They’re baaaaaack…

School’s back in session, and this semester I’m teaching both arts marketing and a social media seminar.  The students are required to subscribe to Artini so keep your comments clean.

In the year and a half since I first taught the social media seminar, a lot has changed.  For one thing, my students (or at least the current crop of students!) are much more savvy about social media than they were last time around.  For another, so many more arts organizations are not only embracing social media but pioneering exciting innovations using new media that we promise to have an embarrassment of riches to discuss.  I’ve seen a rapid uptick this year in the use of QR codes, mobile apps, and other tools, even by smaller organizations.  We have a lot to talk about.

Certainly social media is a part of marketing, but social and other new media are also a part of programming.  Apps that provide museum commentary, YouTube previews of shows, and web-created content are becoming the norm, not the exception.

Here’s my question of the day (expressed as multiple questions, as is my habit).  Does incorporating new media into our programming hurt or help our traditional programming?  Are people who can find a video of Merce Cunningham or George Balanchine on YouTube less likely or more likely to attend a live ballet?  How has using new media affected your organization?

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About Ellen Rosewall

I am Professor and Chair of Arts Management and author of Arts Management: Uniting Arts and Audiences in the 21st Century (Oxford University Press, 2013). I believe that arts and culture are undergoing a profound change in the 21st century, and I love talking with people about how we continue to bring arts to our communities and individuals give the brave new world of social media, technology and economic changes. Join the conversation!
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2 Responses to They’re baaaaaack…

  1. Betsy Tanenbaum says:

    It helps!…

    …As long as it doesn’t take over the programming – the bread and butter of your organization – it can only enhance the programs that are already available if done thoughtfully. Here are a couple of my own experiences:

    While I’ve only been with the organization I am currently with for a year and a half, it was immediately obvious to me that we have a large constituency of supporters who are also snow birds (for those not familiar with the term: retired individuals who spend their winters in the south…Arizona, Florida…). The organization was founded in 1979 by active community members. Past Board members of New Visions must comprise about 30% of the Marshfield population – or at least it seems that way…

    People who have been around “since the beginning” still like to engage with the organization (we are very fortunate), even though they may also be snow birds. Many of them are also now on Facebook – one of the wonderful ways that we can keep in touch and keep everyone informed on a more day to day basis. This year, since our annual fundraising event, Fun d’ Arts, has taken place the first Saturday in February since ’79, we are experimenting with having some items available for bid through an online bidding site called BiddingforGood. The site just opened a few days ago, so the jury is still out on its success!

    Previously, I worked for Clackamas County Arts Alliance in Oregon as their Public Art Manager. The field of public art can be very contentious at times. It is difficult for the average citizen hearing about budget shortfalls to see a sculpture with a budget of $50,000 cited permanently in a public space. Communication about the project and where those funds are coming from is key, as well as building public support for projects. After the installation of one project, people voiced concerns on our organizations’ Facebook page. It provided an excellent opportunity to clarify that these funds were less than 1% of the total construction budget set aside for “amenities”. (One thing I’ve heard over and over again: never delete negative comments from Facebook unless they use offensive language, etc. Work with the negative feedback and address concerns.)

    As far as building public support, we used the YouTube platform and created videos about public art projects. The videos served many purposes, including: giving information about the project that one cannot get from a plaque, humanizing the artist in the project so that people feel a more personal connection, promoting understanding of the work that goes into public sculpture. We also created a video for the Artist Exhibit Program that helps emerging artists prepare for professional exhibits. Since artists are visual people and learn best visually – it just makes sense! http://www.youtube.com/user/ClackamasArts We are planning to integrate some of these concepts at New Visions when we open new exhibits – using it as a preview to go and see the real thing!

    OK – I’ve shared enough…my reputation for being long-winded continues!

  2. I always love your comments, Betsy – keep ’em coming!

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