The Art of the Business

A blog dedicated to artists who are serious about their business.

Demystifying Social Media Workshop: Dec 1 November 27, 2009

Filed under: Arts Marketing,social media,Workshops — Rebecca Coleman @ 9:31 am
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Well, Simon and I are at it again. We have an upcoming, two-part workshop at the Alliance For Arts and Culture on Dec 1.

Part 1: 9 am-12 pm
Social Media Marketing Theory

The marketing game has changed. The internet’s offer of instant global communication has given us a new tool kit to reach our customers. To succeed in this new arena you first have to understand its language.

There’s no point in learning how to pull the levers until you know why   you’re standing at the controls. In this morning session, the facilitators will discuss the paradigm shift in marketing from its traditional forms to the social internet. They will talk about what it means to join a social network, the etiquette required and how to choose the platforms that are right for you.

The facilitators have been using social media platforms such as Blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube with measurable success for several years now, and will pass on the lessons they’ve learned. And they’ll examine the art of communicating and building relationships within this compelling new world.

Part 2: 1-4 pm
Theory into Practice

In this afternoon follow-up of the morning’s Introductory Workshop, you will move from theory to practice,as the facilitators share clear, concrete methods and tips for building your social media marketing plan using the most effective sites in the landscape of platforms: Blogs, Facebook, E-mail newsletters, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

This is where we will answer all those nagging questions about the weird and wonderful world of Social Marketing. The techniques may have changed but the abiding principle of Marketing is the same as it’s always been, and always will be: building relationships based on trust. And that is the heart of Social Media.

Both workshops take place at
The Alliance for Arts and Culture
100- 938 Howe Street

Each workshop costs $50 for members, $75 for non-members.

Click here to register.

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Alliance calls community meeting for Wednesday August 31, 2009

Filed under: Finances,Politics of Arts — Rebecca Coleman @ 7:31 am
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From Kevin McKeown, the new Director of Communications at The Alliance for Arts and Culture:

Alliance for Arts and Culture
ARTS COMMUNITY MEETING

Wednesday, September 2, 2009
1 pm to 3 pm
Museum of Vancouver
1100 Chestunut Street

The Alliance for Arts and Culture will convene a community meeting on Wednesday, September 2 at the Museum of Vancouver to discuss our options in response to this week’s announcements regarding BC Gaming Commission Direct Access Grants. The meeting will run from 1 pm to 3 pm.

We will attempt to quantify the damage, bring one-another up-to-date on protest initiatives currently being taken by individual artists, organizations and discipline sectors, and discuss the pros and cons of several possible courses of action for the future.

This meeting will NOT be open to the media, elected officials or cultural sector bureaucrats. While we appreciate the support we are receiving from many in each of these sectors, the arts community needs this opportunity to “talk among ourselves”.

This is NOT a “rally” so we are only looking for one or two pesons from each arts organizations to attend. A full-scale arts community rally in the near future will be one of the options discussed. So please don’t send your entire staff and/or membership!

Arts organizations that are not members of the Alliance are welcome to send representatives to this gathering.

Please RSVP to kdm@allianceforartsandculture.com indicating how many representatives from your organization will be attending. Seating is limited, so we need to count noses. We will begin at precisely 1 pm, so plan to arrive early.

QUANTIFYING THE DAMAGE
We have had numerous emails over the past few days from Alliance members and non-members informing us of declined Direct Access grants.

To help us quantify the damage to our community in advance of Wednesday’s community meeting, could you take a moment to email us the following details, in the order noted:

  • Name of your organization.
  • Amount of declined grant request.
  • Whether this was a one-year or multi-year grant.
  • If multi-year, which year was declined.
  • How many years your organization has been receiving Direct Access funding.
  • Whether your organization has a BC Arts Council grant pending.

The government now seems to be mixing apples with oranges in order to make it as difficult as possible to understand our exact standing with various sources of funding. At least one arts organization has received confirmation of a BCAC grant which cites the Gaming Grants Program as the source of the funds, and states that the money will be deposited to the recipient’s Gaming account.

If you receive a similar BCAC grant confirmation, please let us know whether that grant is for the full amount of your original BCAC funding request.

We would also like to hear from any organization which received a Direct Access Grant or grant confirmation in the past week, or does so in the coming days. So far, the only approved grants seem to be those confirmed prior to the freeze — most of them in May.

