Executive Summary (OMP)
The history of a3arts.org is unique. This project grows directly out of the Washtenaw County
Cultural Master Plan, a county-wide effort with the arts and cultural community to put words to
action. Led by the Arts Alliance, a local nonprofit, it sought to determine the best course for the
arts and cultural community and ensure its longevity and success locally. The creation of
a3arts.org responds to the #1 request of arts/cultural organizations and artists: provide assistance
to help them market themselves and their offerings more effectively. The Arts Alliance has
created a county-wide arts and culture web portal in response to artists' and arts/cultural
organizations' plea for a centralized online arts site. This site has been under development with
extensive community input since early 2009 and is planned to launch on March 26th. (The URL
will be a3arts.org - the "a3arts" stands for Ann Arbor Area arts.) The Arts Alliance has created on
online home for all things arts and culture in Washtenaw County.
This arts and culture portal serves as a gathering place and connection point for art producers and
art consumers in the greater Ann Arbor Area and serve as the web base for the Arts Alliance. Art
producers consist of working artists, non-working artists, performance venues such as theaters,
exhibit venues such as galleries and museums and the like. Art consumers consist of those
commissioning or purchasing physical art, performance or exhibit ticket buyers or those
observing or appreciating art in any form.
While art producers and consumers are the main audiences, the secondary audiences consist of
those needing more information about the Arts Alliance and other arts and culture information
gatherers. They would typically be looking for facts and figures and unique perspectives. This
would include members of the media, policy makers and economic developers.
The main operational challenges include creating content that is appealing to and identifying
with the culturally rich urban center without alienating those in the rural surroundings. The
second challenge is motivating art producers to contribute content to the site. Perceived gaps in
content will have to be filled through Arts Alliance’s efforts. Art producers will need to
contribute art, experience, events and learning opportunities for the consumers as well as
resources for other art producers. It will only be THE online source for arts and culture in
Washtenaw County only if there is significant original content and activity on the site.
Combined, this creates a complex operational web of production.
Users can create personal profiles to show examples of their work, swap services, and link to
their own home pages. The site is welcome to artists and art forms of any category (musicians,
painters, writers, etc.), and is also capable of carrying photos, audio samples, and video clips.
Additionally there are three other main components of the site beyond the profiles: Events,
Share, and Thoughts (fig. 1). These represent the bits of information, or product, in care of the
operations of a3arts.org and its community. Customers will bring expectations that will shape the
Very simply put, a3arts.org’s customers are any visitors to the website. There are also users to
which featured ads will be sold, an additional customer category. The specific population to be
served by this project will be the artists (visual, performing, and literary) and cultural
organizations based in Washtenaw County. According to the Artists Census conducted by the
Arts Alliance in 2008, there are some 2,530 individuals who identify themselves as artists in the
county. Based on the NEW Center database of nonprofit organizations, there are over 125
nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in the county. Inasmuch as the creative producers are
able to communicate their offerings more effectively, the true beneficiaries of this project will be
the citizens of Washtenaw County. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Washtenaw County's
population of 323,000.
This project will change community behavior as the a3arts.org web portal becomes recognized as
the "go-to" website for all things arts and cultural in Washtenaw County.
On the one hand, potential audiences, arts buyers, policymakers, funders, the media and others
will go to this site as their primary choice to obtain cultural information. The breadth and scope
of the cultural activities listed on a3arts.org will encourage more people to take advantage of
more types of cultural events, and will support efforts to attract tourists and others to the area.
The wealth of information about individual artists will graphically demonstrate the size and
breadth of this population, which will help to change public recognition of the importance of the
cultural sector to Washtenaw County.
On the other hand, a3arts.org will provide a virtual gathering place for area artists to find each
other, share information and ideas, and post work samples (audio, visual, and literary). A
common complaint heard during the cultural plan project was that artists felt extremely isolated
and disconnected from each other. As artists and arts promoters/presenters find each other on the
web portal, new collaborations and sharing of resources will take place, among other activities.
The website is currently live in beta testing on a2arts.org. During this time the Arts Alliance is
encouraging the arts and cultural community to register on the site and begin using it. The
general public has not yet been formally introduced to a3arts.org. The goal of this period is both
populating the site with users and readying content so it is worthy of consumption for our new
customers once the site goes live. Currently, the site has over 100 registered members.
