I’m thrilled to announce that I’m joining the company Withfriends as a co-founder, stakeholder, and Chief Information Officer.
Through the past eight years, Indexical has grown from a door-gig concert series into a self-sustaining nonprofit organization with a board and institutional funding. I’ve seen firsthand what a community of dedicated supporters can do for small businesses, organizations, and collectives.
Starting from a one-time grant of $1,000 from our local Arts Council of Santa Cruz County, we’ve presented over 60 events and directly paid over $35,000 to artists for performances over the last few years. This has only been possible because of the dedication of our audience, the creativity of the hundreds of artists who performed, and the work of the core organizing staff of the last few years — Madison Heying, David Kant, Laura Steenberge, and Mustafa Walker. I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved together.
I’m excited about Withfriends because of the chance to work with the co-founders, Joe Ahearn and Kunal Gupta, in developing a sustainable membership platform for small businesses and organizations everywhere. Joe and Kunal were organizers at the venue and radical community space Silent Barn in Brooklyn, and their dedication to building community out of all aspects of civic life — from barbers to noise musicians — is a holistic ideal that I admire.
At Withfriends, I’ll be building out some of the core reporting and member-analytics technology, creating online communities where members can share what they love about businesses and organizations, and helping organizations find ways to identify their most dedicated patrons.
While I’ll be scaling back my time commitment for Indexical, it’s not going away any time soon. We’ve planned a series of online projects for 2021, we have a few releases in the can, and know that when we’re able to present live performances again our audience and community will still be there. We’re able to continue guaranteeing artistic fees — thanks to the continued generosity of our members and key foundation partners — and are working to broaden and diversify the curatorial voices who guide our programming. I’m excited for what we have in store, and hope you’ll stay tuned in.
Andrew C. Smith