Request for Qualifications: TeenTix LA - Lead Consultant

TeenTix LA

Los Angeles, CA

Deadline to Submit Qualifications: July 19, 2019

Anticipated Start Date: mid-August 2019

 

TeenTix LA is a new initiative in development that aims to increase access to the arts for all teenagers in LA County. Once established, TeenTix LA will function as the central office of a community-wide effort to equip teens the tools to engage with the arts on their own terms – as leaders, patrons, critics, influencers, audience members, and advocates.

TeenTix LA is modeled on TeenTix Seattle, which launched in 2004 on the premise that genuine diversity requires early access and that teens should be influencers of culture, not just passive recipients. The TeenTix Pass allows ANY teenager (13-19 years old) to sign up for a free pass that entitles them to $5 day-of-show tickets at any of the 75 partners in the Pacific Northwest. Since 2004, more than 70,000 teens from all over the world have signed up with TeenTix. Please refer to the enclosed FAQ for more information about TeenTix Seattle.

 

The emerging model for TeenTix LA has been developed in conversation with arts and youth development partners from across LA County. In a series of facilitated discussions between October 2018 and June 2019, partners came together to assess the feasibility of bringing this model to LA County. The result of the exploratory phase, which included input from local teens and arts partners (via surveys) and TeenTix Seattle, was a unanimous decision to proceed. Planning committee members are excited at the potential of a TeenTix model to significantly increase cultural equity, to increase audience engagement, and to deepen connections across arts organizations and providers in LA County.

OVERVIEW OF POSITION: TeenTix LA seeks a Lead Consultant for an anticipated 8-12-month period (part-time) to help move the initiative from theory to practice. The Lead Consultant will put in place the building blocks for a strong program launch (anticipated summer 2020) and a viable, long-term operating model. The consortium of organizations representing TeenTix LA seeks a Lead Consultant with demonstrated experience in program design and partnership development and who possesses a deep knowledge of the LA County arts ecosystem.

The position description assumes, if and when appropriate, that the Lead Consultant will transition responsibility for the day-to-day management of TeenTix LA to a full-time Program Director.

REPORTS TO: TeenTix LA Steering Committee, Fiscal Sponsor (tbd)

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Planning & Visioning – Steer the course for this exciting, game-changing new initiative in LA County; activities include:

  • Work with the Steering Committee (i.e., a smaller, appointed subset of the Advisory Board) to finalize the program design
  • Facilitate the ongoing engagement of the larger Advisory Board (of arts and community partners)
  • Ensure the program design embodies the principles of cultural equity (i.e., effectively reaching those teens with the greatest barriers to participation)
  • Work with TeenTix Seattle to integrate the LA County components into the existing website; identify how to leverage the existing TeenTix data systems and infrastructure for a LA context

 

Community & Partner Relations – Build a strong network of relationships with organizations and leaders that can help advocate for and advance TeenTix LA; activities include:

  • Garner support for TeenTix LA from key arts and advocacy organizations
  • Cement commitments from a core group of arts partners
  • Cement commitments from a core group of community/youth development partners (to support teen outreach and engagement)
  • Raise awareness and support for TeenTix from key institutional partners (e.g., transportation, libraries, school districts)
  • Outreach to teens (affiliated with existing partners) to gather ongoing input on program design

Fund Development – Work with the Steering Committee to develop a fundraising plan and support early efforts to secure funding (18-month goal: $225,000).

 

Communications – In this formative period, care for the development and refinement of the initiative’s voice and brand; activities include:

  • Provide regular public appearances on behalf of organization; serve as TeenTix LA’s main public voice and advocate
  • Work with TeenTix Seattle to adapt existing collateral for a LA context

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission of ensuring equitable access to the arts for all young people, but especially for teens who have traditionally been excluded from arts participation
  • Ability to guide organizations and communities toward greater understanding and inclusivity
  • Demonstrated experience in early-stage program design and development
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with and galvanize support from a diverse range of people (e.g., Advisory Board members, partner organizations, teens, prospective donors)
  • Strong understanding of both the local arts and youth development ecosystem
  • Demonstrated capacity and facility with fund development, including development planning and grantwriting

TeenTix LA seeks to actively to dismantle systems of oppression that have traditionally kept people of color out of arts leadership positions. People of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

COMPENSATION: This is a contract position (estimated at ~15-20 hours/week), with compensation depending on the candidate’s experience and qualifications.

PROCESS: To apply, please send the following as a single PDF to Betsy Uhrman at buhrman@nposolutions.org by July 19, 2019.

