Archive for the ‘arts marketing’ Category

Horse & Buggy Press Move Expands Exhibition Space

Horse and Buggy PressBy Annie Poslusny

In February 2017, Horse and Buggy Press moved to their new location at 1116 Broad Street in Durham, down the street from Duke University. Horse and Buggy Press is an award-winning graphic design, letterpress printing shop and book production studio. At their new location, they now house a 500 square foot craft and art gallery, called “Horse & Buggy Press and Friends.

Twenty-five artists from North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina are currently featured, many of whom have collaborated with Dave Wofford, the gallery curator, as well as owner of Horse and Buggy Press. Exhibits rotate every three to four months, and there is a monthly open house starting in June from 5–8 pm the second Thursday of every month, which will include musicians or local street performers on the sidewalk in front of the store. Media presently on display includes: Glass, Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Fibers, Sculpture (small), Jewelry, and Wood.

Artists who are interested in having their work displayed at Horse and Buggy Press & Friends should contact Dave Wofford by email or drop by one of their monthly open houses. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11–3ish, and the open houses are the second Thursday of each month beginning on June 8th from 5–8 pm.

Annie Poslusny is an art history major and interior design/studio arts minor at Meredith College. She enjoys drawing and creating three-dimensional works of art, writing, and research.

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TEAL is Back! With a Lunch & Learn on Audience Building on 9/23

11694064_10153580657021495_1207117681964864248_nTriangle Emerging Arts Leaders, that group of young (or young at heart) folks working in the arts in the Triangle has taken a bit of a hiatus.  But its BACK!

We are bringing back TEAL’s popular lunches, but adding a new element.  Its easier to get away from the office when you are learning something…right!  So, each TEAL lunch will now have a discussion topic and a discussion leader from the Triangle arts community. As always, TEAL lunch is also just a great time for networking and discussion of general issues facing arts leaders.

Here’s the info on this month’s lunch:

TEAL September Lunch and Learn

This month’s topic:

“How to build an audience – through social media,
collaborations & other crazy ideas”

img_0281Leading the discussion will be G. Todd Buker, Artistic Director of Bare Theatre. Commonly referred to as a “vagabond” company, Bare is a Triangle-based company that does not own its own stage/theater (which saves a lot of money!). In the last 5 years, the company has grown its audience tremendously through crowdfunding, social media, and collaborations that have enabled them to pay the artists involved! Todd will begin the discussion with a short talk on the topic and then open the floor for group discussion. Come ready to share stories on what has worked or what hasn’t for you, and to learn from each other.

Here are the details:
Where: RTP Frontier, Dive Conference room, 3rd floor
When: Friday, September 23
11:30      RTP Food truck rodeo opens in the Frontier parking lot. So, grab lunch there (come early, there will be lines!) or just bring a brown bag lunch!
12:00     Discussion begins
1:00        Official ending of discussion, feel free to stay and chat!

Who should attend?

  • Anyone trying to build an audience, customer base, whatever … and looking for new ideas on how to build a community around and support for the work you are doing.
  • Anyone who wants to meet and network with other young (and young at heart…we don’t check ID’s!) people working in the arts field in the Triangle.
  • Anyone who needs to expand their network of like-minded people from across the Triangle and across the Triangle region … to share ideas and successses as well as failures and frustrations.
  • Anyone who just wants to meet new people or see old friends over lunch!

Find out more about TEAL and sign up for our email list here, and follow us on Facebook!!

The event is free, but help us make sure we have room for everyone by signing up here.

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Social Media Guidelines Added to the Site

Triangle ArtWorks social media platform is growing fast and becoming a go-to resource for the Triangle arts business community for news and information that matters to your work.  Along with this comes increased requests from the Triangle arts business community to push out events, jobs and other information.  Creating a platform to make it easy for the community to find this information is an important ArtWorks service and we are happy to see this platform growing.

