Trash Academy Neighborhood Site Coordinators

Job Type

Part Time Temporary Contract



Application Deadline:



1729 Mount Vernon St
United States


Mural Arts Philadelphia is a public-private partnership dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. We create art with others to transform places, individuals, communities and institutions. Through this work, we establish new standards of excellence in the practice of public and contemporary art. Our process empowers artists to be change agents, stimulates dialogue about critical issues, and builds bridges of connection and understanding. Our work is created in service of a larger movement that values equity, fairness and progress across all of society. We listen with empathetic ears to understand the aspirations of our partners and participants. Through beautiful collaborative art, we provide people with the inspiration and tools to seize their own future.


Annually, we produce between 80 and 100 temporary and permanent works of public art, which together tell an incredible story of Philadelphia’s beauty and resilience. We are regularly recognized as a force for excellence and innovation in public art. Most recently, we had projects honored by the Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network, the Venice Biennale, and the United Nations. We attract interest from an international audience of artists, scholars and practitioners, who attend conference sessions on our work, register for convenings we host in Philadelphia, and offer professional consultancies with our staff.


Project Description


Trash Academy is a “collaboratory” between artists, youth, environmental activists, and residents from all across the city of Philadelphia. Supported by Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Restored Spaces Initiative, Trash Academy aims to collaboratively and creatively address the issue of trash in Philadelphia. We create, test, and share innovative solutions that are situated at the intersection of public art and sustainability. We are invited by local community members, non-profits, grassroots organizations, city government, and schools to provide programming that: 1) connects individuals to citywide resources and information; 2) shares tools to better understand trash as it is experienced in a specific neighborhood; and 3) develops fun, collaborative, and creative approaches to address the issue of trash. Trash Academy membership is porous; the scope of our work is guided by our participant’s experiences and interests as well as larger forces and momentum in the city more broadly. Our efforts are rooted in grassroots community organizing, advocacy, and public education.


Project Summary


Restored Spaces is seeking an environmental justice and sustainability activist located in Philadelphia to manage a new Trash Academy site and coordinate participation in a series of events. Each Trash Academy site supports six Trash Academy Leaders and one Trashmobile (a mobile organizing tool). As the Trash Academy Teaching Activist, you will manage and coordinate the Trash Academy Leaders’ participation in 14 community events, support their development as leaders, and act as the primary contact person for your site. You will also bring your specific knowledge, passions, and activism around environmental justice and sustainability to Trash Academy’s work.


The goal of each Trash Academy site is to grow our understanding of trash as it is experienced both Philadelphia neighborhoods. This understanding supports the development of innovative and collaborative solutions such as the Trashmobile. The Trashmobile is an educational tool designed to engage people at local events and public spaces. It is led by our Trash Academy Leaders who become experts in trash through trainings and hands-on interactions with their communities, artists, activists, and experts.


Additional funds available for one Trash Site Coordinator to take on extra administrative tasks as a project leader. This position requires one day a week to strategize, organize, and plan in support of all of the Trash Academy groups and to communicate and work with the project manager.



In this position, you will…

●      Build supportive group dynamics and teamwork

●      Help participants practice games and other Trash Academy engagement tools (videos, teach-ins, etc.)

●      Participate in Trash Academy training on April 13 and April 14.

●      Help customize your neighborhood’s Trashmobile on April 29 or April 30

●      Participate in 14 events, 12 site meetings, and 6 planning meetings from May 1 - Nov 1

●      Act as a thought partner on Trash Academy: evolve the vision and practices of Trash Academy through a focus on your own knowledge and experience and the unique capacities and preoccupations of your group


Competencies, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

●        Environmental Literacy – Knowledge of and interest in environmental justice and sustainability. Familiarity with the principles of Environmental Justice and grassroots activism in Philadelphia

●        Communication - Ability to communicate across difference (for example: age, race, varying exposure to environmental issues and activism)

●        Interpersonal Skills - Effective listening, respect for diversity and difference, creative thinking and problem solving, team building, and cognitive flexibility

●        Art and Imagination - The candidate should be knowledgeable about and comfortable with approaching problems creatively, through art


Qualifications (Education and Experience)

●      Experience with community organizing

●      Ability to meaningfully engage audiences of different age groups

Stipend: $4,200, April 13—November 1 (roughly $25/hour), mostly Saturdays and one weekday evening or afternoon throughout spring and fall. Start date April 13.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Please provide cover letter with resume and references by Wednesday, March 14, 2018 to

For further information on Mural Arts Philadelphia, please visit