Information, the product, comes in four major varieties: Profiles, events, share ads, and thought
posts. Because the site is open to anyone, the production is completed by the Arts Alliance as
well as any registered users. The entire operations is the responsibility of Justin Fenwick, Arts
Alliance’s Outreach Manager. While a3arts.org is his primary responsibility, he is also
responsible for a yearly conference, networking groups and volunteers, and general office
support. For the most part, site functionality, content,
quality, rate of participation (production), moderation,
and evaluation are his to manage. The only function not
entirely under his umbrella is the sale of ads located in the
featured sections of the site (fig. 2). Fenwick’s supporting
staff consists of three other employees and one significant
marketing volunteer. These individuals are not trained in
web content and have other significant responsibilities.
Finally, the remaining components involve social media
outlets where the Arts Alliance has presence. This
includes You Tube, Facebook, and Twitter. Because of the interconnected nature of information
online our product flow and creation knows few boundaries. This is both an asset and
complication. Essentially, the Arts Alliance is forced to deal with many of the complications
surrounding outsourcing production. Yet, since the customer is also part of the production team,
there are unique advantages to be had in better meeting and reaching their needs.
Fenwick’s efforts have been very focused on community outreach and less focused on the
product. During this outreach he is offering free community trainings on the topic of internet
marketing to initiate an exchange of value. This olive branch is essentially the main employment
tool. The recipients of this value now better understand a3arts.org’s purpose and are more willing
to create useful content, of which a very basic criteria is shared. For now, these efforts have
served as going to see the “production floor” and learning through invitations to share and
perceived experiences. Fenwick is using this to go to the source, to view these community
members as they experience their “first day on the job.” Through this they are exposed to
Facebook and Twitter, also parts of the information production line. Hopefully each person
participating in the training will join somewhere along the production line in the near future.
The responsibility of content is internal as well as external. Fenwick has focused much of his
efforts on Facebook and Twitter in the build up to the website launch. Mainly, this is because
there are few customers visiting a3arts.org. To date, the following guidelines for internal content
A. Useful information, news, announcements not related to Arts Alliance you think others
would find of value;
B. Asking questions of others, chatting with others, and responding to others who initiate an
exchange with you ;
C. Information and posts of others, spread other's good news;
D. Recent news about Arts Alliance; and
E. Sharing personal tidbits and thoughts and opinions.
This represents a production schedule. The product flow is regulated by a goal to produce
equally of each, with no concern to order. For example, the product flow could be
AABCEDDBCE or EBDECACDBA because each maintains the equal production goal. While
this is a posted guideline on every internal staff member’s monitor, there has been no tracking or
review. To date, only one other staff member other than Fenwick actively participates in
While the operations are off the ground, a3arts.org has not seen any indication of real demand for
its products. Fenwick, in addition to the trainings and on no particular schedule, collects
feedback and solves identified functionality problems, moderates calendar posts for complete
and accurate information. Other areas are currently set internally in the CMS (content
management system) to allow immediate posting from the users. The CMS serves as an access
point to the website’s database from which information is stored and displayed. Most immdediate
posting delays will exist or not because of the settings in the CMS. The varying levels of controls
have advantages and disadvantages to be tested out.
It is imperative that the expectations of a visitor to the site are met. A a3arts.org visitor brings
with them expectations that dictate the product they prefer, no matter a new or return visitor
(Appendix 5 & 6). Each visit is a work order and ideally the customer is met with what they need
because it was already produced and waiting. There is no strategy behind this at this point. With
the site launch soon around the corner, the influx of demand and customer needs will
dramatically increase. So too will the number of content creators available to produce the right
amount of variety necessary to drive more traffic. Because in the end, project sustainability
depends on a steady revenue stream, not grants. Satisfied customers with their needs met will
view our subtle feature advertising offer with trust and be more willing to drive its value up.
To differentiate itself from competitors and be as relevant as possible to potential visiting
customers, a3arts.org needs to provide a few key experiences. (1) Identity; (2) Reputation; (3)
Trust; and (4) Creation of Site Content (Appendix 6). Below is a description of each target
condition as it would be when the site reached maturity in a few years.
