15 Oct A Fond Farewell to Jim Munroe in 2018!
*** For maximum impact, we recommend that you cue this Youtube video up and listen to it in the background as you read the following post. ***
A message from Jim Munroe
I’d like to announce that at the end of this year, I’ll be stepping away completely from the Hand Eye Society. Since Sagan took over as executive director at the beginning of 2016, I have been working in a fundraising and partnerships role to improve the organization’s financial stability. I was able to focus on expanding our portfolio of funding, establish programming like Camp Make-a-Game with future revenue potential, and develop membership and studio membership support channels. Given that we’re feeling good about where we’re at financially (though it will be an ongoing challenge) and Sagan feels comfortable in the ED role, we’ve decided now is a good time for this change.
And this change has been a long time coming! There were 6 founders who started the organization — Raigan Burns and Mare Sheppard (Metanet), Jon Mak (Queasy), Jim McGinley (Big Pants), and Miguel Sternberg (Spooky Squid Games) — and I’m the last one to be actively involved in running it. When we started it in February 2009, all of us were (and are) practicing game makers and simply wanted to see the videogame arts flourish in the city. We were astonished at the response to this vision, and were able to build only thanks to this community support.
Many organizations never outlive their founders. The fact that after only eight years the organization is now run by people who discovered it through our programs and are inspired by our mandate is truly an ideal outcome.
This kind of community work takes a lot of energy, and a lot of faith, but in the end it all comes back to you. This project has been one of the most fulfilling I’ve ever been involved with, and I’m super-excited to see where the nextgen (and nextnextgen) Hand Eye Society goes!
A message from Sagan Yee
The end of an era is upon us! It’s with optimistic but bittersweet feels that we prepare to bid farewell to Jim Munroe, indie arts kingpin and the long-standing former Executive Director of the first 7 years of Hand Eye’s history. We’ve never known HES without him, so it truly is symbolic of how far we’ve come that we continue to move forward with an entirely different team than existed at the beginning. It’s going to be an exciting challenge, and we have the original co-founders and membership to thank for laying the foundations for a future full of possibilities.
On a personal note, Jim has always believed in my abilities to a degree that anyone should be fortunate enough to experience, especially as a woman in games during the early stages of her career. I’ve always felt free to make my own decisions, and more importantly, my own mistakes, which I think is a key part of the learning process. I can’t stress enough the empowerment that can come from a good mentor, and the value of a leader who is able to intuit when change is needed. As much as I’d like to hope that I’ve had some positive effect on the organization, it’s probably more accurate to claim the reverse: Working for the Hand Eye Society has been one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences of my life, and I’ll always be grateful to Jim for opening a door that I didn’t even realize was there.
The impact of the creativity and independent zeal that Jim has brought to the organization since its humble beginnings can’t be overstated. We wish Jim the best of luck, both with his creative projects as well as a new community resource he’s developing called the Game Arts International Network, and look forward to whatever the next adventure may bring!