  • Cover letter describing your qualifications and interest
  • Resume

TeenTix Seattle FAQ
For TeenTix LA Planning
Developed April 2019

The following describes the TeenTix model in the Pacific Northwest (established 2004). It serves as the
model for a similar, LA-focused initiative. More information is available at https://www.teentix.org/.

1. What is TeenTix Seattle?
TeenTix is a youth development organization that focuses on arts engagement. TeenTix’s mission is
to empower young people to take an active role in shaping their arts community as audience
members, critics, influencers, advocates, patrons, and leaders. TeenTix exists to break down barriers
that prevent teens from accessing art in our community, such as ticket or admission cost, not
knowing where to look for events, navigating transportation around the city, and/or feeling insecure
around arts-going (if there's no one in their lives already championing the arts).

2. What is the TeenTix origin story?
TeenTix was founded in 2004 by Seattle Center in partnership with 10 of the resident arts
organizations on the Seattle Center campus. TeenTix was founded on the premise that genuine
diversity requires early access and that teen should be influencers of culture, not just passive
recipients. In 2006, TeenTix began adding partners outside of Seattle Center. Currently, TeenTix has
75 arts and culture partners in the greater Puget Sound, making TeenTix the central office of a
community-wide effort to connect young people with arts experiences. TeenTix’s vision is a healthy
community whose diverse civic leaders value, support, and participate in a thriving arts sector.
TeenTix has a 15-year program history, but just recently, in 2017, transitioned from a City of Seattle
public program to an independent nonprofit organization. TeenTix has a staff of 6 full-time and part-
time employees, and has an operating budget around $300,000.

3. What are TeenTix’s core programs?
TeenTix has three core programs, which have evolved over time to address the barriers to arts
engagement.
The TeenTix Pass, which launched in 2004, allows ANY teenager (13-19 years old) to sign up for a
free TeenTix pass. The pass -- available as a physical or digital pass -- entitles teens to purchase $5
day-of-show tickets at any of the 75 partners in the Pacific Northwest. TeenTix issues about 10,000
TeenTix passes each year. (The pass is not just for teens in the Pacific Northwest; young people from
all over the country and the world have signed up for the pass). The TeenTix.org Calendar provides a
comprehensive listing of events searchable by day, genre, or TeenTix partner, and the weekly e-
newsletter, with a distribution of 17,000, highlighting the “hot picks” for the upcoming week. The
website also includes an interactive map so teens can search for events by location. On their 20th
birthday, teens receive an email that thanks them for their participation and includes information
about ways to continue accessing the organizations they visited the most.
Since 2004, more than 62,400 teens from all over the world have signed up for a TeenTix pass, and
through 2017, have purchased more than 115,000 $5 tickets to arts and cultural events (2018 data is
still being collected).

The New Guard, which launched in 2005, is TeenTix’s youth governing board. The New Guard
ensures that TeenTix remains accountable and relevant to the community it serves. It also gives
teens access to hands-on training from seasoned arts professionals -- thus building the next
generation of arts leaders. New Guardians commit to participate for a school-year season, and every
year there are between 25 - 40 active teen members.

TeenTix Seattle FAQ 2
The Press Corps, which launched in 2006, gives young writers the opportunity to explore arts
journalism under the direction of professional critics. The program emphasizes the importance of
youth voice and critical thinking. Their work is posted on the TeenTix blog, where it encourages
teens to see new events and to engage thoughtfully with the art they encounter.

4. How does the TeenTix Pass work?
The Teen Experience: Teens ages 13-19 years sign up for a FREE TeenTix pass (online, in-person, via
phone). (Each unique pass has a QR code that enables TeenTix to track teen participation.) Teens
browse the TeenTix calendar (or weekly e-newsletter) to figure out what they’d like to see. TeenTix
members can buy their $5 ticket as soon as the box office opens on the day of the show. Once at the
box office, teens show their TeenTix Pass and school ID or Driver’s License and buy one $5 ticket
with cash (no debit or credit cards). (There is a one ticket limit, with the exception of 2-for-$10 days
as described in question 9.) Sometimes shows sell out and no TeenTix tickets are available. Friday
and Saturday nights have the highest volume of teen attendance. Some partners do allow teens to
call ahead and purchase a ticket, though this is not required. Even if advance purchase is not an
option, teens are encouraged to call ahead to make sure TeenTix tickets are available.
The Partner Experience: All ticket revenue goes directly to Partners; TeenTix does not sell tickets.
This means that a ticket that would have gone unsold sells for $5. If a show is sold out, it’s sold out;
Partners are not required to hold TeenTix tickets. (If a company is routinely selling out all of their
shows, TeenTix is likely not a good fit.) Some Partners opt to cap TeenTix tickets at 12 tickets per
show/event. Partners utilize an app that sits on top of the box office transaction to track teen
participation. (TeenTix provides one mobile device; the app is also available for download.)
In general, all events in a “season” are eligible for the $5 TeenTix, with the exception of some special
events and galas. It is up to the discretion of Partners as to whether to make additional events
TeenTix eligible. Partners pay an annual participation fee (sliding scale depending on organizational
budget) to cover some of the outreach and marketing costs associated with operating the program.
Partners also receive customized reports on teen usage (as described in question 5).
Note: When Partners commit, it has to be a full organizational effort. Box Office staff are key to a
positive teen experience, since they are the first point of contact for a teen participant.