The web portal is will serve as a gateway to all things arts and cultural in Washtenaw County. As
such, it has three key functions: 1) to help users find and link to the web sites of the region's arts
organizations and artists, 2) to provide a virtual gathering place for area artists to find each other,
share information and ideas, and post work samples (audio, visual, and literary), and 3) to offer a
convenient information resource for arts managers, audiences, media, advocates, teachers, and
others seeking events information, reports, studies, and other data about arts and culture in
Washtenaw County as well as best practices elsewhere.
This site is the online spot to initiate a physical connection to arts and culture in Washtenaw
County. Arts and culture in Washtenaw County is based on the physical existence of people and
experiences. These people and experiences, to some degree, are unique to the greater Ann Arbor
Area and need to express this. The stories of these art producers are shared as a differentiation
point, create a sense of place and provide a constant drive of original content. These perspectives
shed a light on things such as being an artist in Michigan, being part of the art culture in Ann
Arbor, arts and culture outside of Ann Arbor, art and culture’s impact on Michigan’s economy
and specific art insider experiences. The site should demonstrate the importance of the arts from
quality of life and economic standpoints. The arts should be made accessible to all via this portal.
Goals: (1) Site users report new relationships, economic gain, higher turnout at events, and
sharing of resources as a result of being a member of the a3arts.org community.
(2) Site users report a strong sense of purpose and identity and state that it highly influenced their
decision to become return visitors.
Measurement: Responses to a survey sent to site users.
Success: Respondents, on average, strongly indicate benefits in all desired areas
Is a online Washtenaw County arts and culture destination that represents the county in an honest
and authentic way. Errors in information are at a minimum, including user generated content.
The content is current and relevant. This requires a significant user base, with greatest emphasis
on art producers creating the content that best represents their community. Reputation
management is robust and protects the brand and Arts Alliance’s abilities to successfully promote
the site (Appendix 3).
Goal: (1) Is THE place for arts and culture in Washtenaw County.
Measurement: The writing quality of all content on the a3arts.org web site. Quality will be
determined by the number of event postings that are moderated (removed, moved, or edited)
Success: 25% or less of listings require moderation
Measurement: Site content is being used, duplicated, and reference on the web.
Success: Weekly outside references as tracked through Google Alerts are made to a3arts.org
Art producers feel comfortable to connect to other art producers to share resources and ideas and
art producers to connect to art consumers to allow for the promotion of the arts. These users
become informal influencers and evangelists that promote and drive traffic to the site on their
own accord through positive contributions to the a3arts.org brand.
Goal: (1) More site promotion is being completed by external users than internal staff.
Measurement: Use incoming site statistics to determine where site traffic is coming from.
Success: A majority of site content is driven by external efforts, posts, and site
Creation of Site Content
The users provide a bulk of the content with the Arts Alliance providing specialty information for
the customers. The arts and cultural community comes to share their stories, which are unique to
Goal: A sense of identity, reputation, and trust creates a core of users active in created all variety
of site content.
Measurement: The number of artists and arts/cultural organizations that have entered their
information onto the site and are creating site content regularly.
Success: 450 - 849 registered users , 45 - 85 are active on the site
Acceptable: 250 - 449 registered users, 25 - 45 are active on the site
Unacceptable: Fewer than 249 registered users, 25 or less active users
This target condition assumes that when quality of the process is improved so will our revenue
opportunities through ad sales. Additionally, not previously mentioned, authentic value provided
to the community means that the site will be able to see revenue, that is support, from grants. It is
also very customer focused because that should be the driver throughout the work process,
especially the best case scenario is that our customers become workers on the production line of
Summary of Changes
The changes proposed are loosely based off of the living systems principles as presented by H.
Thomas Johnson and Anders Broms in their book “Profit Beyond Measure: Extraordinary
Results through Attention to Work and People.” These include self-organization,
interdependence, and diversity. The changes are focused around spreading responsibility,
consolidating resources, reducing the production time of information, and engaging customers so
they make the conversion to producing valuable content on a3arts.org.
