We’ve already started talking about the 2015 Chicago Alternative Comics Expo. With the departure of two of our original organizers this past year, we are looking for a few new organizers to join our ranks. If you are interested, please read the following post in its entirety.
The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo is Seeking New Organizers
Application Deadline: Friday, August 22, 2014
CAKE organizers have a hand in creating every aspect of the show: who we invite as special guests, where we hold the show, jurying the final exhibitor list, jurying the Cupcake award, helping promote and raise money for the festival, and all manner of brainstorming more and better ways to serve the community. This is a particularly interesting time to be a part of the group, since we’re focusing as much on planning next year’s show as institutionalizing the organization itself. We are wrapping up paperwork to become a nonprofit organization, so new organizers would become members of our board and would help us formalize and shape our mission and organizational structure so that CAKE will live on in a manner we can all be proud of, beyond our individual terms as organizers.
Organizing for CAKE is a rewarding job. Coordinating a festival that serves both the Chicago alternative comics community and the larger, national community means that you will shape and develop conversations happening in the comics art world, and create opportunities for emerging and established artists to share work and ideas. It is hard to describe the feeling of accomplishment when the weekend finally arrives: it is overwhelming. In addition to the sense of creating something larger than yourself, the camaraderie and friendship built between the organizers while planning is invaluable; there are a lot of tense conversations during meetings but there are also a lot of laughs.
In an organizer, we look for someone with a strong work ethic, solid critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and a sense of connection to a larger community. New organizers tend to take on support roles in committees as they’re learning how the expo runs, but within discussions, we need people who will voice their opinions, think about issues from different angles, and bring in different perspectives.
We meet (roughly) every other week throughout the year, sometimes more or less as needed, but once it gets to about 3 months out from the weekend of CAKE the organizers meet weekly. There are also 3 or 4 epic meetings in addition to the weekly meetings that happen throughout the year to address specific time-consuming tasks (final jurying, table layout, etc). There is work that can’t be done in meetings (email coordination, writing projects, various administrative duties) and the work of staffing and coordinating fundraising events through the year.
This is a year-round, unpaid part-time job. We are all flexible with one another and understand that everyone can’t make it to every meeting, but the commitment is there. Also, because the weekend of CAKE is an all-hands-on-deck work period (and because table spaces are always fewer than applicants), core organizers often don’t table at the event.
There is also an unspoken assumption that this is a more-than-one-year engagement. There isn’t a mandatory term expectation per se, but there are a lot of moving parts, so learning happens on the job–it’s easier to contribute after seeing the whole process through once.
How To Apply:
Send us an email explaining why you think you’d be a great organizer! Email cakexpo [at] gmail [dot] com with subject line “New Organizer” with a paragraph or two telling us why you want to join the core organizing team, and what you think you would bring to CAKE. Not all applicants will be invited as organizers; we only plan to expand our organizing group by one or two members for 2015, but we welcome and appreciate other levels of involvement in the planning and execution of CAKE.