However, given we are working with all-volunteer staff, we also have limited capacity to process the information. So, it is helpful if information sent to us for promotion to this community meets our mission and is promoted fairly.  We have long followed informal guidelines for our Social Media platform.  To help our community understand what we will push out and what we don’t, making it easier for us and you, we have put these guidelines in writing on the site here.

And keep sending us the great community information!  Send any community information, or questions, to our email. Or just tag us on twitter @triartworks.


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The business side of your art – learn how to do it better.

Alex Lehmann talks about tax issues affecting arts businesses at a recent Artists Night at VAE.

If you are a visual artist that sells your work or wants to sell your work, then you run a business. Part of Triangle ArtWorks mission is to help visual artists (as well as artist in other disciplines) have better access to the tools they need to be more financially successful. One such tool is education -ways to learn how to run a better arts based business and make more money doing it.

If you follow us on social media (twitter, Facebook) you know ArtWorks will keep you informed about all the educational opportunities that we know about.  But there is a great opportunity coming up that we want to bring special attention to.

Visual Art Exchange, a local organization that has tons of great programs to support visual artists in the Triangle will present Business of Being an Artist on April 21.  VAE presents this lecture series twice a year.  This year, the program covers the following topics:

Finding Exhibition Opportunities & Presentation

  • Panel Discussion: What are galleries looking for?
  • Portfolios and why you need one!
  • Resources: finding exhibition opportunities.
  • Framing your artwork.

Broadening Your Art Business:

  • Teaching workshops: Is this a good option for you?
  • Etsy: getting started.
  • Free websites.

Marketing and Self-Promotion

  • Panel Discussion: Self-promotion for working artists.

I have participated in BOBAA before and it is always a wonderful, engaging program and well-attended.  I am particularly excited this year, as I will be moderating the panel on Arts Marketing, and have lined up some panelists with varied and extensive experience in marketing themselves and others.  So far, the panelist include, Kim Wiess of Blueplate PR; visual artist Heather Gordon of Golden Belt; and visual artist/cartoonist, Paul Freidrich.  I know these people have some great stories to tell of marketing successes (and failures) to learn from, as well as tips and tools.

So, come join me, and VAE on April 21.  And learn how to be a better business.


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Too many arts groups? ArtWorks reacts to Rocco’s statements.

Rocco Landesman, the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, at a recent panel discussion on theaters, stated, “You can either increase demand or decrease supply.  Demand is not going to increase, so it is time to think about decreasing supply.” (Rocco’s remark’s)  Needless to say, this statement ricocheted across the news, Twitter and the blogosphere (e.g. Diane RagsdaleCreative Infrastructure) with people taking strong stances either supporting Landesman’s statements, or expressing shock that such a statement could come from the nation’s chief supporter of the arts.

Fairly quickly, Landesman blogged a more complete statement on this issue, arguing that this discussion simply must take place, given the results of NEA’s Survey of Public Participation in the Arts which showed “a five percentage point decrease in arts audiences in this country.  This is juxtaposed against a 23% increase in not-for-profit arts organizations, and a rate of growth for not-for-profit performing arts organizations, specifically, that was 60% greater than that for the total U.S. population.” (Landesman’s NEA blog post, 1/31/2011).  However, he clarifies that decreasing supply is not the ONLY possible response to this issue.  He names other options that arts groups need to consider, such as arts education and coming up with new ideas to attract new audiences.

As I look at the arts and culture scene in the Triangle, I don’t readily see any surplus arts groups.  But we all know there are many nonprofits struggling, whether from decreased funding, decreased audiences, a declining economy, or a combination thereof.   I agree with many bloggers responding to Landesman’s comments that I certainly would not want to decide how to “separate the wheat from the chaff” or even if it should be done.  I believe we need to explore other options for increasing the health of our current arts and culture nonprofits.

1.  New Audiences/New ideas

As Landesman has suggested, all nonprofit arts organizations should be thinking innovatively to find ways to build new audiences or connect with current audiences. I believe this need is brought on not only by economic changes, but also by the recent drastic changes in media and marketing. The days of promoting your organization through a simple press release to or ad in the local print media are over. Certainly embracing social media is a must.  But groups also need to find ways to 1)Bring a group’s current work to new audiences and 2) Create new types of work that bring in new types of audiences. To create “buzz”, with all forms of media and audiences, you need to do something different….standard performances in unique venues, unique work in old venues….there are lots of new ideas being created by arts groups across the Globe.

