been with artsnb for many years and understands processes and programs better than anyone. She’s also very patient and gracious!
You might like to know what this process involves, as many of you probably have submitted—or are thinking of submitting—grant applications. In a nutshell, I start building a file once I receive your application, which means that I look at it carefully to make sure that all the important documents are there, that they contain all the critical information, and that they are formatted correctly. This is important because I want to make sure that your application is presented in the best possible light to the jury. I then enter or update your personal information in our database, as well as enter all the information pertinent to your application. I track this regularly as the process evolves and as your project advances, if it gets funded. This tracking involves processing the interim and final reports that you send, issuing cheques, and so on. My job as program officer also involves spending a good deal of time on the phone and on email, answering questions from you, my clients, and generally trying to help you get your creative projects funded. A perk of this job is that I get to look at and listen to some pretty amazing artwork, performances and music.
After six months at artsnb, I feel much more comfortable in my role as program officer. I’m also much better able to offer support and guidance to artists who call me for assistance with their applications or who are simply looking for more information about our programs. One of the challenges that I faced when I first started was to develop a mental picture of the arts ecosystem in New Brunswick. To help me better understand, I asked a lot of questions (didn’t I, coworkers?!) and I spent a fair deal of time poking around on the web. As a result, I was able to construct an actual map of that ecosystem. If you’re interested, you can take a look at that map on the artsnb website.
Before joining artsnb, I spent many years designing and developing online courses at the University of New Brunswick, which is something that I really liked doing. Luckily, I’m still able to indulge in this kind of work in my new job. For example, I have noticed that several of my clients need some help when putting together their budget, which is an important part of the application process. To take some of the mystery out of this, I put together a simple tutorial on the artsnb website.
Next time, I’d like to tell you more about our professional development series of workshops, which is another one of my responsibilities at artsnb.
In the meantime, if you need any help with grant applications, or have questions about our programs, you can call me at 506-478-4610 or email me at email@example.com. It would be my pleasure to assist you.