Are you creative? Do you like organizations run from the grassroots, not a boardroom up above? Would you like to connect with a wide range of artists, musicians, and people who share your interests?
If you answered “Yes, indeed!” to any of these questions, Flywheel could be for you. Whatever your interest or time commitment, we are eager for your contribution.
Introductory open houses are usually held once a month, (check our events calendar for details). Or, you can write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some ways to participate in Flywheel:
Join the Hub
Time commitment: 1 meeting and between 4-8 hours per month (or more if you want!).
Hub members attend one general body meeting per month and often also book shows. They make the decisions that keep Flywheel functioning from day-to-day, determine its structure and policies, and shape its future. Being a hub member requires a little more determination and sweat, but it is an incredibly rewarding experience of direct democracy in action. And the results are tangible: a thriving community organization that’s home to the most incredible underground music, zine, and arts scene in Western Massachusetts.
Become a Booker
Want to see more shows that reflect your music tastes? Become a booker to bring some of your favorite bands to Flywheel! You’ll be paired with a veteran booker who will train you through our booker training process first, then run your own show with your mentor helping and watching. Once you learn all the ropes, you’ll get your very own key to Flywheel and access to the Flywheel calendar to book your own events!
Time commitment: Two shifts per month.
At shows, we need people to run our café and soundboard, take money at the door, and sometimes fill “security” positions if the show is large. You will be trained for all these positions by a booker, and get to enjoy music during the shows you volunteer for.
Time commitment: Variable.
Possibilities include putting up flyers, distributing our calendar of events, designing posters, helping with a special event, envelope-stuffing, various construction, maintenance, and handy-craft projects, baking a cake, obtaining donations of supplies or food from local businesses, or asking your workplace if they’d like to give us that old computer. The only limits are in your mind.
Q & A about Volunteering at Flywheel
Q: Once I’ve chosen a level of involvement, am I stuck with it?
A: Heavens, no! We encourage you to try out different things to see what interests you and fits your schedule the best. You may want to attend a general body meeting just to see what they’re like. Once you’ve joined you may take a break or resign at any time. Ask questions, get to know people, and see what works for you.
Q: As a Flywheel volunteer, do I get into shows free?
A: Yes and no. You get into the shows you volunteer at for free. And when you complete two volunteer shifts in a month, you also get a free pass to a show. But in general, Flywheel volunteers pay for the shows they aren’t staffing.
Q: Do I get to choose the shows I volunteer at?
A: Yes. Sometimes, though, there are shows no one has signed up for and we may call you to ask you to staff them. You can always say no, but we really appreciate it when people can fill these shifts, because someone has to. It’s usually fun to hang out at Flywheel no matter what’s going on, and who knows, you might discover something new that you really like.
Q: What if there’s a project I’d like to do that’s not listed here?
A: Fantastic! Tell us about it. Our dream is to have Flywheel’s activities as varied as possible. Live the dream!
Q: Could I get paid for my work at Flywheel?
A: There are many grants out there for community programs, programs for children and youth, anti-racist and anti-poverty work, HIV prevention, one-time and ongoing arts and music events, and so on. There are experienced grant writers at Flywheel who can direct you to researching resources and help you as you write your grant. If you have an idea you’d like to see happen at Flywheel, this could be a great way to be able to afford the time and materials to do it.
Q: Can I do an internship at Flywheel?
A: Yes. It’s easy to set up, and can fit into many fields of interest. (For ideas see our list of committees and grant ideas above.) It’s fun, you’ll have lots of autonomy, support, and hands-on experience, and it’s bona fide job experience. Go for it.
Q: If it’s not run top-down, how is Flywheel run?
A: Cooperatively. Different people take on different responsibilities. Often these are shared or they rotate. Everyone is accountable for what they’ve said they’ll do. This means that if you need to cancel a volunteer shift, you should try to find another volunteer to fill it before calling the person coordinating the show. The main thing is to be considerate of others and to communicate. With enough communication and a positive, flexible attitude, most problems can easily be solved. If you need more time or help in finishing a task, or want to turn it over to someone else, just say so. In most cases, there’s no need to panic. Remember, this is supposed to be fun.
Q: How do I earn voting privileges?
A: By attending a certain number of general body meetings. You maintain these privileges by attending an average of one general body meeting and doing the equivalent of two shifts of work per month.
Q: Who is legally responsible for what happens at Flywheel?
A: Oh, did we forget to mention that we have a Board? The Board is made up of collective members who have been involved for three months or more and can make a year’s commitment to serving on the Board. In most cases, the Board and collective overlap and make decisions together at general body meetings, but for the few issues only pertinent to the Board, the buck stops there. Whatever your level of involvement, you can always attend general body and Board meetings to voice your point of view.