Knight Foundation’s “Random Acts of Culture” have brought flash mob opera to Philadelphia and dancers to Uptown Charlotte.  Such events not only entertain, but also promote the organization and “wake up” audiences to the simple fact that they enjoy seeing such performances and want more.  In Raleigh, events like SparkCon have introduced new audiences to the breadth of creative talent in the Triangle, while increasing community  and creating connections that are paying rewards in jobs and collaborations now and in the future.  Longstanding arts groups and businesses participating in events like SparkCon bring their work to new audiences in a new way.

I receive information daily of other examples of arts groups worldwide using novel marketing strategies and new ways of presenting work. ArtWorks will continue to promote these ideas through the website and social media, so that the Triangle creative community can get ideas to use locally.  We will also continue to advise you of local educational opportunities in this area, topics such as how to use social media, new marketing strategies and the like. Be sure to keep us posted if you know of such opportunities.

2.  Rethinking arts infrastructure

Second, as my background is not in the arts, but in business, my natural inclination is to look for innovative ways to cut costs, without sacrificing product.  Some arts groups have dealt with declining coffers by beefing up marketing and fundraising. Others have cut already lean administrative budgets to a minimum.  Some have, sadly, cut programs.

But what if there was a new way to handle arts infrastructure?  What if we could come up with a platform for arts groups to share certain ministerial tasks cooperatively, such as IT support, or perhaps accounting.   What about collaborating on marketing efforts?  Broward County Florida has a program where 70 arts organizations share one marketing group and benefit from group buying power and expertise, saving on staff costs and time.  The Philadelphia Cultural Alliance offers group discounts for everything from payroll to health insurance and other aggregated services for Philadelphia’s arts and culture groups. They have a List-sharing Co-Op program, whereby organizations share mailing lists to increase audiences, and it is working! Can Triangle ArtWorks be the platform for such infrastructure sharing in the Triangle?  We think so.

And what if creative organizations and businesses cooperated or collaborated more, regionwide?  While many groups collaborate now on performances, there are benefits to collaboration in other areas too.   For instance, organizations are almost competing with each other to provide education programs, networking events and the like.   It is difficult now for the creative community to find out about these events, and for the organizations to market them, so more collaboration on these events could result in more efficient and effective events for the community.  Maybe such events could be grouped together and a networking component added.  I know that many of the larger organizations already work together on some things, but I believe it could be done on a broader scale and benefit the larger community.

There simply needs to be a regional platform or infrastructure for such collaboration, networking, and resource sharing. In order to support the incredible creative community we have in this region, this community needs a center.  That center needs to be independent of any specific group or municipality, and serve only as a facilitator and platform forinfrastructure and support. Triangle ArtWorks stands ready to be this platform.  Athough it seems counterintuitive that creating a new arts organization would be required, there is simply not a regional organization in existence to take on this role. We are a nonprofit organization with our only goal being to serve the creative community of the Triangle.

As Rocco Landesman says, we need to begin the difficult discussion of how arts groups are going to adapt to the changing economy, and changing world.   The population of the Triangle has grown dramatically over the last 20 years. We are not the same sleepy region of small towns that we used to be.  People moving here are moving to the Triangle, and then deciding which city/town to live in. When people, such as Richard Florida, talk about the strong creative community in this area, they are referring to the Triangle region as a whole. We at Triangle ArtWorks believe that there need to be new ways of doing things for the creative community in the Triangle to be ready for the future.  Triangle ArtWorks is ready to be at the center of that discussion and hopefully, provide a platform for some of these solutions. Would it be a new way of doing things?  Certainly.  But it is a time for new ideas to carry the creative community into the future.

What are your thoughts?  Reactions?  Ideas?  Ready to help?