Author: Somalia

C4 Atlanta Forums on Power in the Arts – Part 1

C4 Atlanta is committed to the needs of a thriving arts community in our city. To that end, we’ve been working over the last few months on exploring power dynamics and distribution within our own arts ecology and within the organizational cultures of our arts organizations. Inequality in our city is well researched and well-documented. A Bloomberg study in 2018 found that Atlanta had the worst income inequality of any major city in the United States. But wealth is only one form of power. In an industry where so-called “diva” behavior is not only accepted, but even encouraged, we wanted to see what other organizational pressures and disparities our community had faced. What had Atlanta artists, arts administrators and arts organizations experienced, and what resources existed to help us create the arts environment that Atlanta deserves?

This first blog post is dedicated to the first of these two programs which occurred at Hammonds House Museum on May 19, 2019. A second post will be forthcoming on our second program at the Center for Civil and Human Rights on August 22, 2019.

Two hands holding. Digital syle. One red and one blue. Futuristic and glowing.

C4 Atlanta, in partnership with our friends at Alternate ROOTS, invited artists, art administrators, and community members to take part in a conversation about power in the Arts Community at Hammonds House. Over 40 arts workers showed up on a Sunday evening to share their stories and experiences in working with and within the Atlanta arts community. The conversation was facilitated by Christine Gautreaux and Karimah Dillard, both members of Alternate ROOTS. Both Karimah and Christine have backgrounds in social work and the arts. In an effort to avoid triggering events and past traumas of attendees, groups were asked to focus on broader systemic issues rather than personal encounters. Here is a summary of what the event timeline was, what came out of this conversation, and what are the next steps.

Event Summary:

The meeting began with a grounding poem titled “Invitation to Brave Space” By Micky ScottBey Jones and A Call to Acknowledgement read aloud by Jessyca Holland. Terms and definitions were dispersed among the attendees for common vocabulary that might be used. The group at large collectively agreed upon “community agreements” (collective rules of conduct for the evening) by unanimous consensus.

Attendees were divided at random into six Story Circle groups. Story Circle is a device commonly used by members of Alternate ROOTS for sharing stories in a group. The Story Circle worked like this: 1) Each group had a designated scribe assigned to listen and write down themes of what they heard shared. 2) Each person in the group gets a set specific amount of time to share whatever they would like based on the question asked of the entire group. 3) The only person allowed to talk during this designated time is the speaker. All questions or comments must be held until everyone has had a turn to speak. 3) Once everyone has had a turn to speak, the scribe summarizes common themes back to the group. The entire group can comment on the themes shared, provide clarity and ask questions.

Group responses were recorded on large flip board charts for all to see in the space.

Break-Out Session 1:

Prompt 1:

“Why are you here tonight?” OR “Why do you feel this was important?”

Collective Responses (Edited for brevity by C4 Staff):

  • I am here to intentionally acknowledge that harm has been done.
  • I want to continue to offer freedom to collaborate but mature as leaders and be an ambassador to community values.
  • There is a trend of prioritization “saving face” and PR, rather than authenticity.
  • I want to be involved in the reshaping of how we want the arts community to viewed going forward.
  • Arts professionals/artists have been forced to silence self to be complicit in order to succeed.
  • People are listening and are present but still not responding.
  • Addressing abusive personal/professional relationships.
  • Taking responsibility for your own role in community.
  • Recognizing trauma
  • Wants to see an ethical handling of complaints/transparency.

Break Out Session 2:

Prompt 2:

Prompt is “I wish…” or “My solution is…”

  • Take more responsibility for your own role in community. How you’re perpetuating or contributing to those narratives.
  • Shift from solution based to progress based.
  • Continuing having conversations across community to protect your own and provide spaces to heal.
  • Thinking of ways to share power outside of financials.
  • Hold leadership accountable.
  • Have a designated person on an org’s your Board for sharing the grievances of those you serve. That way, if folks are not comfortable talking to staff, there is someone else to listen.
  • I wish Atlanta artists didn’t feel so undervalued because we default to patterns of people we see in power.
  • Close the gap between artists and administrators so that administrators have access to artists’ experience as foundation to the work.
  • I wish more people were willing to listen.
  • Process a community as call-in vs call out culture.

