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Tuning Up: Writing workshops for girls + 1858 Prize + Twitter

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...

Writing workshops for girls.  Big opportunity here for high school girls (grades 9-12) who are serious about honing their sci-fi and fantasy and/or poetry-writing skills: Columbia College is to offer two workshops June 18-22 on its campus, one on each topic. We don't cross-post much, but take a quick peek at Arts Daily for more information. The poetry workshop will be taught by Dr. Ray McManus, who pitched in as one of the judges for the Poetry Out Loud state finals this past March. Good enough for government work. It's not mentioned in the story, but just so you know, an additional $100,000 appropriated to the S.C. Arts Commission's budget by the Senate is among the differences to be reconciled by a General Assembly conference committee next month. While the budget was not sent to Gov. McMaster by the legislators' self-imposed deadline, this story claims a government shutdown is unlikely. The Hub and SCAC, along with other dedicated state employees, are grateful. Follow us. Do you follow us on Twitter? We'd hate to think you'd miss such social media goodness as this (right). Social media, for all its ills, is also one incredible tool. We're hoping to improve our Twitter presence, while (clearly) not taking ourselves too seriously. Last call for 1858! Applications for the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art awarded by our friends at the Gibbes Museum will be accepted through May 31! The 1858 Prize awards $10,000 to an artist whose work contributes to a new understanding of art in the South. Learn more here.

How you can save arts journalism, starting right now.

Arts administrator and marketing consultant Howard Sherman explains why arts journalism is a numbers game and what you can do to encourage more media coverage of the arts.

I am going to take it for granted that, since you’ve opted to read this article, you care about the arts. I’m also going to save time and typing by assuming that you appreciate media coverage of the arts and that you realize that without the attention of the media, it will be ever harder for the arts to share their news, their work and their value locally, nationally and internationally. Since we are agreed, I will proceed directly to my point. If you want to see intelligent, comprehensive coverage of the arts – features and reviews alike – then you’ve got to start clicking. Journalism is well on its way to being a numbers game for most outlets. How many people clicked on a story or video, how many times was it liked or shared, how much time was spent looking at it? We are already seeing journalism sites paying writers base salaries with bumps or bonuses based on online metrics; outlets say they are dropping certain types of coverage because it’s simply not generating enough traffic. It’s not enough to be happy that arts coverage exists, you have to actually engage with it to insure its survival and the job survival of those who create it. Clicks mean eyes and eyes mean advertisers. As print becomes an ever-harder sell, online advertising grows ever more important to outlets. Even back in the days pre-internet, I encountered cuts in arts coverage because the arts didn’t generate enough advertising revenue (whereas advertisers loved sports sections and we get regular features about new cars because auto dealers buy big ads). Even now, arts spending online is a small sliver of online advertising, so our best means of supporting arts coverage is by actually reading it. Let’s face it: anyone with a WordPress blog knows how many people read each piece they post (yes, I’m watching you). But that’s amateur hour compared to the realtime and cumulative algorithms and analytics applied at big media outlets. There are teams of people looking at clicks, links and likes for every story, and media empires are being built on click-bait methodology (why, hello BuzzFeed). It’s running the show in many places and it can’t be ignored. So here’s what I propose. Every morning, when you get online, go to the arts section of your local media outlets, seek out their arts and entertainment stories, and click of them. Don’t click on each in rapid succession, but spend 30 to 45 seconds on each one (remember your multiple browser windows). You have to wait a bit because one analytic is stickiness or hang-time or whatever it’s called now, namely whether people are really engaging with coverage. A click on and immediate click off looks like you got there by mistake. And needless to say, it certainly won’t hurt in the least if you actually read a story or watch a video while you’re at it. Read the complete article on Sherman's blog.
Via: Howard Sherman

Marketing your arts organization on social media

In this feature article from The National Arts Marketing Project, Amanda Bohan offers seven "thought-starters" for creating an effective social media marketing strategy.