Operations Management Plan
Physical Process - Current Condition
The current condition of the physical process describes the cultural “as-is” state of expectation
As the current operations manager, or equivalent, for this process Justin Fenwick wears many
hats. As seen in Appendix 1, Fenwick’s broad process includes listening to the customer and
future producers; being agile to different types of supply of information and improving to
accommodate, ensuring cohesiveness of content, brand, identity, and reputation; and finally
accountability to a safe and trusting community as well as accurate information. The loop is
closed because there is mutual influence in all parts of the process. Fenwick is the most
significant bottleneck in the process, expansion of staff is limited by the funds of the Arts
Alliance. Some examples of process time for certain tasks include: An average of 10 minutes for
review and moderation of a posted event; trainings usually take 4 hours including preparation,
travel, and set-up; each user question takes about 5 minutes to answer; and monitoring all
conversations and engaging where appropriate (Appendix 3) across social media and a3arts.org
takes about 2 hours each day. So while Fenwick is an essential part of production, any significant
increases in demand would break the capacity of the production system. He must turn towards a
larger and free workforce, the customers themselves, to spread out job responsibilities.
Looking at the entire production process is difficult because it weaves in and out of the internal
walls of the Arts Alliance. When looking at the appendix diagrams you see three major
components: (1) Internal content creation; (2) External content creation; and (3) Shared content
creation. Internal being Arts Alliance generated, external representing all other parties, and
shared indicating where the process is not entirely completed by one or the other. Additionally,
there are two different modes of production: (1) Dedicated & (2) Organic. Dedicated production
is either internal or external users that directly create content with few steps involved in creating
the content. Organic production involves mostly external users that must have a user experience
first, on or off a3arts.org, before deciding to create content. There is a conversion from organic to
dedicated that can occur. It is first important to understand the various points of dependency
between these worlds.
(1) Internal content creation is best represented by Appendix 2 & 4. It depends on the
expectations of a visitor and learnings from feedback and conversations online. It also
depends on monitoring and exploring new online content not directly related to the Arts
Alliance. There is also various decisions to be made via the content’s purpose and intent, in
line with internal goals and customer expectations. Ideally, the variety is triggered by visitor
interest and allows determination of the production schedule via the guidelines of internal
content creation already mentioned. CMS approval processes can be avoided with internal
(2) External content creation is best represented by Appendix 4 & 6. It depends on a desire to
post on a3arts.org, guidelines for content, the discerning eye of Fenwick. This content can
depend on the user experience and whether or not it is positive. Finally, not so well
represented in the appendices is the influence of community outreach and marketing efforts.
This includes participating in community conversations elsewhere online that reference
a3arts.org or the Arts Alliance. This is a continuous experience shaped by the Arts Alliance in
conjunction with the site users themselves.
(3) Shared content creation is best represented by Appendix 2, 3, & 4. It depends on potential
site content generated elsewhere on the web that is digested and reposted. Interaction efforts
outside of Arts Alliances realm may entice content posting on a3arts.org. Lastly, agreements
may be made with influential individuals to replicate content they are already creating or
create new for the site. These partnerships are with information suppliers and working
towards that information being “made to order.”
These dependencies represent strategic points of influence along the value chain. Facilitating
these processes to be more efficient, especially in the exchange of customer information, ensures
there is no intended value lost in the production of information. It requires strong communication
in and outside of the Arts Alliance walls. At this time there is no particular attention being paid to
these areas in operation.
(1) Dedicated production is best represented by Appendix 2 & 4. It depends on influence from
existing content, sorting and prioritization efforts, site rules and guidelines, and internal
goals. The main distinction of dedicated production is that orders for production or gathering
of certain information could be issued. This would either be part of the process or creating
full content via assignment.
(2) Organic production is best represented by the journey through Appendix 5, 6, and 4. A user
finds themselves at a3arts.org with some intention or expectation. From here it is a series of
stay or go decisions based on the identity, reputation, and built trust of the site. While a user
might not stay to experience all, each influences a return visit. Eventually, if enough trust and
shared identity is built, they may contribute to site content.
Dedicated content is more immediate and well trained, whereas organic content has delays in
moving a user to being a contributor. Currently, there does not exist any order system, just verbal
requests. Organic production depends on quality production already in place so the user receives
the information and experience they expected to build enough trust to feel comfortable
contributing. The opportunity is being able to better manage user experience, worker recruitment,
through content that meets customer needs.
