After reading nuts and bolts ideas for marketing your public art in Part One yesterday, here are some innovative ways New England-based (and one Mid-Atlantic) public art programs get the word out:
8. Mapping public art & walking tours. State and municipal programs in New England use Google to create public art maps. You too can create a map by clicking on “My Places” in Google Maps and pinning locations. Public art walks are also effective. They can be in the form of downloadable maps, printed maps, and audio guides. The Boston Arts Commission taps into family audiences with its Family Walk called Public Art QUESTions—a guide for talking about public art with kids in Boston.
The Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium utilizes the draw of Maine tourism. Its website proclaims “enjoy public art and Maine’s scenic vistas while you and your family visit the magnificent sculptures on the Symposium Sculpture Tour. Culture NOW is an online website that allow public art programs to upload and map their public art collections. The website features self-guided tours, podcasts, maps and smartphone apps.
9. Audio/Videotape it. Video narratives are effective ways to increase awareness of and access to public art. The Vermont Arts Council hired a filmmaker to create a documentary about the process and product of the Danville Project. The Middlebury College Museum of Art hired a student to create video versions of its downloadable audio walking tour. The Museum uploaded the videos to YouTube and visitors play audio/video on their smartphones while viewing the works. The Museum also added QR codes to the stone markers so that visitors can scan their way quickly to the content. Philadelphia’s Association of Public Art is leading the pack with its Museum Without Walls audio tours—a great model for all.
10. Artist-driven communications. Mary Tinti, curatorial fellow at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, asserts that artists are reluctant self-promoters. One of the best strategies for a public artist is to create their own blog to post photographs, behind-the-scene stories of the process, and goals and outcomes of the project. The blog link is easily forwarded and cross-promoted.
11. Engage the next generation. Cambridge Arts Council runs a Public Art Youth Council program in which teenagers are recruited and hired to work under the guidance of Public Art Program staff to create activities and events that deepen their understanding of and engagement with public art.
12. Measure success. Public art program and project evaluation will largely be measured through users interaction with your online presence. Track your web and blog hits through Google Analytics. Go back and check your social media hits as well. Read viewer comments and learn what worked and didn’t. Follow up with each new ‘like’!
All of these suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg; public art is multifaceted and so are the communications and marketing strategies behind each project.
How do you market your public art? Share your tips below!