Please keep your responses to the above questions brief and factual. I will have to compile the answers in a spreadhseet, and lengthy and anecdotal replies will slow down the process.

Thank you for your collaboration.

MEDIA CONFERENCE
The Alliance for Arts and Culture will hold a media conference to announce the outcomes of Wednesday’s community meeting on Thursday, September 3, at a time and place to be determined.

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Arts coummunity concerned about cuts to the BC Arts Council July 15, 2009

Filed under: Politics of Arts — Rebecca Coleman @ 12:43 am
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This email arrived in my inbox on Monday from Peter Boychuck, the communications manager at The Alliance for Arts and n49054709430_9822Culture.  Since then, it has been widely spread, but in case you haven’t seen it:

The arts and cultural sector in British Columbia is facing an imminent crisis. The Service Plans for the next two years show a 40% reduction in funding for the BC Arts Council. The BC Arts Council is the largest funding body in the province; last year, more than 224 communities throughout British Columbia depended on it for support.

“The impact to the province will be devastating,” said Amir Ali Alibhai, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Arts & Culture. “The BC Arts Council supports a sector that employs 80,000 people and generates $5.2-billion annually. It is bigger than the forestry and fishing industries combined. At a time when the government is doing everything they can to create and retain jobs, why are they implementing measures that will trigger layoffs and cause organizations to reduce programming?

According to Ministry’s own research, for every dollar invested in the arts, the province gets back $1.38 in taxes. There are also countless studies that show that arts and culture creates healthy communities, enhances education, and helps to shape our cultural identity.

The government has defended the cuts as a necessary and discretionary, but artists and their communities are unconvinced. “No other government in the country has reduced funding for arts and culture during the recession,” said Minna Schendlinger of the PuSh Festival. “In fact, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and the Government of Canada have all increased their investments.” In their estimation, arts and culture are clearly valued and recognized as an important area to invest by other governments – they are not seen as discretionary nor a frill; they are core investments.

During a recent interview with Scott Walker of ProArt Alliance in Victoria, the new Minister for Tourism, Culture, Kevin Krueger, characterized the arts community as unconcerned. “I am not hearing complaints at all from the arts and cultural community,” he said. “I think people are pretty happy with what we’ve done.”

“The arts community is genuinely grateful for the past support that the Liberals in BC have given to arts and culture,” said Mr. Alibhai. “However, the proposed cuts take us back to much older funding levels. The effect will be a costly creative drain in this province, and it will be next to impossible to regain the ground lost.”

If you are concerned about the cuts to funding in the arts in BC, and want Mr. Krueger to know about it, then send him an email at kevin.krueger.mla@leg.bc.ca.

UPDATE, JULY 16: Someone has started a Facebook Group in protest. Join and voice your complaint.

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A blog-bate! May 4, 2009

Filed under: Politics of Arts — Rebecca Coleman @ 7:32 am
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During last year’s federal election, the arts, which have traditionally gotten left by the wayside in political campaigns, were brought front and centre by a political debate focused on the arts called The Wrecking Ball. These debates took place in several major cities across the country. Our local Wrecking Ball was organized by The Alliance for Arts and Culture, and it was, in a word, inspiring.

Here in BC, we are in the throes of a Provincial election–we go to the polls on May 12. According to an article in The Georgia Straight, the arts are pretty far down on the priority list when it comes to platforms.

While both the NDP and Greens have pledged to increase arts funding, the B.C. Liberals have not. The NDP has vowed to restore the arts funding cut in 2009, increase the budget for the B.C. Arts Council, and provide a new $50-million capital fund to be administered by the B.C. Arts Council for investment in projects that “support the growth and sustainability” of professional and community arts, culture, and heritage sectors. The Green party platform calls for increasing funding to the B.C. Arts Council, establishing a separate Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage, and cooperating with other levels of government to fund an “indigenous peoples culture and arts plan for B.C.” Meanwhile, the only mention of the arts in the Liberals’ platform comes in the context of boosting tourism: “It [increasing tourism revenues] is why we established the $150-million B.C. 150 Cultural Fund and are investing $50 million in a new generation Vancouver Art Gallery.” (read the entire article here)

In an attempt to bring Arts more to the forefront, The Alliance for Arts and Culture has arrainged a debate–a virtual one:

In an innovative departure from the usual all-candidates debates, the Alliance for Arts & Culture will host a “live-blogging” forum on May 4th at 4pm with Spencer Herbert (NDP candidate), Vanessa Violini (Green Party candidate). At this point, no Liberal Party candidate has chosen to participate; however, Bill Bennett, Liberal candidate and former Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts – who cited prior commitments – will post a prepared statement on behalf of the Liberals.

