The Musical Autist is officially 10 years old today. At least this domain name and the start of the blog, which we do consider the start of the organization itself. We didn’t get our 501c3 status until 2014 though… whew that took some work. When I launched this website a decade ago, I had no idea this would turn into a full fledged nonprofit organization.
You can read the 4/1/2011 post here. I’ve added some details to it, since my original post had sadly vanished when I tried to make the site go live 10 years ago, so I’m happy to finally get around to adding that back in like I’d always intended to. Talk about procrastination.
I’m going to make this post somewhat short, because I’d really love for you to go back and read the first post. The most important thing to say right now, to commemorate TMA being a decade old, is to announce that I am actively stepping away in order to make space for more autistic leadership in the organization. Because maybe the hole must be created first, in order for it to be filled.
The Musical Autist is seeking to hire its first paid Executive Director. Here is what we’re looking for:
- An autistic or otherwise neurodivergent musician (or music enthusiast) who is active in autistic rights/disability rights and social justice, who believes in our mission to create equal access to the arts and platforms for autistic advocacy.
- Has experience in or at least understands/is willing to learn the nonprofit world, with things like: grant writing; meeting reports and agendas; correspondence with donors and potential donors; organizing fundraising events (music streamraisers are the direction we are going with this); using the SalesForce for Nonprofits CRM and Mailchimp newsletter platforms. And you don’t have to go about these things in neurotypical ways, mask, or try to be anything you’re not.
- Likes to write website, newsletter and social media content and would enjoy running the Elevating Autistic Musicians program, which would require providing editorial feedback and correspondence with guest content writers, who are autistic musicians and/or music enthusiasts, speaking and non-speaking alike.
TMA Board is still trying to figure out how high we can get the salary for the first full year of employment. The list above is the things I’ve been doing for awhile now (and could be doing so much better), all in an unpaid, volunteer capacity. We’re looking at statistical data like this, and willing to negotiate with whoever applies to make the salary and the hours what you want. Chances are, the first year will end up being part time hours, and a lot of your time would end up being fundraising and grant writing. We’ve got a nest egg of money in the bank to fund the first year, but very little incoming revenue that is steady. However, we do have a fantastic grant writer, two regular paid content writers, and a group of solid Board members and other volunteers who are willing to help. We just need one passionate person who has the time to invest, take charge of the details, and has the ability to delegate.
Since I take responsibility for starting The Musical Autist, I’m happy to provide support and be a resource throughout the first year. Or if you’d rather just take it from here, I’m completely okay with that too.
I launched TMA as a blog, an idea, and a philosophy exactly ten years ago today on April 1st, in an effort to support the initiatives of my friends, Paula Durbin-Westby, Remi Yergeau and Ari Ne’eman (who at that time were among those leading Autistic Self Advocacy Network) to shift the cultural rhetoric of autism “awareness” to autism acceptance. About four months later I met Sunny Cefaratti, at our third ever Sensory Friendly Concert. It was not long after meeting Sunny and working together to do more SFCs, that we decided to co-found a nonprofit organization together, to promote TMA’s mission – to create equal access to the arts and platforms for autistic advocacy. In the position of Executive Director, you would continue working alongside Sunny as TMA co-founder and autistic advocate, to lead the organization.
If you are interested in this position or know someone who is, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re going to give this post a few weeks to circulate, give people time to reach out informally with questions and have some initial conversations. TMA Board meets bimonthly on the first Tuesday evening of the month. Our next meeting is May 4th at 7pm EST and visitors are welcome. I’ll be stepping back more immediately, but like I said TMA has some fantastic people (both ND and NT) to keep things moving. If you’re the right person for this job, our timeline can be flexible with yours.
Thank you. And happy birthday to The Musical Autist!! Many thanks to Will Swartz, newest member of our Board who created the 10 year birthday images. He is also one of my former piano students, who I refer to in the first post 10 years ago. It’s Will and Logan that inspired me to start it all…