Behind the Scenes / July 2018

Meet Jos, Our New Director of Impact and Engagement

1. What did you do before joining Interactive Mechanics?

Throughout my career, I’ve done a range of cool things from software development to working as a filmmaker and performing artist. Just 3 days prior to joining Interactive Mechanics, I wrapped up a city-wide storytelling project with Love Now Media. I spent the last 2 years working there as the Chief Storyteller and building a multimedia body of work which explored love as a lens for restorative narratives that could advocate for justice, wellness, and equity. I also worked as an Adjunct Professor for Temple University in the Klein College of Media and Communications.

2. How did you get into business development?

I’ve been a social entrepreneur for many years. It’s rewarding to connect institutions that are doing great work to the audiences they want to reach while making the impact they want to make. I learned the basics of business, information technology, and art through my education. Since then, I launched 4 organizations (LLC and nonprofits) and tested my passion for business development through trial, error, pivoting, listening, and helping people to tell their stories.

3. What’s your go-to place to spark your creativity?

Believe it or not, karaoke. It’s my happy place. Somehow my poor attempts to hit Whitney Houston’s high notes awaken my creativity. I think karaoke forces me to confront fears and creates an opportunity for me to fully accept my own voice, to play, to explore, and to imagine the possibility of one day hitting all of the notes. Once I sing a song or two, I feel free to think outside of the box and to try new approaches to things that seem difficult.

4. What did you love about the last museum you visited?

I last visited 2 museums on the same day: the Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Colored Girls Museum. What I loved about them both was their commitment to engaging non-traditional museum audiences. The Philadelphia Art Museum has a program called Detours which engages new audiences through recontextualizing their exhibits through different artistic lenses. The Colored Girls Museum hosted a storytelling workshop with a group of women artists from all walks of life. To experience both on the same day reinvigorated my love for the physical spaces museums occupy and the kind of creativity those spaces can cultivate.

5. What’s your favorite spot in Philadelphia?

My favorite spot in Philadelphia is Kelly Parkway. Between Boathouse Row, the Schuylkill River, ducks, grass, and trees, I always find peace when taking a run, walking or riding a bike there. There are also a few gems like the Cosmic Cafe, the cute outdoor space with seating and good food, and if you walk towards the Art Museum, there are little pavilions and walkways that showcase the beauty of the city from all points of view.