You are invited to participate: visit the Alliance’s blog, and drop a question to the candidates in the comments section. Then, you can follow the debate as it is live-blogged on May 4.

The only way to make a difference is to speak out!

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Demistifying Social Media: new date added! April 24, 2009

You can argue with me on this one, but I think, maybe, the two sweetest words in the English language are: sold out.

Simon Ogden and I got asked to do a workshop on using social media as a tool for marketing your art practice by our local Alliance For Arts and Culture, and it was embarrassing how fast we said, “hell, yeah!” The workshop was set for May 5, and I’m happy to report, that workshop is sold out. Us being the accommodating people we are, we promptly added a second date: May 12. So, if May 5 didn’t work for you, or you missed out on the first one, here’s your chance to check it out.

Read Simon’s post about his “Simonarer” here.

Read about the workshop and sign up for it here.

 

Demystifying Social Media: A Workshop March 30, 2009

I belong to a group of people that all to marketing for Arts Organizations, here in Vancouver. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know by now that we are suffering from loss of media coverage of our events, due to cutbacks in newspapers, and, this week, the CBC.

It seems, then, more important than ever, to learn about and take advantage of, new ways of generating publicity. For me, right now, it’s about social media. The problem with social media is that it is so new, and because of that, is constantly evolving. Plus, there is a dizzying array of sites out there–how can you possibly manage them all?

I’m so glad you asked. Simon Ogden and I have been asked to lead a workshop on Demystifying Social Media, specifically for Artists. This workshop will take place on May 5, 1-5 pm, at the Alliance for Arts and Culture (938 Howe St).

This four-hour workshop will help neophyte and experienced arts marketers and publicists to navigate this new world of opportunity. Site by site, we will:

  • introduce you to the language and etiquette of social media and Web 2.0
  • define its place in your personal marketing toolbox
  • dispel all those inevitable misconceptions that go hand-in-hand with emerging technologies
  • help you create a new media marketing plan that’s right for your organization

Workshop cost: $50 (+GST) for Alliance members, $75 (+GST) for non-members

Please phone 604-681-3535 or email info@allianceforarts.com to register.

Hope to see you there!

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The new Provinical Budget February 23, 2009

On Feb 17, the British Columbia provincial government released its new budget. I was honestly not even going to write anything on it, because it was so depressing. But I do like to fire up the masses if I can, so I am digging myself out of my hole of self-wallowing pity.

Okay, first off, I get that these are difficult financial times. In the past few months, we have gone from “the economy is in a downturn” to the dreaded ‘R’-word: “recession.” Comparisons are being drawn to the great Depression. US President Obama is handing over kazillions (yes, that’s a technical term) of dollars in bailout money, and our own government is saying it’s going into debt, and it’s okay with that if it stimulates the economy.

I also totally get that art is the first thing to be cut back on, along with luxury items. Art is often considered to be a luxury, even at the best of times. But still, this is ridiculous.

The short version of the story is that the government cut nearly 40% of its culture budget: from $19.5 million last year to $11.9 million this year.

From The Alliance for Arts and Culture:

The cuts to arts and culture in this budget are dramatic and potentially devastating. Essentially, it amounts to a 40% cut to core funding, which will further increase over the next two years. This is particularly troubling considering that the 2008/09 Service Plan for the Ministry was planning for significant increases in investments in this sector.

In 2007, B.C.’s creative industries employed approximately 74,000 people and generated $2.3 billion – 1.6 per cent of the province’s GDP. The demand for cultural goods in this province is one of the highest in the country. Not only that, but the province gets back 138% of its cultural investment in taxes. It is more important than ever that British Columbians realize that arts and culture are not frills or luxuries – they are essential to our lives and to our ability to be competitive in the new creative economy which is emerging.

The Georgia Straight says:

Don’t let the rhetoric of the throne speech confuse you. The B.C. Liberal government has declared war on the arts in its budget. And it did so to score cheap political points in rural B.C. to try to win the next provincial election.

The Alliance ends with a call to action: write to your MLA and let them know how important the Arts are. Anyone who attended The Wrecking Ball will know that we can be force to be reckoned with.

Read the entire Alliance article here.

Read the entire Georgia Straight article here.

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