24 Dec Restructuring The Nursery, Part 5; Saying Goodbye to 2020
How is it a little under a week until 2021?! I swear when I woke up yesterday it was sometime in August. Surely. But here we are, at the end of this whopper of a year. And, as promised, We have a few more things to share with you.
Welcoming December with new team members
Around mid-October, we put out an open call to invite applications for the position of Education Manager – a role we envisage at the core of the transformation of The Nursery from a founder-led operation to a more decentralized team structure that brings greater transparency, visibility and empowerment to our student and teacher experiences.
After receiving nearly 100 applications from all over the world and speaking to many truly excellent folks with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences with improvisation, we are very happy to share that Jessica Mitolo (firstname.lastname@example.org) will be joining us as our new Education Manager, working remotely from the windy city of Chicago, United States. The opportunity to speak with so many diverse individuals as part of the application process also allowed The Nursery’s steering committee to evaluate other roles of responsibility that may deeply influence the way we do things in 2021. As a result, we’re also happy to bring on-board Gaurav Singh (gaurav@thenurserytheatre) who joins us as Comms & Community Manager.
Stay tuned for our upcoming blogs where we’ll share a freewheeling chat with both Jess and Gaurav talking about their exciting plans for The Nursery in the coming year.
Listening to our community; Townhall 2.0
As part of our commitment to being closer to the community of students, teachers, performers and audiences we serve through this on-going restructuring, we held the second Nursery Townhall on Thursday, 17th December.
The meeting was chaired by Jonah Fazel and Jennifer Jordan on behalf of the Nursery’s steering committee as an opportunity to invite candid feedback, thoughts and observations from those attending – a very big thank you for giving your time so generously to do so! After quick introductions and a small update on all that had happened since the first Townhall, we asked the group to dive right into the following topics:
- What do we need to work on or is missing in terms of class offerings or what would you like to see?
- What do we need to work on or is missing in terms of messaging and marketing or what do you want us to know?
- What could we do more of in terms of servicing our community or would you like to see that were not doing/ is there a need we are not fulfilling. i.e shows/jams/treehouse social club.
- Anything that you have been thinking that we’ve not given the prompt to talk about? Something that you are disappointed with or maybe pleased by.
We heard some excellent feedback (and nice to hear that some of it is already in the pipeline), particularly around improving the student experience by investing in varied programming, improv-adjacent electives and courses and more straightforward communications as well as enhancing the community outreach of The Nursery with updated information on the website, better accessibility to discovering online events and offering varied channels of communications and engagements to the community. It was also heartening to hear from those attending on how we can continue leveraging the advances of “online” by being more mindful about different time zones, bringing in international facilitators and fostering a truly global improv community.
The Townhall was also attended by Chris Mead (Interim Artistic Director), Jessica, Gaurav and myself to respond more readily to what was being shared as action points we can take up in the first few months of the new year.
Saying goodbye to a very, very strange year
2020 has been quite the year and we are very glad to come out on the other side of it with so much to be thankful for. With a growing community of students, teachers and performers from all over the world; new team members with a fresh pair of eyes and ever-growing checklists of ideas and opportunities, we at The Nursery Theatre would like to thank YOU for sticking by us in what was a very strange and difficult time for everyone. Whatever happens in the new year, we will definitely, most certainly continue to bring you improv-led experiences online (and perhaps, offline when things are looking a little better!) and sharing the love of improv across cities, countries and time zones. Cos, for one, it’s just too beautiful not to.
We would like to invite you to join us for the next Nursery Townhall, which will be (tentatively) held around Easter. We will obviously post more details about this in blogs and on social media, but if you prefer a newsletter instead, you can sign up for ours here (infrequent updates & unsubscribe anytime).
Stay safe and take care, and see you on the other side of the festive season!