Go Deep to Go Wide

Posted by Jeanette Lee and Mike Medow On December - 6 - 2012

Attendees enjoy an Allied Media Conference session.

Organizers often believe we have to choose between breadth and depth. Do we prioritize meaningful relationships or strive to “reach” the greatest number of people?

At Allied Media Projects we see this is a false dichotomy. Over the past 15 years of organizing the annual Allied Media Conference (AMC), we have learned that we can achieve broad engagement while also prioritizing deep relationships.

Relationships are key

The AMC has a unique conference organizing model that fosters relationships at the internal and interpersonal, community, and inter-community levels. Small-scale relationships fostered through the AMC have ripple effects that create large-scale impact. Founded as a zine conference in 1999 around the independent press mantra of “become the media,”  the AMC has since evolved a theory of change that says:

Creating our own media is a process of speaking and listening that allows us to investigate the problems that shape our realities, imagine other realities and then organize our communities to make them real. When we use media in this way, we transform ourselves from consumers of information to producers, from objects within narratives of exploitation and violence to active subjects in the transformation of the world.

Our definition of “media” has grown over the years to include everything from breakdancing to broadcasting community radio and building web applications. The conference features more than 140 hands-on workshops, strategy conversations, caucus meetings, and art and music events. Read the rest of this entry »

Joan Goshgarian

“It’s easy for me to be passionate about producing beautiful photography. It’s a lot harder to get excited about the mundane details of running my photography business. This conference was an excellent source of information on legal details that are an important part of any artist’s business. Although it would be impossible to get all the answers in one day, I now have a better idea of the questions to ask. I also made connections with other artists and organizations that can help me strengthen my business.”  ~ Becky Field, Photographer, Concord, NH

So begins the feedback from the attendees at the Arts, Culture, and Law Conference that the New Hampshire Business Committee for the Arts (NHBCA) sponsored in June along with the New Hampshire Departments Cultural Resources and Justice, the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits, and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) School of Law. The conference was designed for members of the arts and cultural industry, artists and organizations and board members, as well as legal professionals interested in cultural issues.

I was involved with this conference because the NHBCA started the Lawyers for the Arts/New Hampshire program in 1991 with our member law firms to offer arts-related legal assistance on a no-fee basis to artists and organizations.

In 2002, the NHBCA established a relationship with the UNH School of Law (then known as the Franklin Pierce Law Center) in Concord to refer these artists and arts organizations to the on-site clinic at their school.

The clinic is student-staffed and faculty-supervised, and in general assists people in civil matters who are unable to pay. In addition, UNH School of Law is a specialist in intellectual property matters and has a history of assisting those with issues in a variety of creative fields. Since the inception of the Lawyers for the Arts hundreds of artists and arts organizations have used this service.

In conjunction with the beginnings of the Lawyers for the Arts program, the NHBCA member law firms also created a booklet “Incorporation and Tax Exemption for New Hampshire Arts and Other Nonprofit Organizations: An Introductory Guide.” They responded to our request for this publication because we all have a demonstrated belief in and commitment to the importance of the arts and entire nonprofit community in New Hampshire. Read the rest of this entry »

Tweeting Your Way to a Better Conference

Posted by Tara Connolly & Marshall Rollings On March - 20 - 2012
Tara Connolly

Tara Connolly

The Southern Entrepreneurship in the Arts conference (SEA), an initiative of the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center (NCEC) in partnership with national group Self Employment in the Arts, was at a turning point. As we planned the third annual conference for February 2012, we knew this would be our “make-it-or-break-it” year.

Having seen a drop in attendance and revenue during the second annual conference, we needed to regain the momentum we cultivated during the first annual conference, which attracted nearly 300 attendees from nine states to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) to participate.

Marshall Rollings

Marshall Rollings

We reworked the conference structure and partnered with a regional arts initiative, the Tri State Sculptors Association Iron Pour, hosted at Sculptor Jim Gallucci’s studio, to incorporate the event into pre-conference reception. We knew SEA 2012 was packed with diverse content and value. But could we reach and re-engage our target audience?

We increased marketing across multiple channels with support from Opportunity Greensboro, The Coleman Foundation, and Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff. Additionally, two weeks prior, we arranged a “live tweet” for the conference, which surpassed our expectations and helped to generate more buzz before, during, and after the conference.

On February 11, 352 people, including 198 students and 107 artists, gathered at UNCG for the third annual SEA Conference to share entrepreneurial strategies and resources to help emerging artists become successful in their careers and to network among students, emerging artists, working artists, business professionals, and community organizations. Read the rest of this entry »