Moving Targets: Engaging Mobile Audiences

Posted by David Dombrosky On October - 2 - 2012

David Dombrosky

Over the last few years, I have been paying an increasing amount of attention to mobile technology and its intersection with the arts. Many people in our field hold the philosophy that mobile is the future. I would argue that mobile is the present—it’s where things already are.

If any of you are waiting for a “tipping point” to arrive before you begin exploring how to engage audiences via mobile devices, allow me to gently inform you that you are late to the party.

The point has tipped.

So what are your options?

Participate in mobile-optimized environments
Thankfully, most of us already use mobile-optimized environments to communicate with our audiences. Your Facebook pages and Twitter profiles are presented to mobile users in an optimized format, and your messages on those platforms appear in your followers’ activity streams on their mobile devices—which is critically important given that over 50% of Facebook and Twitter users access their accounts from smartphones and tablet computers.

Develop a mobile website
Whew!  Okay, so at least you have some mobile-optimized content. Now, what about your website? For those of you who have a mobile website, good job. Skip this section. For those of you who do not have a mobile website, I have some questions for you: Read the rest of this entry »

The Arts Ripple Effect Inspires Cincinnati Filmmakers

Posted by Tim Mikulski On March - 7 - 2012

A poster for "Radius: A Short Film."

A fascinating new project out of Cincinnati just recently caught my attention.

Filmmakers were inspired by The Arts Ripple Effect: A Research-Based Strategy to Build Shared Responsibility for the Arts, a study conducted by local arts agency ArtsWave in 2008.

The study and report were “designed to develop an inclusive
 community dialogue leading to broadly shared public responsibility 
for arts and culture in the region” and “concluded that [their] work with the community through arts and
 culture must be based on a foundation that incorporates a deeper 
understanding of the best way to communicate with the public in
 order to achieve that shared sense of responsibility.”

Calling it “the world’s first game-sourced movie,” Radius: A Short Film, created by Possible Worldwide, a WPP Digital company, with multiple Cincinnati-based partners, “the film was shot in and around Cincinnati during MidPoint Music Festival and other arts events.”

What makes it especially unique is that the film was created by editing “from more than 2,000 unique pieces of crowd-sourced content” gathered using a smartphone app called SCVNGR. Read the rest of this entry »

Social Media Trends for 2012

Posted by Tim Mikulski On December - 20 - 2011

David Armano of the Harvard Business Review recently published six 2012 predictions for social media.

Although he made some inaccurate predictions about 2011, here is what he is suggesting for 2012 (with links added by me):

Convergence Emergence. For a glimpse into how social will further integrate with “real life,” we can look at what Coca Cola experimented with all the way back in 2010. Coke created an amusement park where participants could “swipe” their RFID-equipped wristbands at kiosks, which posted to their Facebook account what they were doing and where. Also, as part of a marketing campaign, Domino’s Pizza posted feedback — unfiltered feedback — on a large billboard in Times Square, bringing together real opinions from real people pulled from a digital source and displayed in the real world. These types of “trans-media” experiences are likely to define “social” in the year to come.

The Cult of Influence. In much the same way that Google has defined a system that rewards those who produce findable content, there is a race on to develop a system that will reward those who wield the most social influence. One particular player has emerged, Klout, determined to establish their platform as the authority of digital influence. Klout’s attempt to convert digital influence into business value underscores a much bigger movement which we’ll continue to see play out in the next year.  Read the rest of this entry »

Top Technology Trends: What You Need to Know Now (from Arts Link)

Posted by Tim Mikulski On April - 15 - 2011

If you’re wondering what your organization can do to take chances and make the most of future, it is probably time to try out group discounts, mobile apps, QR codes, etc., check out this new post by tech-pert Amelia Northrop.

The post is an expanded version of an article in our latest members-only newsletter, Arts Link.

For those of you with smartphones, use your barcode app to scan this QR code: 

To find out more about the benefits of becoming a member of Americans for the Arts, visit our Membership page!

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cultureNOW’s Museum Without Walls

Posted by Abby Suckle On April - 14 - 2011

From Albuquerque to New Haven, from Providence to Portland, from Kansas City to Culver City, from Toledo to El Paso, from New Orleans to Albuquerque, over 28 public art collections across America are collaborating with cultureNOW to create a digital National Gallery of art and architecture in the public realm.

Already one of the largest and most comprehensive compendiums in the country, the online collection encompasses more than 6,000 sites and 11,000 images.

The website and iPhone app were created for people who are curious about the world outside of gallery walls.

It is meant to tackle some of the challenges of visiting works of art and architecture.

Is the piece where it’s supposed to be? If you make an excursion to a specific artwork, is something else interesting nearby? How can you minimize schlepping heavy guidebooks around the city?

Would it be possible to actually stand in front of a work of art and see the rest of the pictures, the drawings, the installation photos while you were listening to the artist explain the vision?   Read the rest of this entry »

“Apping” Your Collection

Posted by Danielle Davis On April - 12 - 2011

Public Art PDX App

Have you ever forgotten your iPhone at home and spent the rest of the day wishing it had been your left arm instead?

Whether or not you have embraced smartphones, they have become a fundamental part of the American lifestyle.

In ten years, all cell phones will be smartphones, and every user will expect to be able to instantly access any information they want.

So how do public art programs keep up with this trend? How do we make our collections present in the virtual world?

The answer is both simple and complex.

When it comes to utilizing technology, the possibilities for showcasing our collections are endless.

There are so many possibilities that it becomes very easy to set ourselves up for failure. It becomes too costly, too daunting, and too labor intensive. And for struggling programs, the idea of taking it on usually doesn’t even get off the ground.

However, in the midst of all of the complications, it is easy to forget that stepping into the virtual world begins with a basic foundation—it starts with data. That is to say, good data. Websites and apps are only as good as the data they use. You could spend thousands of dollars developing an app, but if the content is inconsistent or missing, then the money is wasted.

Recently at the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) in Portland, OR, we were presented with the opportunity to showcase our collection on an iPhone app.   Read the rest of this entry »