BlackStar is a filmmaker centric and POC-led organization that brings an intersectional analysis of race, gender and power into the work while providing high quality opportunities for artists and critics, and a thoughtfully curated experience for audiences. Founded to focus on the work of Black filmmakers (of the African diaspora), we are now dedicated to solidarity across artists and communities of color, including Black, Asian, Latinx, Arab, Native, and Indigenous while still centering anti-Black racism as core to our racial justice analysis.
BlackStar is focused on the following issues:
POC Authorship and not individual representation
Aesthetic quality over celebrity
Supporting a POC artists community, not just producing an event
Curating a high quality and accessible program
BlackStar’s core programs include:
BlackStar Film Festival
Many Lumens podcast
Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab
Seen, journal of film and visual culture
William and Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar
Seen was established in 2020 as a journal of film, art, and visual culture, devoted to writing by and about Black, Brown, and Indigenous folks. We are published in print, twice per year. As with all of BlackStar’s projects, Seen strives for nuance and depth. We’re not interested in superficial ‘representation.’ As a print publication, the work of the journal is two-fold: to create an archive of the rich, layered work being produced by BIPOC communities around the world; and to make that archive sumptuous. Visual pleasure, rigor, and playfulness are core components of the work.
BlackStar is currently looking for an Associate Editor to support the editorial vision and administrative capacity of its journal Seen. We are seeking a thoughtful, creative individual with editorial and/or writing experience focused on art, film, design, or visual culture more broadly. This position is full-time and reports to Seen’s Editor-in-Chief.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, contributing ideas to editorial brainstorms, coordinating with writers, image sources, and other team members to help ensure timely production of print issues, assisting with editing and commissioning, and providing administrative support.
The ideal candidate should have a strong interest in uplifting the work of Black, Brown and Indigenous communities, in addition to being resourceful, able to think quickly and improvise, and meet deadlines. Candidates should also espouse a keen interest in justice and access. Experience in film and/or visual arts or culture writing is essential.
Additional preferences include strong writing and interpersonal communication skills and an ability to work well independently and with a team. Candidates should have interests in BlackStar’s three key areas—filmmaking, visual arts, and media arts—as well as a demonstrated commitment to intersectional feminism and social justice.
The Associate Editor is responsible for working together with the Editor-in-Chief, Art Director, Design Manager, Editorial Team, and other consultants on the day-to-day operations and management of the journal. The role is responsible for liaising with contributors, keeping the journal on schedule, coordinating meetings, and other ad-hoc projects as needed.
The Associate Editor may work remotely or from BlackStar’s offices in Philadelphia and will be expected to be available for meetings and on email during East Coast business hours (10am–6pm EST). Black, Brown, and Indigenous editors, writers, journalists, and cultural workers who share BlackStar’s values are particularly encouraged to apply.
Serves as a central point of contact for journal contributors (e.g., filmmakers, writers, illustrators, photographers, vendors, etc.) for journal production and related programs.
Manages seen@ email account and maintains a zero inbox while providing timely professional responses or delegating responses to external parties and staff.
Schedules and organizes meetings related to journal, maintains agenda, and captures notes and next action steps.
Enters team tasks in Basecamp, our project management tool.
Participate and contribute ideas to editorial brainstorms for each print issue.
In consultation with the EIC, the Associate Editor may help commission and edit reviews, essays, and other articles for Seen’s monthly online-only column, Observed.
File contract request forms for all contributors, including writers, visual artists, and photographers.
Send payment forms to all contributors for each issue of the journal. Follow-up and ensure that contributors are paid in full and on time. Primary liaison on behalf of the journal team with BlackStar’s Business team.
Responsible for archiving all materials at the close of each issue (final drafts, contracts, contact lists, etc.).
Maintain records for each issue — contact information, editorial deadlines, word counts, honorariums, etc.
Gather pertinent deliverables for the successful publication of the journal. Deliverables include images, image captions, titles, contributor bios, “conversations with contributors,” etc.