Since the information included on a3arts.org needs to be extraordinarily user-generated, training
sessions occurred before the public launch of the web site and will continue after. The training on
internet marketing includes such elements as the purpose of website, overview of online
communities, profile and account creation, sharing thoughts and resources. This is the only tool
being used to train and orient users to the culture and process of the site. It is obvious that more
repetition of these traits are needed.
Two other comparable, popular community websites have different levels of membership
according to their local population. These sites include: ChicagoArtistsResource.org, CAR,
(5,500 registered users) and the Raleigh/Durham, NC "shop local" site, wral.com/golo, GoLo,
(13,700 registered users). In these cases, the registered users, as a percentage of population,
ranges from 0.06% to 3%. The CAR site has been active for 4 years and GoLo for 2 years. This
means an average user growth rate of 1375/year - 6,850/year, respectively. Washtenaw County is
a smaller population center. Accounting for both length of time and population size, a3arts.org
could expect 49 to 4,845 registered users in the first year. CAR has had over $1 million in
investment since 2005 but is more specifically geared to provide information to and for the
Chicago artist population. GoLo is a local news and web community for Raleigh, N.C. and has a
broader intended audience. It would be sufficient to say that a3arts.org should fall somewhere in
the middle. Applying the participation rates from CAR and GoLo to the arts community statistics
cited in above in the Customer Definition leads one to believe that a3arts.org will grow at 400
users a year.
Registered users is much different than site traffic. Site traffic is proprietary and estimating
systems are notoriously inaccurate. It is difficult to predict site traffic. A rough estimate would
put it at 5,000 visits a month within the first year potentially rising to 20,000 visits in the coming
There are a number of variables that contribute to determining response to various demand
scenarios. The first is content management, which for a calendar event takes about 10 minutes.
Following the 90-9-1 rule (www.90-9-1.com), 5,000 site visits will yield ~500 users creating
content and ~50 heavily engaged. If the 500 create content quarterly and the 50 weekly, then that
is about 90 produced bits of content and potentially 15 hours of content management each week.
That is half of Fenwick’s allotted work hours. This also means within a year or two another staff
member or equivalent solution will be needed to complete this task as a full time job.
Second, we can take a look at content creation. Fortunately, with increased site population there
is inherently increased production. Using the first year prediction, content will be created at an
average of approx. a piece of content every 1.8 hours; this is a rough takt time for the whole
system where actual cycle times would very greatly. This does not include Arts Alliance
generated content, which depending on the content can take anywhere from 5 seconds to a
couple of hours to create.
Fenwick will be stretched as it is, then especially if you include other aspects of maintaining and
developing the site (Appendix 1). A system of continuous improvement should be explored to
reduce content management times as well as determining unnecessary tasks in monitoring all
A quick note can be made about the web hosting service being used. There are limits on both
data throughput and storage. Since average data throughput is not yet known, capacity will be the
measure used. Images are limited at 2MB each, with 400 registered users a year being able to
upload up to 11 images and other content. The host’s limit is 4 GB of storage, a threshold that
could be reached at 200 registered users. Immediate plans will need to be made for a new host.
output. Some exist as opportunities in the process, they include:
Brand Management/Promotion (Appendix 3) - New learnings that inform decisions, determining
the value of found content online, maintaining information on local influencers on and offline,
and common practices for responses online.
Community Generated Information (Appendix 4) - Further clarity on the exploratory process
information located elsewhere on the web.
Site Visitors and Traffic (Appendix 5) - In some cases this is the beginning of the production
line, ensuring the right message reaches users involves target outreach and educational activities.
Lastly, separated out, are site statistics and user feedback. This is a gold mine of information
about the customer that could affect and inform all aspects of the process that regular review by
internal and external producers should generate better content more consistently.
The redesign will look at addressing these various opportunities. As the site grows, it will be
important to look at ways responsibilities can be exported to external groups or individuals and
broken down into smaller components. The blurred internal and external barriers indicate that the
production process may mimic a living system. It will be important to pay attention to the trends
in self-organization, interdependence, and diversity. Insight here may drastically change the
perception of the process reality.
