what artists really want

I’m working on a series of topics for a course this spring — a syllabus, for an eight-week evening class. The course is for artists and cultural organizations, to teach them technical skills that will help them market themselves better and reach new audiences.

In years past, the topics have been pretty basic stuff, like:

  • How to write a press release
  • How to create an artist’s press package
  • How to write an artist’s statement/bio
  • How to work with the media
  • How to brand yourself

I really want to take it step further this year and help artists learn about and how to use some of the web 2.0 tools we’ve been bandying about these parts for some time. But I’ll need to make it very accessible and non-scary, as some artists can be a little gun-shy when it comes to computers and technology.

What topics should I include? What web tools are of actual use to artists trying to reach a broader market? What tools are of actual use to theaters, museums, and historical societies? Which of these are free, and don’t require a lot of specialized technical knowledge to implement?

Here’s what I am thinking about so far:

  • Blogging
  • Photosharing (flickr)
  • Social Networks (myspace, facebook, myartinfo, others)
  • Second Life
  • Twitter
  • Etsy

The course has eight sessions. Each class lasts about two hours, all told.

Here’s how you can help:

  • What other topics should I offer?
  • Who would be the best person to present these topics?
  • Do you have their number?

I *could* present on most of these topics myself. But that hardly means that I’m the best person for the job. What do you think? (I’m submitting this to twitter and I’ll post responses as they come.)

Ronna Porter Ronna @bethdunn How about a theme around helping artists to tell their story, using whichever medium works best eg. video/audio for non-writers?

Dave LaMorte DaveLaMorte @bethdunn: I think that there is a lot of interesting stuff that is allowing artists to interact with their audience directly.

9 Thoughts.

  1. Hmm .. great topic. I created a workshop last year for film artists on how to use social media — covered those topics and more ..
    http://bethkanter.wikispaces.com/Making+Media+Conference

    It’s licensed under creative commons – so it can be remixed.

    I developed lots of artist and the web curriculum for NYFA for Web1.0 .. and I’m sure artists would be very interested.

    Here’s a few of the oldies but goodies and need to be updated ..
    http://www.bethkanter.org/info%5Fcop/

    and this is really old
    http://spiderschool.org/

    a remix of this – with web2.0 flavor
    http://spiderschool.org/workshops/njsca/index.html

  2. oh, almost forgot — here’s another one of my projects. I’m working with the new york state alliance of arts organizations – got a grant from Rockfeller to develop webinar workshops called “Bootstrapping your Music” — we offered a series legal, business, and marketing. I brought some really good people … Jay Moonah who I met at podcamp
    http://nysarts.typepad.com/

  3. Hi,

    YouTube is really interesting because of the way it challenges all kinds of knowledge/creative practitioners to find innovative ways of reaching audiences, from ‘how-to’ demonstrations and ‘speed painting’ (which can be gimmicky) to more everyday uses like vlogging (which still incorporate discussions of or demos of creative practice), to really really cool things like this very elaborate wedding proposal:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=cCiThCeY2Uc

    I think when uses of these new media and networks work well, it’s because artists or musicians or academics explore how best to use the medium first, and how to promote their work through them second. So it’s about “how can I participate effectively in this space” – not “how can I reach the ‘audience’ through this marketing tool”. My 2 cents!

    Oh, and the other one is http://deviantart.com, of course.

  4. What a great topic.

    For more reference, the Technology in the Arts conference wiki has links to your blog coverage and my presentations among a few other things. Still sorry I never got to talk to you there.

    http://tita.pbwiki.com/Resources (password tita2007)

    I do think that an overview of RSS can be helpful – most people don’t understand it yet, but it’s such a great time-saver, and lets you cast your net wider. For artists, it’s great to follow reviews, find blog updates about yourself or about a topic you are interested in – for small (understaffed) institutions, subscribing to feeds is a way to keep up with larger organizations. I put a set of slides here: http://tinyurl.com/2srtah and the handout’s on the conference wiki.

  5. my weekly blogher art & design column illustrates a lot of the ways artists utilize the web to promote their work, stay creative, be connected and prime the well for new ideas. i can send you links. also, my blog is the sole platform for my art–i would be happy to talk about this. without it, i would not have much less exposure, encouragement or frankly, business.

  6. Sorry to be so late on the reply…

    It might be interesting to retool the 23 Library 2.0 things to be more art-related:

    http://plcmcl2-about.blogspot.com/

    There’s a note on the blog re: who to contact, but for the most part, she says yes, and it’s cool.

    You could set it up so that the “weekly” lessons correspond with the syllabus sessions somehow, or something. If you’re interested in using it, and you’d like a hand with it, lemme know. :)

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