Additionally, facilitators captured some topics that we had heard artists tell us they had experienced in the past. The facilitators developed a colored dot system where dots corresponded to personal experience with each issue. Artists were asked to place a dot next to any of the issues that had affected them in some way. Below are photos of this exercise.

Facilitators asked participants to respond to key themes based on their experiences using a colored sticker system. Each sticker color stands for a different experience.
A photo of a flip board chart showing colored stickers under community issue topics.
Artists left stickers to share whether they had personally experienced the issue, had seen it happen to someone else or had heard of it happening.
A photo of colored stickers placed under issues in the arts community.
Utilizing the colored dot system, issues that had affected the greatest number of people where easy to identify.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After this event,

 

C4 let participants know that a follow-up on power distribution within organizational culture in the arts with Dr. Brea Heidelberg would be forthcoming. Stay tuned for the update from this event coming soon!

 

 

 

 

Investing in Atlanta’s Arts Educators is an Investment in Atlanta’s Youth

Why investing in Atlanta’s Creative Youth Should Also Include an Investment in Atlanta’s Arts Educators

By: Elisabeth Herrera-Very for C4

 

Atlanta is known for it’s vibrant, diverse, expanding arts community. From the amazing street art adorning our neighborhoods to blockbuster film projects; we have so much art to celebrate. Atlanta seems like a likely place to invest in the future of it’s arts community, however, the accessibility of arts education for Atlanta’s youth tells a different story. Wouldn’t it make sense to grow our own artists within the educational institutions we already have established? Wouldn’t more arts programming in our public schools add only greatness to our already robust arts scene? A greater emphasis on the arts sounds like an amazing idea but for that to happen we need to invest in supports for our arts educators.

All students in Georgia do not have equal access to a quality education in the arts. Data collected by the Georgia Council for the Arts (2015) show that nearly 40% of Georgia’s youth do not have access to high quality visual arts education, this means that students are being taught by a person who is not certified to teach visual arts, and 19% of those students do not have access to visual arts education at all. Arts disciplines such as theater arts have an even lower amount of high quality teachers in the field with 76% of Georgia’s youth going without any access to theater programs in their school (Bell, 2015, p. 17). One may ask, why don’t schools hire more arts educators? Historically, arts have been undervalued in public schools with little to no investment in growing arts programs, however, a more pressing problem is having access to high quality arts educators to fill those vacancies in the event that a school or district decides to invest in the arts. Keeping high quality educators in the field is problematic due to ever increasing teacher turnover.

SEE FULL ARTS EDUCATION REPORT HERE

In Georgia, like across our nation, teacher turnover is high. The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education stated in it’s Top Ten Issues to Watch in 2019 report that 13% of Georgia’s teachers leave the profession after only one year and 44% of teachers leave the field by their fifth year (GPEE, 2019, p.24). This high level of teacher turnover costs our public schools over 2 billion dollars every year (Phillips, 2015, para. 3). Many factors contribute to this alarming rate of attrition (teachers leaving the field) but the lack of supports for teachers is high on the list of reasons. The findings from GADOE’s “Georgia’s Teacher Dropout Crisis” survey (2015) show that one of the main reasons teachers leave the field in Georgia is the lack of professional development (Owens, 2015, p.4).