There is the internal content schedule mentioned above of A-E, but this doesn’t sufficiently
consider the other modes of production and creation. These product varieties include content
more specifically categorized to the site: Profiles, events, share ads, and thoughts/comments (P,
E, S, T, & C). For the Arts Alliance, this is a two-part production combining both production
indicators, for example A-T would be a “Useful Info. Thought Post.” These combinations have
not been explored as part of the process in detail. P, E, and sometimes S can be issued as pull
orders, when an organization/individual doesn’t have a profile or an event not listed, the Arts
Alliance can either enter it in for them or notify them of the opportunity to fill that gap of
information. S, T, & C can also be filled by the Arts Alliance or keep influential individuals “near
by” for easy access to their ability to generate content. Their engagement, interests, and expertise
tracked so they can be called in as needed to contribute information.
In overarching areas like strategy, goals, and guidelines can be applied via review of all
processes by stopping the system when necessary. Trying to better understand the development
of each content type and the process that goes into it in more detail would surely expose new
opportunities. There may be room for synergies in duplicating content. Also understanding in
more detail what a users “goes through” when creating a profile or any other content would
provide insight into how to improve each of those processes. That exploration might help the
Arts Alliance discover their own steps in creating a T vs. S.
Physical Process - Target Condition
Production Redesign & Improvement
Since the production and operation of a3arts.org may, more than most, represent a living system,
its process should be organized that way. These represent potential improvements to be applied
to the dependancies mentioned in the “Current Condition” section above. They also seek to
grease the wheels of the system outlined in the appendix. The different suggested changes will be
marked with Y1, Y2, and Y3 to indicate potential implementation one year, two years, and three
Spreading out responsibilities among employees (Y1) - Suggestion is in Appendix 7.
Creating a volunteer team (Y1) - Arts Alliance will work closely with a volunteer team of
Curators, Experts, and Moderators to assist arts/cultural organizations and artists in using the
web portal and maintaining the quality of its content. These volunteer web managers will be
invaluable in encouraging others to use the site to promote themselves, to lure new audiences
to the site, and to curb inappropriate postings that would diminish the effectiveness of the web
portal as a marketing tool.
Document new learnings in one place (Y2) - This information could be open to feedback from
the most active customers/producers and shared as a resource as a way for all to be more
Found information compared with new learning and the site’s statistic profile (Y2) - Found
information should be documented for why it was interesting, use to create score card to aid in
Set goal takt time (Y1) - These goals could be set for different levels of site traffic. Measured
over a sample period of time, the information could be used to determine work schedule
internally for content generation.
Insist on “flag as inappropriate” throughout site (Y1) - This tool could be used by the user at any
time to identify a problem. This should be a necessity of final development of the website.
Set trigger points and put calls out for information to be posted (Y2) - Try and empower the
working users to fill the gaps.
Create step by step exploratory process (Y2) - (1) Check interests and demand. (2) Scan, read,
and act. (3) Determine content type.
Create and regularly modify a3arts.org message outreach plan (Y1) - Components include:
Google AdWords, all social media, press releases, email, phone calls, meetings, and etc.
Provide links to tips or “how-to” text next to online forms (Y1) - By including this a bit of
customer information is available to the user generating content, improving quality, quantity,
and hopefully shortening delays.
Create shared partnerships in content creation (Y1-3) - Getting permission to cross-duplicate
information only strengthens both networks.
Work towards making information modular (Y1) - This may be a form that breaks content into
pieces allowing it to be assembled as one surfs the web, only simplifying the end process.
Newsletter to users about site statistics and needs of visitors (Y1) - Do everything possible to let
customer-worker relationship define every step of the work.
Create weekly “user profile” (Y1) - This process will help begin to inform who is using the site
and setting the tone for goals and process over the next week. This will be presented at a staff
meeting. This could also be sent to the main contributors and active members of the site.
Have regularly updated list of influential individuals (Y1) - Keep note of their value added
interactions with Arts Alliance content to later prioritize engagement.
