ArtLInks Director talk at Irish Arts Council Seminar on New Media


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ArtLInks Director talk at Irish Arts Council Seminar on New Media

  1. 1. profiling & linking Arts Communities in South East Ireland using social media Cathy Fitzgerald, ArtLinks Member & Director
  2. 2. What is <ul><li>innovative 5 county, local authority Arts programme for adult , amateur & professional arts practitioners: </li></ul><ul><li>in Co’s Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford & Wicklow </li></ul><ul><ul><li>for literature, music, visual arts, dance, theatre /drama, film </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for individuals, groups, bands, societies, festivals, arts managers, venues / art promoters </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>between local arts practitioners, Arts Offices & the Arts Council </li></ul><ul><li>started in 2006 with consultation to all practitioners in region – their needs formed basis for the ArtLinks Professional Development programme </li></ul>a unique partnership...
  4. 4. <ul><li>to cultivate a culture of self-sufficiency & collaboration among arts practitioners </li></ul><ul><li>Aim: </li></ul><ul><li>provide accessible opportunities for all to gain: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>skills, knowledge and understanding to develop their work practices & careers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for members & Arts Office staff to share skills & experiences, engage in peer learnin g </li></ul></ul>Mission
  5. 5. 4 main needs identified <ul><li>local professional development courses </li></ul><ul><li>targeted local funding > bursaries </li></ul><ul><li>mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>access to information (website): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>arts opportunities, funding, news </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ability to network/ share/learn from others in region </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>improve profile of arts & working practitioners across region & nationally </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. a central website was designed... <ul><li>while most Arts Offices had some existing online information, it was often rarely accessed by creative community, often difficult to update, had no interactive features and ‘buried’ in local authority websites </li></ul><ul><li>A dedicated, regional arts website was highly desirable to... </li></ul>
  7. 7. highlight the full ArtLinks Programme
  8. 8. website provides info on <ul><li>courses </li></ul><ul><li>bursaries </li></ul><ul><li>local Arts Office news & opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>and most importantly it began to profile local </li></ul><ul><li>MEMBERS CREATIVE WORK & SKILLS ... </li></ul>
  9. 9. ArtLinks members’ work & skills – (members’ Profile Pages below)
  10. 10. members can load their news, events, exhibitions, festivals, notices...
  11. 11. … and network /discuss / share on the forum <ul><li><< recent placement of forum on homepage, has led to more activity </li></ul><ul><li>ArtLinks has run the first ‘Blogging for the Arts’ (May 08), and the ‘Using template Portfolio sites for Visual Artists/Makers’ courses- giving members more skills in promoting their work on the ArtLinks site & Internet </li></ul>
  12. 12. over its first year <ul><li>initially website was quite static but popular - requests for other features raised by members for its first revision have just been completed Oct 08 </li></ul><ul><li>now close to 1000th member, with little advertising </li></ul><ul><li>now largest Arts Directory/Resource site in the region with content mainly created by members! </li></ul>
  13. 13. continuing to engage members... <ul><li>ongoing communication with members is key for to identify needs </li></ul><ul><li>director attending free & CreativeCamp social media events helped in development; Director as artist has also actively engaged in social media use for her own art practice (her blog, template portfolio, youtube, blurb book sites below) now confident in proposing features/ideas for members ArtLinks site </li></ul>
  14. 14. new website features launched oct 08 <ul><li>improved forum was important </li></ul><ul><li>use of RSS: to bring in Arts Council news, to bring in members Blogs & to feed ArtLinks News and Events directly to members’ pages, readers/emails keeps membership active/connected </li></ul><ul><li>Introduced social media links to easily profile/share members ‘creative work’; their locations of studios, venues, courses using Google maps –members add all these features to their Profile Pages </li></ul>
  15. 15. challenges <ul><li>engaging everyone18 and above, members very diverse </li></ul><ul><li>a mix of informal & formally educated </li></ul><ul><li>members often economically challenged </li></ul><ul><li>understanding technology varies widely; </li></ul><ul><li>access ltd in rural areas, poor/nil broadband in S.E, limited access to basic pc training </li></ul><ul><li>currently designing printed material to assist users with limited internet skills on best use of site </li></ul>
  16. 16. future & potential <ul><li>ArtLinks identity still growing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ArtLinks Directory is becoming valued locally by practitioners, curators, arts/events organisers, venues, local media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>uncovering / developing networks of local cultural wealth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential to tie in with tourism, help develop local creative economies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Idea: art trail mapping with </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New Members Google maps feature? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. summary: website <ul><li>is critical in developing, connecting ArtLinks community – its cost effective </li></ul><ul><li>but has to be easy for less experienced users, & continue to engage younger users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>note: often 1 st web presence for some members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>members ongoing input into its design & functionality - it’s their website! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>( website built by ArtLinks members: web developer, Fergal O’Hanlon, original design by ArtLinks member &illustrator, Ale Mercado, web consultancy by ArtLinks member & musician/podcaster, Ken McGuire etc) </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. thank you <ul><li>email me [email_address] or </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in touch: </li></ul><ul><li>signup for ArtLinks e-newsletter </li></ul><ul><li>or if in area & in Arts, </li></ul><ul><li>YOU CAN register now at (looking forward to seeing your work too!) </li></ul>