As the president of a digital marketing company and a long-time arts marketing lecturer, I often get asked questions about social media and how it can play into an organization’s overall marketing plan. The truth is, there’s no one simple answer and it really varies based on the organization’s goals and resources. With new platforms popping up on a regular basis, establishing an effective social media marketing plan can be overwhelming to say the least. And while these platforms might be “free” it is important to remember the time that goes into them which ultimately equates to dollars. In this post, I’d like to share some of the thought-starters that I give to organizations who are looking to start, or even refresh, their social media strategy. 1. Establish social media objectives for your organization: Common objectives often include, 1.) Building awareness around the organization, 2.) Increasing ticket sales and attendance, and 3.) Increasing engagement with current and future patrons. By setting social media objectives, you establish the framework of your social media plan. 2. Determine where your audience (and future audience) is most likely to interact with you: For this one, be sure to think beyond what is trendy! It’s easy to get caught up with new sites, updates, and case studies. But at the end of the day, it’s important that your organization is in the right place, rather than the “right now” place. For example, if your target audience is Women 35+, Tumblr might not be the best place, whereas if your target is Women 18-24, it might be a better match. 3. Think about what type of content you’ll promote through your social media channels: Are you an organization that always has something new happening, or are you only active just a few times per year? Many organizations have breaks in activity, so they have to consider what types of content gets posted during those lulls. Is it upcoming events? Or is it an opportunity to post about partner organizations? 4. Decide where you’ll get your content from: Once you’ve decided which platforms you’ll be on and how often you’ll post, you’ll need to think about where your content sources will come from. For many organizations, the automatic answer is “our website.” And while that will be part of it, it’s important to determine additional content sources that relate to your organization without necessarily being direct properties. I recommend making a list of potential sources. For example, if you’re a ballet company, you might include Dance Magazine and the New York Times Arts section as two of your sources. 5. Map out your resources: Determine who will implement your plan. Will different people share responsibilities, or will it fall to a single person? For example, if someone is in charge of content development, will someone else be in charge of approving? These are all important things to consider. 6. Establish how much time will be allotted for social media efforts: Before you begin your social media plan, designate how much time will be spent on it in relation to your other marketing initiatives. In addition, consider testing out some timesaving tools like Hootsuite that allow you to upload content ahead of time. The key is to make the process seamless. 7. Put a measurement plan in place to track your success: Once you’ve figured out how you will execute your social media strategy, you’ll want to determine how you’ll measure it. Will it be the number of likes/followers you’ve gained, the amount of people who engage on each post, or maybe total increase in sales? This will depend on your objectives set at the beginning of the process. As the social media landscape continues to evolve, these thought-starters will serve as a helpful checklist to refer back to as you refine and refresh your strategy. And remember, while it’s tempting to join the newest and most popular sites, it’s more important to create a unique plan that works best for your organization.
Via: National Arts Marketing Project

Social media as a tool for arts teachers

WeAreTeachers blogger Hannah Hudson offers ideas for using online communities like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to spark classroom conversations about the nature of art and its audience, as well as inspiring students in their own creative projects. For example,
Invite students to respond to social media in a creative way. At its essence, social media is about conversation: “Here’s what I think—how about you?” Other people’s Facebook posts, YouTube videos and blog entries can often stir a deep emotional or intellectual response. Try challenging your students to choose a post, video or pin as inspiration for their own works of art, whether it’s a drawing, piece of writing, graphic or short film. You might encourage students to share their responses on a different social media platform than the original posts with the goal to broaden the conversations and their reach.
You can read her full post, The Teacher Report: 5 Ways Social Media Can Inspire Young Artists, at The WeAreTeachers Blog.

About WeAreTeachers

WeAreTeachers was founded in 2007 by Sandy Fivecoat, a former teacher, administrator, researcher, policy director and executive coach. She felt that teachers know their own students' needs and challenges best, so she wanted to put money directly into educators' hands, resulting in a community-based grant program. Fivecoat also saw a need for a one-stop destination where educators could find resources, and that's what WeAreTeachers aims to be today. WeAreTeachers offers lesson plan ideas, expert strategies, professional development resources and opportunities for educators to win cash and prizes for their innovative teaching strategies.

How are arts organizations using digital technologies?

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project (PIP) has released the results of a new survey, "Arts Organizations and Digital Technologies." The survey was designed to understand how arts organizations are using the internet, social media and other digital technologies to connect with the public. The survey focused specifically on how arts organizations are navigating the changing technological landscape, how it has impacted their mission-driven work, and the challenges and opportunities. Individuals from 3,644 arts organizations that had received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in the past five years were invited to take the survey; 1,244 completed at least part of the survey. Eye on Flat Panel Monitor An excerpt from the summary: "The internet and social media are integral to the arts in America. (The) survey finds that technology use permeates these organizations, their marketing and education efforts, and even their performance offerings. Moreover, many organizations are using the internet and social media to expand the number of online performances and exhibits, grow their audience, sell tickets, and raise funds online, while allowing patrons to share content, leave comments, and even post their own content on organizations’ sites. The internet and digital technologies have also disrupted much of the traditional art world, according to these organizations. It has changed audience expectations, put more pressure on arts groups to participate actively in social media and, in some circumstances, undercut organizations’ missions and revenue streams. Even the notion of art is changing: 77% of respondents strongly agree or somewhat agree with the statement that digital technologies have 'played a major role in broadening the boundaries of what is considered art.' Tied to this embrace of technology is a widespread sense among arts group leaders that digital technologies are critical to the spread of the arts." Read or download the full report here. Video: Jeffrey Brown of PBS Newshour's Art Beat interviews Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, about the survey findings. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgUlcgjloRw&feature=youtu.be Via: Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.  "Arts Organizations and Digital Technologies" by Kristin Thomson, Kristen Purcell and Lee Rainie. Jan. 4, 2013