DOWNLOAD FULL PDF HERE 

As a visual arts teacher, I have spent the past near decade working in a variety of metro-Atlanta districts serving traditionally underserved populations. I have seen first-hand how the lack of supports for teachers affect the success of students. With pay freezes and furloughs, high-stakes testing, and general apathy or disregard towards the profession by the public it isn’t hard to see why so many people choose to leave the field. This is especially problematic in the fields of fine arts. So many principals do not have an understanding of what we do and so many school districts see us as extraneous additions to the curriculum. When a trained professional is treated as one of the least important members of the staff it is hard to maintain morale. In the majority of metro-Atlanta districts arts teachers exist on an island of isolation. Being the only art teacher in a school can be lonely; there is no one to bounce ideas off of, no one who speaks the language of the arts fluently, and sadly, no room to grow. Sitting on the lowest rung of the ladder year after year is exhausting and disheartening. Upon sharing my findings with a group at C4 one member stated that her husband had been a theater teacher but chose to leave the field. She stated matter of factly “…and he was such a good teacher”. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. Those of us who have a true passion for teaching in the arts are often crushed by the lack of supports or lack of access to supports.

I share these findings with the intent of sparking conversation in regard to what we value about the arts in Atlanta and the correlation between growing our artists and supporting our arts educators. Investing in Atlanta’s creative industries means investing in the educators who nurture and facilitate the growth of those creatives. We have all turned to someone to learn something new at some point in our life and those experts in their field supported us. Now it’s our turn to support those who teach in the arts because without their expertise our vibrant arts community will fade and for some of our most creative kiddos, their most effective means of communication with their world will cease to grow.

Resources:

  • Bell, A. (2015). Arts Education in Georgia: Public School Data and Principal Perspectives. Retrieved April 15, 2019, from https://www.georgia.org/sites/default/files/wp-uploads/2018/07/Arts-Education-Research-Report.pdf
  • Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (2019). Top Ten Issues to Watch in 2019. Retrieved April 15, 2019, from http://www.gpee.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/GPEE-Top-Ten-2019-Final_1-7-19.pd
  • Owens, S. J. (2015). Georgia’sTeacher Dropout Crisis A Look at Why Nearly Half of Georgia Public School Teachers are Leaving the Profession. Retrieved April 15, 2019, from https://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/communications/Documents/Teacher%20Survey%20Results.pdf
  • Phillips, O. (2015, March 30). Revolving Door Of Teachers Costs Schools Billions Every Year. Retrieved April 15, 2019, from https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/03/30/395322012/the-hidden-costs-of-teacher-turnover

C4 Atlanta Expands Space to Offer More Studio Space for Artists In South Downtown

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

C4 Atlanta Expands Space to Offer More Studio Space for Artists In South Downtown

DATE: Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Atlanta, GA – C4 Atlanta announces a space expansion to provide more studio opportunities to Atlanta-based, artists. C4 has signed a lease to become a tenant at 132 Mitchell Street.

After being at the M Rich Building since 2012, the nonprofit arts organization will be doubling its current space capacity. In addition to artist studios, the new arts center will offer offices for small arts businesses and nonprofits. The space will have two common area rooms for meetings or workshops. C4 Atlanta has a target move-in date of May 1, 2019. The space has a new HVAC system, elevator, and buildout is to begin soon for a fully ADA compliant bathroom. The new arts space will also be renovated with new floors and paint before move-in.

The expansion is part of an effort to keep arts workers from being fully displaced from South Downtown. With new development coming, real estate prices are expected to escalate. This trend is happening in Atlanta and other major cities across the United States.

As part of a program expansion tied to the space, C4 Atlanta will be receiving a $10,000 grant from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation to pilot a new incubation program that combines professional development and coaching with studio space for artists. C4 Atlanta works with a diverse array of artists that includes visual artists, performing artists, film makers, musicians, and curators.

“We are excited about this move. Our team has been exploring this possibility for several years,” said Jessyca Holland, co-founder and Executive Director. “At one point, we thought we may have to leave downtown but we found a space that fits our vision for the next several years, and we get to stay in the heart of the city of Atlanta.”

132 Mitchell is owned by Winter Properties. The building is located near public transit. C4 Atlanta will rent out the top floor.

“We are excited to be a part of C4 Atlanta’s next growth phase. The arts are important to the fabric of South Downtown,” stated Stacy Crane of Winter Properties.

