Helpful Tips for Art Organizations
I work with arts organizations all across the United States and 99% of them are simply wonderful to work with, and I appreciate them very much. I enjoy working with them in hosting my workshops.
In working with these groups I have found some common denominators that I think would help them serve their members better, so I have compiled a list:
1. Have a Modern Website. A modern website will provide a better platform for posting pertinent information to members and visitors, and it will be easier and faster to maintain and update than older website models.
I realize most staff are volunteers, and that money is tight for technology, but websites are much more affordable and easier to construct than they were just a few years ago. Modern websites are also much easier and faster to update than ever before - also a time saver for volunteer staff.
Make sure that someone in the organization knows how to do all updating and managing of the website. There is no reason to have to pay someone everytime the site needs updating, or a new class or workshop is added. They are easy to use, so someone needs to learn to do it.
2. Make Sure Folks Can Register for Classes and Workshops from the Website. Modern websites also afford the possibility for members and guests to register for classes and workshops directly from the website, rather than contacting someone to register. This is a HUGE time saver for volunteer staff members.
If art organizations are serious about attracting younger members, then the use of the most modern technology is important. Younger folks embrace technology and they want to be able to sign up online rather than call or email someone to register. Think about your systems from a member or consumer point of view. What will make it easy for them to interact with us? How can we serve them better?
3. Utilize Volunteers Who Know How to Use Email Effectively. This is critical. The person or persons responsible for fielding inquiries through email MUST be well versed in email communication and be able to respond quickly to inquiries.
I find this to be the weakest part of art organizations - their email interactions with others outside their organization who are contacting them for information about classes, programs, etc. Email and text messages are how people interact today, it's not by telephone. Volunteers must check their email regularly throughout each day and know how to get answers to inquiries they receive.
Remember, these folks are the face of your organization - the first contact that visitors have with your group - you should want that interaction to be as positive as possible.
4. Learn How to Use Social Media. This is of the utmost importance today in publicizing the activities of the art organization. Social media is the best way to get the word out about what is going on in your group. It is a great way to advertise your classes, meetings and workshops.
I've talked with multiple groups this year alone who continue to struggle finding funds to print and mail brochures to promote their programs. In 2 out of 3 of those cases, they are finding their participation and finances dwindling because they refuse to accept current free promotional methods. Someone in each organization should be responsible for posting to social media. Art organizations shouldn't have to hire, or have others outside their organizations doing this work. Facebook ads are also an inexpensive way to advertise your workshops and classes to large numbers of people across the country that is not possible, or affordable, with printed material.
I hope this information is helpful. If you have positive experiences about what has worked for your art organizations please post that in the comments section.
If you'd like to learn to paint with spontaneity and freshness, check out my list of upcoming workshops: (You can view a list of 2018 workshops HERE)
- January 18-20, 2018 Forstall Art Supply, Birmingham, AL. To register contact Zack Barnes: Email: email@example.com or phone: 205-870-0480, or visit: http://www.forstallart.com/workshops.html
- February 1-3 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. To register contact David: firstname.lastname@example.org or Register Online HERE.
- February 12-15 Society of Bluffton Artists, Bluffton, SC. To register contact Sandra Wenig: email@example.com.
- February 21-23 Fort Smith Regional Art Museum, Fort Smith, AR. To register contact Casey Seamons: firstname.lastname@example.org
- March 6-8, 2018 Eastern Shore Art Center, Fairhope, AL. To register contact Hannah Lyle: email@example.com.
As always, thanks so much for your support!
P.S. If you cannot attend a live event, or prefer to learn online in the comfort of your home or studio, Abstract Painting Academy is my online workshop:
Abstract Painting Academy is the next best thing to a live workshop. You can learn more about the program by Clicking HERE.