Begin building the complimentary mailing list and ensure that appropriate team members have access to add mailing addresses as needed.
Assist EIC with plotting proposed timelines and deadlines, offer feedback on production schedule when requested, and collaborate with the editorial team on finalizing each issue’s timeline.
Support the facilitation of group ideation meetings for story pitches, brainstorm story ideas, devise timelines and plan for each issue of the publication. Along with the editorial team, design team, and advisory committee, help identify appropriate contributors, artists/illustrators, photographers, filmmakers, etc.
Contribute original writing, professional connections, and networks whenever necessary.
Other special projects as assigned.
Qualifications and Experience
For this role, BlackStar seeks an experienced professional who will assist the editorial team in the implementation of the Journal’s production and programs. BlackStar has a tradition of being comfortable with ambiguity; it experiments and innovates and then follows up with reflection. Therefore, the Associate Editor must be astute enough to ask the right questions to keep BlackStar adaptive.
While no single candidate will embody every quality, a successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:
Informed passion for BlackStar’s mission, vision, and values. A demonstrated commitment to working for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice.
Outstanding written and oral communication skills. A communication style that is direct.
Demonstrated experience in writing, editing and/or journalism.
Excellent strategic and intellectual abilities and analytic skill coupled with pragmatism and a roll-up-one’s-sleeves attitude. Sound judgment. A willingness to innovate and learn from mistakes made along the way.
Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills.
An ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines, as well as other timely demands of the Associate Editor position.
Impeccable integrity, honesty, and a reputation for a balanced, non-ideological approach. A willingness to challenge conventional thinking coupled with the ability to collaborate effectively, listen well, and bridge philosophies.
An understanding of filmmaking and/or visual arts landscapes, and of the history of BIPOC participation in said fields.
Entrepreneurial spirit and drive. An eye for creative, strategic opportunities tied to a commitment to accountability and results.
Experience working comfortably and effectively with well-known and highly visible individuals across a broad spectrum of industries, possessing the ability to work efficiently and exercise discretion.
An outgoing, open, and optimistic personality. Tenacity, pragmatism, high energy, patience, and good humor.
Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
The salary will be commensurate with experience and the range is between $50,000-
$55,000. BlackStar’s benefits package includes but is not limited to 100% subsidized medical, dental, and vision coverage, paid time off and public holidays, and reimbursements for home office utilities.
We are currently in a hybrid model of remote work and office work options with some in person activities — advised by, but generally going beyond CDC and state level safety guidelines.
We seek to have an Associate Editor in place by early November 2022.
Applicants should be legally able to work in the United States and be available to visit the Philadelphia office on a monthly basis at minimum. We currently have a hybrid work model which allows employees to work at home or in the offices. This is subject to change based on the safety demands of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
How to Apply
Applications should be submitted via email as a single PDF and include a resume, one page cover letter, brief writing sample, and short response to one of the prompts listed below. Applications must be received by Wednesday August 31, 2022. All applications will be kept confidential. Send materials to email@example.com with “Associate Editor—FirstName LastName” as the subject header.
Writing samples may take the form of a published or unpublished essay, review, profile, or other form of writing that offers a sense of your writing interests/voice. (Max 1,000 words; excerpts from longer pieces permitted, provided they do not exceed the word count.)
Please also include an addendum with answers to one (1) of the following prompts (your answer should be a single paragraph of no more than 150 words):
Who are three (3) filmmakers or artists whose work you would like to see more people discussing, and why?
What are your five (5) go-to publications for writing about film, art, and visual culture, and why? Please don’t include Seen(!)
Transcending any time and space limitations, a writer or artist you would love to work with is…
An aspect of cultural criticism that you would like to see more people discuss/reckon with is…
Applications that fail to include the writing sample, addendum or follow instructions will not be considered.
BlackStar Projects is committed to the principles of equal opportunity employment at every level without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity characteristics or expression, age, non-job-related disability, or political affiliation.