The organization is now seeking artists who are in need of a studio or small art businesses that need office space. For more information, please email actionteam@c4atlanta.org.

About C4 Atlanta:

C4 Atlanta Inc. is a non-profit arts service organization whose mission is to connect arts entrepreneurs to the people, skills and tools they need to build a successful artistic career in metro Atlanta. The organization was founded in July 2010 in response to a growing need for business services for Atlanta’s arts community. C4 Atlanta fulfills this mission by offering professional practice classes for artists, fiscal sponsorship, co-working space, and advocacy for arts workers. C4 Atlanta’s program offerings are geared toward creating a new foundation of sustainability for arts and culture in the Atlanta region. For more information, visit c4atlanta.org.

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Talk Art to Me: You’ve Got Mad Skills by Vito Leanza

 

Vito in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in a costume he designed and built.

“Any acrobatics? Tell us more about your rope spinning.”

How many of you have gone to an audition and have been asked similar questions by the folks behind the table at your audition? For me, personally, it happens all the time.

When I first moved to New York City in 1995 to pursue a career in Musical Theatre, the buzz word flying around was “Triple Threat.” For those who don’t know what that means, it refers to being a Singer, Dancer and Actor. What more could Producers and Directors want? That was the whole package!

Back then (and still true today) many dancers, were strictly dancers, some could sing, but their forte was dance. They were known as Dancers who
sing. Singers on the other hand, same scenario, were Singers who could dance or Singers Who Move Well. No one really asked you if you could act, they just assumed you could. They would know more if they handed you sides to study.

In todays competitive world of Musical Theatre, Film and Television, its almost demanded that we have a special skill to make us stand out, to land that role. This is true especially in Musical Theatre where shows are much more flashy, technical and exciting! Take the recent revival of Pippin! You get the picture? Our special skills are just as important as our singing/dancing and acting lessons.

Before I found my way into musical theatre, I just happen to have many special skills. I learned because I was interested in them, not because I needed them for my resume. Here’s my list of special skills that I love to rattle off to folks for fun, but they are all true.

I am a Singer/Dancer/Actor/ Acrobat/Puppeteer/Stilt Walker/Unicyclist/
Juggler/Improv Actor/Writer/Costume Designer. In fact at one point, below
my special skills on my resume, I was bold and wrote “Creative Beyond
Belief.”

Vito as an acrobat in Joseph and the
Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

I learned all these skills bit by bit as time went by. I learned how to ride a unicycle at age 9 because a unicycle club came and performed at my elementary school. As a kid, I was also a springboard diver. I competed in high school and was a scholarship athlete in college. I had always been acrobatic and one day, while hanging around my church gym, I took those diving skills and transferred them into tumbling skills, which lead me to being a Varsity Cheerleader for 3 years. After college, I worked at Walt Disney World where I learned how to be a puppeteer and stilt walker, which were jobs within my job as a character performer and dancer. Eventually that lead me to dance classes and Musical Theatre.

When I moved to NYC and had a real resume, I would be at auditions and the producers would glance down and look at my special skills and almost always ask about my acrobatics. In fact, I got 90% of my jobs because of my special skills.

In 1997, I auditioned for the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I went in and sang and they asked me to return for a call back. Before I walked away, something compelled me to speak up about being an acrobat. It’s important that when you have the opportunity to sell what makes you unique, you do it! The folks behind the table lit up and said when I returned for my callback, I could tumble for them. The next day at the dance call, they asked me to tumble and I did a few tricks for them. I got the job and spent 15 months on the road.

