Call to Action In an era when the social fabric of our communities is fraying before our eyes, The Musicant Group is stepping up and investing in strengthening our common ground through the creation of a new full-time position to lead the Friendly Front Yard Movement. Friendly Fronts and the The Friendly Front Yard Toolkit inspire and guide individuals and entire communities alike on how to turn their front yards into places where serendipity happens, where children play, where food is grown, prepared and eaten, where social capital is built, where civic issues are debated, where relationships are fostered; where passthrough spaces are transformed into places where we feel deeply rooted.
There has never been a more important time for us all to engage in the exact place where we live; to “build community one front yard at a time”. The new position will be charged with translating our successful 2016 pilot project into a nation-wide movement that catalyzes an explosion of social capital, joy, and a renewed agency around how we can all “create places where we feel alive”.
Friendly Front Yards Friendly Fronts (http://www.friendlyfronts.com) is a nationwide movement, sprouted in St. Paul, MN, that provides people with a step-by-step process and support system to transform their front yards into places that make them and their community feel alive. The movement is transforming the most ubiquitous and underutilized space in America - the front yard - from empty expanses of grass into dynamic places that are loved, used, and facilitate relationships between neighbors. By creating more inviting front yards (and boulevards, stoops, etc.), people will spend more time in them and in turn build more and deeper relationships with their neighbors and neighborhood.
Funded by a Knight City Challenge Grant, the first version of the Friendly Front Yard Toolkit was launched in the Summer of 2016. The toolkit and process was piloted with 22 households from the Frogtown and Hamline-Midway neighborhoods of St. Paul and four apartment buildings owned by Blaisdell Housing and Common Bond in the Whittier Neighborhood of Minneapolis in partnership with the Whittier Alliance. Through this pilot we found that: Single-family home dweller participants
Met on average 5.4 new neighbors
43% saw people more frequently in their neighborhood (0% less so)
38% felt safer in their community (0% less so)
91% plan on continuing to make socially-focused improvements to their front yards in future years.
43% felt safer in their building
77% were more interested in staying in their apartments long term
It is now time to bring the Friendly Fronts process and ensuing benefits beyond these nodes to the nation as a whole.
The Musicant Group The Musicant Group (www.musicantgroup.com) is an award winning placemaking firm dedicated to “creating places where people feel alive”. The firm has pioneered a holistic approach to the creation of place that integrates design, events, and management systems all through the lens of the user experience. Since its founding in 2012, the firm has demonstrated that community and commercial interests all benefit from more humane, inviting, and lively places for people. The firm has applied this approach to places as varied as Class A office buildings to vacant lots, from urban main streets to suburban strip malls, from block parties to bus stops. We believe that every space should be a place that makes us feel alive.
Description of Role The Friendly Front Yard process works. But it is a tool that does not yet know how it will be put to best use. The new position is charged with developing the Friendly Front Yard process, toolkit, and content into a large-scale movement that eventually touches the lives of tens of thousands, even millions, of people. We have plenty of ideas about where the Friendly Front Yard movement can go, but this position will be charged with setting a course and creating something that has yet to – and very much needs to - exist. Consistent with how The Musicant Group functions, the position will engage with community and commercial actors to spread the approach, through mission-driven activities that generate revenue as well as provided free of charge.
1-year goals of the position
Have 10,000 people engage with the Friendly Front Yard process
Create a self-sustaining revenue stream for the Friendly Front Yard movement through mission-driven activities
The position will report directly to Max Musicant, Founder and Principal of The Musicant Group and actively collaborate with the rest of our team. They will receive training on The Musicant Group’s placemaking process during and throughout their time with the organization.
Friendly Front Yard Assets The position comes with a number of assets to put to use:
Friendly Front Yard Toolkit 1.0 and associated graphics/photos
Hundreds of photos, before and afters of 22 pilot project participants
Survey responses from 22 pilot project participants and 20+ of the 200+ that downloaded it online
22 case studies of pilot project participants
Apartments case study
Private facebook group: 126 members https://www.facebook.com/groups/friendlyfronts/
Press stories in: FastCoExist.com, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, Southwest Journal
A short promotional video
Qualities we are looking for
Entrepreneurial – is driven to create and build new things
Comfortable with uncertainty
Self-starter, does not need to be told what to do
Likes a manager to be there to work through issues, questions, etc. rather than needing to be motivated by them (as they are self motivated by the work)
Proactively asks questions
Is comfortable and actively tries new things, is ok when some of these things don’t work and understands it is part of the process of constantly improving
Is open and excited about opportunities and new ideas
Is holistic/interdisciplinary in their thinking and interests
Cares about people and their wellbeing
Is passionate about the work and mission of The Musicant Group
Experience and Skills
Has led the creation and growth of something: an organization, campaign, business, movement, etc.
Multilingual a plus
First round of application will be reviewed on Monday, March 6th 2017
The position will be open until filled
Compensation State your salary requirements upon application.
Our organization is small but growing. We are unable to offer medical or retirement benefits at this time. However, we do provide employees with a monthly stipend (in addition to salary) to help cover "life expenses." Likewise, so long as their responsibilities are met, employees are permitted to take unlimited PTO.
Simply put, our priority is to hire an individual who loves this work. As we continue to grow, we very much plan to enhance the benefits and compensation our employees receive.