Increase customer and user/worker touch-points (Y1) - By going to the source more often,
deeper understandings and clarifications can be gained. A weekly/monthly “Tweetup” lunch
Create mentor/mentee relationships with underrepresented groups on site (Y3) - Practice,
method, and coaching. For example, the younger crowd may be hesitant to add this site to their
repertoire. By working with an individual or a group to get in the habit of posting quality
content, the effect will ripple.
All of these are aimed at reducing cycle time to meet whatever goal takt time is set. More
importantly each reaches towards solidifying a3arts.org’s identity, reputation, and user trust. As
with all new practices, extensive repetition will be needed both internally and externally.
Obstacles = Opportunities
The biggest potential obstacle is time and discipline. Without a coach or mentor Justin Fenwick
will be seeking to employ new process without direct help. This is in addition to any time
pressures that already exist at work.
The ability to accomplish some process improvements may rely on technological systems that do
not yet exist or buggy workarounds that aren’t worth the trouble.
There may be a skill gap between the dedicated production and organic production. Trainings are
costly and take time to implement. Often public trainings, even with invitations, do not attract the
users desired to show.
There is also less control over workers not actually employees in a production system, this will
have serious impacts on quality.
These obstacles are opportunities to seek help from the community and any tight knit committees
formed in interest around the site.
Managing “Supply” in the Future
Managing users is directly related to supply. By recruiting the right users and giving them the
right information they serve as suppliers of information in the future. The better the relationship,
the closer the Arts Alliance is towards the information.
Marketing campaigns are needed to engage both the content contributors (art producers) to
populate the site on a regular basis and the art consumers who will utilize it to identify
opportunities. There needs to be a low barrier for entry and community outreach to individuals
and organizations for content contributions. These campaigns should include search engine
optimization techniques and extensive online and traditional promotion via regular email
updates, advertising and grassroots methods. This will be towards two main audiences:
Art consumers (those commissioning or purchasing physical art, performance or exhibit
ticket buyers/patrons, art appreciators, those seeking arts educational opportunities)
Information gatherers (those seeking arts facts, figures, and best practices, such as media,
policy makers, and economic developers, as well as those seeking more information
about the Arts Alliance)
The greater the supply, the greater value that will be placed on the site featured advertising.
Web Manager (Justin Fenwick)
Intern: 2 semesters
21 Trainings @ $750/ea.
Any increase in site traffic will increase demand for advertising. Proper execution of this plan
will only result in increased revenue from ad sales. Additional revenue not calculated could come
from trainings, webinars, guidebooks and consulting on the social web as identity, reputation,
and trust of the a3arts.org brand grows. Even ad revenue alone has the potential to cover
expenses making grant writing not as necessary.
The pricing is based off of our potential audience size in comparison to AnnArbor.com. Using
their online advertising pricing as a model, these a3arts.org prices are generally 1/5th
Product (available spots) - Prices Weekly
Home Page Feature Box (8) - $120
Artist Feature (15) - $20
Venue Feature (15) - $20
Organization Feature (15) - $20
Banner* (8) - $75
*must meet certain artistic restrictions
Total Revenue Weekly (not including membership) at Capacity: $2,460
Total Revenue 6 months at Capacity: $63,910.80
•General vision and direction for a3arts.org & Arts Alliance site
•Fundraising for overall site
•Member of a3arts.org editorial direction team
•Oversees Arts Alliance site content
•Liaison with Skidmore
•Routine maintenance of overall site
•Updating of a3arts.org info and Arts Alliance info as needed
•Reviews appropriateness of postings
•Member of a3arts.org editorial direction team
•Develops and presents workshops to area artists and cultural organizations
•Responds to user questions
•Leads in developing and monitoring metrics to track usage by cultural and public visitors
•Liaison with e-Tapestry
•Interacts with members to encourage site usage
•Back-up liaison with e-Tapestry
•Handles all financial aspects of a3arts.org advertising
•Curates Arts Alliance photographs/video
•Develops Arts Alliance site content
•Chairs a3arts.org editorial development team
•Develops & oversees implementation of activities to increase public use of the site
•Develops partnerships with appropriate collaborators
•Develops & oversees implementation of activities to increase participation in the site by artists
and cultural organizations
•Creates ad sales materials
•Assists in developing and monitoring metrics to track usage by cultural and public visitors