Social Media and the Arts

By Jennifer Sadler

The way people are searching for and receiving information has changed dramatically over the last few years. The biggest catalyst in this change has been the use of social media, which has become much more integrated into everyday communications. Social media refers to online media—like text, photos, messages or video—that engages people in conversations and encourages them to share information with others.

Arts organizations and artists are increasingly recognizing the opportunities presented by social media and social networking tools. Using outlets like Facebook and Twitter to reach out to constituents is becoming the norm. Social media tends to cluster likeminded people together and sorts them into groups or sets. From a marketing standpoint, this can save hundreds of hours in research in trying to reach target audiences. By using social media, an organization can get right to the people that matter most to them.

Social media also can help artists and arts organizations “talk” to audiences. It offers an opportunity to share more about what they do—to share a more personal story behind the art they create or services they offer, and it adds a more participatory element that wasn’t possible before.

The Greater Columbus Arts Council first joined the social media “conversation” when the Columbus Arts Festival made its move to the Discovery District in 2008. At that time, reaching out to constituents through Facebook was a brand new concept for most arts organizations.

“In the beginning, it was a way of looking beyond print, local media and e-mail to spread the word regarding the move to the Discovery District,” says GCAC’s VP of marketing, communications and events Jami Goldstein. “I think we've really begun to take advantage of the opportunities there. Not only can we drive fans back to our Web site for more information, we can engage and share in a way that we couldn’t before.”

Since GCAC started their Facebook fan pages, the Festival and GCAC fans combined have climbed to more than 4,400.

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First presented in 1997 to Ian Frazier for his book Coyote vs. Acme, The Thurber Prize for American Humor is bestowed annually upon both author and publisher of the most outstanding book of humor writing published in the United States. Initiated in 1996, 35 years after the death of Columbus native James Thurber, it is the nation's highest recognition of the art of humor writing. On October 4, at the Algonquin Hotel in New York, Steve Hely was announced as the winner of the 2010 Thurber Prize for American Humor for his book, How I became a Famous Novelist (Black Cat/Grove Press). The prize is presented with the support of the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

Hely is a Harvard graduate who currently writes for NBC’s popular sitcom The Office, and has written for many other shows, including 30 Rock, The Late Show with David Letterman, and Fox’s animated comedy, American Dad. He is also co-author of the comic travelogue The Ridiculous Race.

GCAC recently spoke with Hely about winning this prestigious honor and to learn a little more about his work.

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ProMusica Chamber Orchestra Presents Mostly Mendelssohn (featuring Vadim Gluzman, violin)

Returning to the Southern Theatre, Vadim Gluzman, world-renowned violinist, will lead ProMusica in a performance inspired by Mendelssohn. The performance features Schnittke’s “Suite in the Old Style for Violin & Strings”, Mendelssohn’s “Octet”, Schnittke’s “Fugue for Violin Solo” and Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto in D Minor.” Born in Ukraine and raised in Israel, Gluzman has trained internationally, contributing to his masterful technique and vibrant style.

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The 58th Annual Columbus International Film + Video Festival

The 58th Annual Columbus International Film + Video Festival whirls into action this season with a kaleidoscope of films and events, from cows wanting to be hamburgers to children who travel alone through Mexico and into the U.S., GMOs, green building, to a high school football rivalry that springboards into a story about money and class. Indeed there is something for everyone here.

The CIF+VF is the longest running film festival in the United States and “Shows Work You Can’t See Anywhere Else” in Columbus.

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The Dublin Arts Council Presents Masayuki Miyajima: Refined Function

Masayuki Miyajima’s elegant, functional handmade pottery is steeped in a long history of ceramics in Japan. Deeply tied to the Mingei folk art tradition through his apprenticeship with Shimaoka Tatsuzo, a “Living National Treasure", his work preserves the value and inherent simplistic beauty of the pottery of Mashiko, the area known for Mingei ware. Miyajima will travel from the town of Motegi, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan for this exhibition, which offers a rare opportunity for a first-hand experience with this fading tradition. Miyajima’s graceful ceramic artwork has sold out in each of his two previous visits to DAC.

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