5. Who are the arts and culture partners?
The 75 arts and cultural partners in the Pacific Northwest span artistic disciplines and include dance,
theater, film, music, literature, opera, heritage museums, and visual arts.

6. What is the benefit to arts and cultural partners?
The TeenTix pass supports audience development. TeenTix is a collective solution to the sector-wide
problem of declining audiences. TeenTix is the central office for a community-wide effort to
welcome young, diverse audiences to area arts venues and to engage them as patrons, leaders, and
valued customers.

TeenTix is doing the work of connecting with teens. Through TeenTix, Partners sell a ticket that
would otherwise go unsold AND have an opportunity to develop a connection to new audiences. In
Seattle/Tacoma, sixty percent (60%) of members indicate that they have used their TeenTix pass to
attend an arts venue for the first time; 40% use their pass to try out a new art form, and 68% say
they attend more arts events than they did before joining TeenTix.

TeenTix Partners receive customized reports with information on teen attendees by age and school,
what other partners they visit, etc. Following a show, teens receive a post-show survey from TeenTix
Seattle with an option to sign up for the partner email list.
The TeenTix pass advances cultural equity. In Seattle/Tacoma, 40% of TeenTix participants identity
as a person of color as compared to 19% of audiences for benchmark arts events (NEA, 2012).
7. How does the model support – not supplant – existing youth programs for partners?
● TeenTix is not a discount ticket program. It is an access initiative that uses discounted tickets to
encourage and foster youth engagement.
● TeenTix is not a group model; it’s an individual, day-of model. As such, TeenTix does not impact
daytime programming, including daytime group sales.
● With TeenTix, teens take ownership over their arts experiences. They research the shows and
they purchase the tickets. TeenTix gives youth agency over their choices (v. exposure that’s
driven by schools or adults in their lives).
● For those partners that already offer free tickets or access to students, teens can still use their
pass to access the free tickets. Partners still benefit from participation in the collaborative,
including access to trainings, shared outreach and marketing, and data.

8. What is the role of other institutional partners (e.g., libraries, school/districts, arts education and
other youth-serving organizations)?
In addition to arts partners, 25 youth-serving community partners provide essential support with
outreach, marketing, and ongoing youth engagement, etc. They provide a direct conduit to connect
arts providers and teens.

9. How do young people find out about what opportunities are available at a given point in time?
The TeenTix.org Calendar provides a comprehensive listing of events and the weekly e-newsletter,
with a distribution of 17,000, highlights “hot picks” for the upcoming week. TeenTix also maintains
an active presence across key social media platforms (i.e., Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook).

10. How do partners manage the issue of mature content (e.g., Is there a way to tag certain shows as
adult content, etc.?)
TeenTix is designed to give teens control over their choices; the calendar and e-newsletter help
teens make informed choices. The TeenTix calendar includes general information about each event,
including run dates, a brief description, and recommended ages (as an indication of potentially
mature content).

11. What is the role of parents/caregivers in supporting program success?
In response to feedback from parents who expressed that they could never accompany their teen,
TeenTix Seattle launched the 2-for$10 days. On 2-for $10 days, teens can buy a second $5 ticket and
give it to anyone, no matter their age. (The teen must purchase the ticket; parents cannot purchase
the ticket for their teen.) 2-for $10 days are Thursdays for museum partners and Sundays at all other
partners. (These days tend to have lower attendance.)

12. What opportunities are there for engagement beyond attendance at an event?
Please see question 2 for a description of the New Guard leadership program and Press Corps.
In addition, TeenTix works with Partners to get the word out about special events (e.g., Teen Nights,
after show discussions, workshops) or to distribute blocks of tickets (via community partners).
TeenTix also holds events for participants and Partners, including an annual, teen-curated “Teeny
Awards.” The Teeny Awards represent a novel and fun approach to recognizing Partners – from best
performance to best box office experience.

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