Thursday, November 26, 2009

Things that we are thankful for....

All of us at DiverseWorks would like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you have a wonderful day with lots of good food, family and friends.

Here are the things that we are thankful for...

Diane Barber
I'm thankful to be living my life doing what I love surrounded by people that I love.
Oh, and I'm very thankful for Diet Coke.

DeeDee Bott
I am thankful for the many friends of DW who give us gifts even during this weakened economy.
I am thankful for the many friends of DW who place art at the top of their priority list.

Shawna Forney
I'm thankful for my friends, family, co-workers, and the people who enjoy DiverseWorks as much as I do.
I am thankful for my kick ass job at DiverseWorks and the people who make my work visible. All of the editors, art writers, bloggers and sponsors who continue to support DiverseWorks and feel that what we do is significant.

Tracey Morton
I’m thankful to be surrounded by so many awesome and caring people (from my co-workers who keep me sane in insane times, to my friends and family who love me and my craziness)
All the individuals who continue to support DiverseWorks as members

Jon Read
I am thankful that my arm is getting better and that I work with Shawna

Sixto Wagan
Thankful for: being part of artist’s creative process, and giving opportunities for them to dream big
The support we continue to earn by doing what we do best, and not asking us to be something else

Julia Wallace
I am thankful for space heaters and for the yes men.
and for dr. pepper.
and for paychecks and family/friends , i guess.
and i am super grateful for the missionary position.

Stephanie Atwood
I am hoping to be thankful for a gold star audit I am grateful for the hard work of the board and staff

Also, as a reminder, we are closed tomorrow, Friday, November 27th and our gallery will be open Saturday, November 28th from noon to 6pm! Make sure to stop by and check out our current exhibitions- Tierney Malone's Third Ward is My Harlem and flickerlounge - Lithuania and the Collapse of the USSR.

As a Thanksgiving treat, enjoy this short video from last week's ArtCrawl performance of Third Ward is My Harlem in the Sankofa Theater.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Idea Fund: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Proposals

Note: The injuries in this blog are fictitious, however if you want to help ease the recovery, please become a member or donate to DiverseWorks!

I thought all the injuries had healed since the cancellation of the 1-ish K, but one trip on a couple of The Idea Fund packets brought the old pain back and it was just more than I could handle. The applications, oh the applications! How they came one by one, flooding my e-mail…but it a good way.

I’m glad to report that The Idea Fund (TIF) has received more than 160 applications for the second round; and as you can see that’s a lot (the photo above shows me being attacked by work samples, which were not harmed during the altercation. Me, I'll get over my fear of large envelopes some day). But I’m working away (with the help of DW Intern Rachel Toombs) and will definitely have everything ready for the panelist who will meet on December 7 to choose the awardees.

Here’s a little background on the three panelist:

Franklin Sirmans:
Served as the modern and contemporary art curator for the Menil Collection for the past three year. Sirmans is leaving the arts organization to become department head and curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Ron Berry:
Founder and Artistic Director of the Fusebox Festival in Austin. Fuse Box is an idea engine. A space where artists and audiences can take risks, ask questions and explore ideas together, break rules, and blur boundaries. It is a platform for visionary works, unabashed play, and new ways of engaging with our world.

Courtney Fink:
Executive director of Southern Exposure, a 30 year old non-profit arts organization that supports emerging artists, arts educators, and youth artists through exhibitions, education programs, and events in San Francisco. Southern Exposure runs a re-granting program called Alternative Exposure, which The Idea Fund was base on.

TIF will announce awardees in mid-December (please do not call to check the status of your application, you will be notified of the outcome as soon as it is determined), so keep your fingers crossed.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Please send Del's Lemonade...

Just the other weekend, I went to beautiful Providence, Rhode Island to attend the National Arts Marketing Project Conference! DiverseWorks was the featured organization for a marketing session called Quick, Cheap and Dirty: Developing an Inexpensive Marketing Plan. I was completely nervous as it was really my first time to present in front of my peers. Sara Kellner, the former Executive Director of DiverseWorks, and myself presented ways for other organizations to maximize their marketing dollars and existing staff to develop a down and dirty marketing plan. We used our marketing plan and marketing roundtable as examples to help others. We got a lot of fantastic feedback and a chance to let others know about the amazing people and community that have assisted DiverseWorks in making our marketing more effective. H-town Represent! Anyway, I wanted to share some of the highlights and adventures from my trip with you….

OMG! Google Ad Words. That's all I'm sayin... If you aren't familiar with Google Ad Words, you must learn about it NOW.

The plenary Luncheon with Rich Mintz was truly inspiring. He works for Blue State Digital and they did online pitches and marketing for Obama for America. He really touched upon fundraising for the campaign and some of the tactics to connect with your audience. Keeping promises and following through. Moments make your programs. Test Everything you can. Build Relationships. Online is everybody's job, even yours!

Nancy Hytone Leb. She was the fantastic moderator of my session and very supportive. I hope to remain in contact with her down the road. She is a marketing specialist, strategic consultant, development advisor and meeting facilitator and most excellent person.

Printing Money: Stretching your Collateral Budget. Wendy Hower Livingston (aka @Nashergirl) from the Nasher Museum of Art and Dewey Mooring discussed the ways that they slashed $80,000 from their marketing budget. Although I couldn't identify with that type of marketing budget ( I wish!), it was very interesting on how they refigured the marketing for a Museum. From what I learned in their session - cut down on the quantity of gallery guides, revise your marketing pieces, make sure you have a good printer, spend your money on the website. I also heard about their show: Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool going to the Contemporary Arts Museum and the importance of Dario Robleto's work to the Nasher. So cool!

Check out Dewey's blog. He does marketing for various arts organizations and you might find it helpful.

a pilot program that can develop and change the way we engage with audiences. Compared to sites such as Amazon and Yelp, audiences can recommend performances and exhibitions to others and review the show. Check out the site.

Also, I went to a roundtable discussion called the Ipatron: Audience Mobile Phone Trends and Study Results moderated by Ron Evans. WOW! I recently bought a smart phone and it's changed my life. This session was very cool. The results and the future of mobile phones are just crazy. Only a few arts organizations have taken the leap to creating an app for your phone or creating a website that is for mobile phone users. I think we will be seeing more and more of these things in the future. They have a great site too with lots of information.

Last but not least, this isn't marketing related but if you get the opportunity to visit Providence, make sure you do 3 things.

1. Visit the RISD museum. A beautiful space and the coolest conference room EVER!

2. Eat dinner at Al Forno. Best meal of my life. Hands down! O-M-G!

3. Visit Waterfire. A tradition of the town and come on, THEY LIGHT THE RIVER ON FIRE!

Check out some of the pics from my trip.

Also, I want to make mention of these people. All of them in a big part (besides the staff of DiverseWorks) have shaped my marketing practices and were mentioned in our presentation. People like Lendre Kearns and Keith Gulla took the DiverseWorks staff on a marketing retreat to help us really evaluate what we were doing and we have since carried on that tradition. I'm so grateful to the participants of the 25th Anniversary Marketing Roundtable - Lindsay Kayser, Monica Danna, Matthew Wettergreen, Philip Beck, Kellye Sanford, Phillip Marshall, Tom So, David Cobb, Sarah Schellenberg, Tracey Morton and Jason McElwheenie. Thanks Everybody and Special Thanks to Sixto Wagan and Diane Barber for being so supportive, being free thinkers and not being afraid of change.

Shawna Forney
Public Relations & Marketing Manager

P.S. Please send me Del's Lemonade. I miss you sweet little delicious, natural, tasty lemonade from Rhode Island.