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Live Webcasts for Arts Organizations

One of the more exciting developments this past year (aside Obama’s Inauguration, the stock market crash, and Twitter – yes there are other things in this world aside from twitter), has been the proliferation of live online video.

Websites + companies like UStream.tv and Mogulus have made high quality live web broadcasts a reality.

This past year alone, I produced live performance webcasts for Martha Graham Dance, Misnomer Dance, and DanceBrazil. All of these webcasts featured live webchats, and a global audience.

These unique online events brought in more audience members than the theaters could hold, and generated more online buzz than any of these companies could have hoped for.

Simply said, more people saw their work online than in the theater. Not only that, but the online audience loved the performances and were highly engaged, updating their facebook statuses while the performances were happening. Many came back to the website long after the webcast was done to see the archived video. All of this was not too surprising for me. People love interacting online, particularly around live events.

Just think back to the past few Oscar Parties, Superbowls, and Elections….

What was surprising to me – many people who were watching the webcast had already seen the company’s work before live – in the theater. However, countless others had never had the opportunity to see the company’s work and lived in places the company had not yet toured.

I thought I’d share a little more insight and answer some common questions I’ve received since then:

  • How do I do a live webcast?
  • How much does this cost?
  • Is this for me?
  • Where’s the money?
  • Will it take away from my live audience?

Before I start answering these questions, I’m wondering – why aren’t more companies doing this?
Bars in New Orleans and Fort Lauderdale have webcams and webstreams.
Why aren’t arts organizations and companies doing the same?

I’m convinced this is the year companies will start putting their live work on the web.

Am I wrong?

Watch Misnomer Dance‘s webcast
Watch DanceBrazil‘s archived performance

YouTube Symphony Orchestra : Building a symphony online

YouTube + Google have launched the YouTube Symphony, a place where anyone can audition for Carnegie Hall.

A few other places (including the New York Times) are talking about it:

I initially read it on Andrew Taylor’s blog, The Artful Manager, but there are many other blogs talking about this great contest.
So what is it? According to Jaime Weinman
musicians make videos of themselves playing a particular part in a short piece by the composer Tan Dun. They also make a more standard audition video of themselves playing their usual repertoire. They submit their videos by January 28, and the judges pick the winners. Then YouTube creates a mashup where they combine the winning parts into an “online orchestra,” and then the winners are flown to New York to do a live performance at Carnegie Hall in April under veteran conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.
How did this idea happen? Greg Sandow wrote an interesting article on this and gives us a quick summary:
Two guys at Google came up with the idea (Google owns YouTube), and pitched it to the rest of the company. The rest of the company liked it, so Google went ahead, and found classical music partners to join in the fun.Â
This Washington Post article also gives a nice overview of the contest.
Is this a good idea? Will this water down classical music while bringing it to larger audience? Or will it be a great success?

We’ve launched Daniel Gwirtzman’s site!

I’m happy to say we’ve officially launched Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company’s new site!

Actually, I’m quite impressed with the final product we put together for the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company. With the help of great media all around, we were able to piece together a photo gallery, a video gallery, a new subscription system, and even an SMS delivery system for his audiences.

It’s really been great working with Daniel and his company. They really did a phenomenal job in gathering their assets, organizing their content, and creating compelling videos. Congratulations, Daniel! It’s exciting to know I’ll be able to continue to help you communicate your wonderful work!

If you like this, take a look at my other work.

[screenshots follow]


About Page | Features: Large Image on each page, drop-down navigation, links to video gallery, customizable sidebar navigation


Home Page | Features: Slide show, customizable footer area, drop-down navigation bar

While launching the site, I found this guide to be particularly useful:

I initially setup this wordpress site in a subdirectory ( /wordpress ) so that I could develop things without affecting their active site. After the wordpress site was all setup, I needed to make the switch. The article above did the trick for me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts – share your ideas and leave a comment!

National Arts Marketing Project Conference

This week is the National Arts Marketing Project Conference.

For those interested in how the new ways of the web are affecting the arts and beyond read on!

The Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City published these two very interesting reports – well worth a read. These publications are being discussed at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference.

KC Collaborative Audience Development Exec Summary
June 20, 2008
This executive summary provides a brief overview of a three-phased audience development research project initiated by the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City and conducted by Surale Phillips between 2003 to 2008. The job of connecting with arts audiences is getting tougher in an increasingly competitive world. Adding to this challenge is the fact that arts organizations often work in isolation, unaware of research and replicable innovations from across town or from across the nation. This report offers guidance for finding new audiences and connecting with all audiences in meaningful ways.

KC Collaborative Audience Development Phase III
June 20, 2008
This report focuses on the many lessons learned by arts organizations in the Kansas City metropolitan area in a multi-year collaborative audience development project. As noted by Jerry Yoshitomi, the findings of Phase III of the project align with recent research in social psychology and marketing, as well as the Web 2.0, social marketing, self-curated world that is emerging. The recommendations and tools included in the full report take into consideration the changes in cultural communication methods and make use of new, more efficient ways of using technology to keep marketing costs down while increasing patron connection and response.

AYN Brand has also published this great web2.0 primer. Take a look through the presentation below: