Empowering Immigrant Storytellers in Greater Houston: Request for Proposals

Empowering Immigrant Storytellers in Greater Houston: Request for Proposals

The Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative (HILSC) is a consortium of legal and social service providers, advocates and funders who work with low-income immigrant families and undocumented individuals. Our organization helps to support our member organizations in the work they do in the Houston region through funding, resource-sharing and organizational support, while also

creating new initiatives that no one organization can do alone. One of the core functions of the Collaborative is to be a source of timely and accurate information about changing immigration laws. Over the past two years, it has become increasingly clear that we also need to be part of the effort to advance a collective and strategic narrative around immigration. Towards that end, we are moving our programs towards greater focus and capacity in the communications sphere, focusing on telling the stories that need to be told in order to shift the public consciousness towards empathy and justice for all immigrants.


We are looking for local creatives who are interested in helping to advance an inclusive and proimmigrant narrative about the diversity of immigrant experiences as an Art Producer and/or Coach. Our goals are to highlight stories of bravery and truth; to bring together the Houston community to support its vibrant diverse immigrant population with a sense of hope, dignity and respect; and to be inclusive of the broadest array of immigrant stories, including those that challenge the conventional notion of who is a “deserving” immigrant. To do this, we envision a project that may include one or more of the following components:


1. One or more live storytelling events featuring true, personal stories from immigrants and refugees read onstage;

2. Mentoring and coaching for new storytellers who are seeking help in crafting their stories;

3. Other creative ideas about how to tell dignified, challenging, and respectful immigrant stories from an intersectional lens.


We are all committed to social justice and are requesting proposals from the right individuals who have experience in producing live art shows and/or building leadership/resiliency skills within diverse communities. We are seeking producers and creatives who have personal experience with either immigration, trauma-informed work, and/or being intersectional.


Desired Outcomes:

1. To create a safe, trauma-informed and dynamic forum for residents to build community, compassion, and respect for one another through sharing true, personal stories.

2. To create intimacy in the Houston community by making space for conversations between audiences and storytellers.

3. To uplift immigrants as powerful, brave and complex people.

4. To shine a light on the injustices of the deportation pipeline.

5. To evoke empathy and respect for storytellers’ humanity, agency and decisions.

6. To support efforts to take action around important issues affecting immigration.

7. To provide a critique of the oppressive justice system from the perspective of individuals and

families affected by it directly.

8. To support emerging storytellers and artists who want to advocate for themselves.

9. To create spaces where expertise and wisdom come from many languages and cultures.

10. To directly challenge the “good immigrant/bad immigrant” dichotomy and narrative.


Description of the Role of Art Producer/Coach:


The Art Producer/Coach will serve as the creative engineer for the project. We are seeking one or more

people with expertise working with folks from different backgrounds especially immigrants with varying legal statuses. She/He/They must have a cultural awareness of how to work with diverse populations to guide their storytelling journey in the most effective and empowering way, one that showcases the storytellers and their journeys. She/He/They must be ready for a variety of people with different needs, therefore may need to make provisions for supporting storytellers with deep trauma. The Art Producer/Coach will oversee the technical and event production side and assist in outreach and marketing.


The Art Producer/Coach will:

1. Produce one or more live storytelling events – empowering participants to tell stories that are

true and impactful.

2. Provide leadership and resiliency skills – coaching to empower participants, provide guidance in

storytelling endeavors and foster a sense of confidence that makes them more likely to advocate

publicly. This can potentially take the form of experiential workshops throughout the journey of

preparing for the event or can also be done post-production.

3. Create opportunities for a call to action – working with participants and local groups to take

action or support advocacy efforts that may arise during the journey of the event itself.


Ideal criteria for individuals and/or organizations submitting proposals:

1. Have experience working with multicultural folks in a trauma-informed way

2. Have experience in telling stories on sensitive topics

3. Be bilingual

4. Have production/arts background

5. Have good listening skills

6. Be non-judgmental, empathic and have a clear understanding of the many layers of trauma and the issues folks may bring to the table

7. Have experience in creating experiential workshops around leadership building and resiliency skills, which may include the practice of Council– an indigenous practice in listening, reflecting back, holding and creating safe space.


We welcome creative interpretations of this Request for Proposals from organizations, individuals, and groups of individuals.


Please submit proposals (including timeline, budget, and description) to: kate@houstonimmigration.org by June 30, 2019.

Due Date: Jun 30, 2019
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