I am now in the Atlanta Gay Mens Chorus and currently working at Stone Mountain Park during their Pumpkin Festival. I was called in to audition at Stone Mountain Park after I was seen at Unifieds. I was asked to prepare a comedic monologue and a song. I did my monologue then sang my song. They (and there were 4 folks behind the table that day) looked down at my special skills and began to ask about each special skill one by one. One director literally said “Stop, I didn’t hear a word after you said Costume Designer.” He was still trying to process that when the others where already asking about my circus skills and my puppeteering. Clearly I got the job. But I actually got 3 separate jobs from that one audition. I was hired as a Puppeteer, an Improv Actor and a Costume Designer. Here’s the kicker, I am also riding my Unicycle in a parade as well as Juggling. 5 skills utilized!

Life is a journey. We learn new things that lead us to other new things. As performers, we have a world of opportunity to learn new special skills.
Atlanta has more and more quality theaters opening all the time, plus more tv shows and movies filming here. I encourage you to seek out a
Puppeteering class, an acrobatics/tumbling class, a circus skills class. Make yourself more marketable. There’s a reason it’s called a Play.

Vito holding a Shrek Dragon Puppet that he made.

Connect with Vito:

Email: vitoworld@yahoo.com
Website: http://vitoworldproductions.com/

Talk Art to Me: Dancers – 5 Things To Do Today to Keep You Injury Free By Yenwen Kuo

The notion of a high injury rate in dancers has been established within the dance medicine community. An injury can be devastating to a dancer, whether you are in a full-time dancer in a company, a freelance artist who is always hustling and on the run, a pre-professional student, or a vocational dancer. Injury prevention has been a top priority in dance science research.

 Here are five ways based on scientific research to help dancers stay healthy and injury free (as much as possible):

  1. A proper warm-up.

         It’s a no-brainer, and I’m sure everyone knows this one. However, not everybody does their warm-up correctly. The goal of the warm-up is to prepare your body for the activity that you are about to do both physically and mentally. 

We want to increase our core temperature, the flow of the synovial fluid in the joints, and prepare the muscle for the movements that you will be doing. A good example would be doing some jumping jacks or running in place to get your heart rate up, then mobilizing joints from a small and control manner and gradually increase to larger movements. Last but not least is dynamic stretching, which you would move through a challenging but comfortable range of motion repeatedly, usually 10 to 12 times.

    While you are doing the warm-up, you should also mentally prepare yourself to focus on the upcoming dance activity, whether it is an audition, a class, or a performance. A distracted mind could also be a contributing factor to an injury.

    So dancers: sitting in a split on a cold floor as the first thing you do and playing your phone doesn’t count a warm-up.

  1. Cool-down after dancing.

      Very often after classes, rehearsals or performances, we pack our bags and rush off to the next place. I get it, you are tired or have places to be. However, a cool-down after dancing helps prevents lactic acid from building up in the muscle and you will be less likely to experience Delay Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) the next day. It is also the best time for you to do static stretching if increasing flexibility is one of your goals. Be sure to avoid prolonged stretching more than 20 minutes.

    Start practicing cool-down if time allows and your body will thank you. To find out more info on stretching, check out, the resource paper “Stretching for Dancers” by International Dance Medicine and Science.

  1. Eat and Hydrate.

    Dancers are artistic athletes. Dancing is a physically demanding activity and fueling a dancing body requires a delicate balance with dancers’ busy schedules. Also, for the younger dancers who are still growing, a healthy balanced diet is even more critical for them. The energy in a dancer’s diet should be composed of about 55%-60% carbohydrates, 12%-15% proteins, and 20%-30% fat.2 

    Hydration is also important. Water accounts for 60% of the total body weight, and dehydration could result in fatigue and injury. Have you heard about the pee test? A well-hydrated body will produce a moderate volume of urine that is pale in color and does not have a strong odor.2

  1. Cross-training.

     To be a well-rounded dancer you should not only take different styles of classes but also do cross-training to keep your body strong and less prone to injury. Dance classes prepare you for dance techniques, performance quality, artistic expression, and more. However, it doesn’t provide everything for a dancer to be prepared for the physical requirements. Everyone’s body is unique.

Some people may be naturally flexible and require more strength training to perform the beautiful extension. Some people lack flexibility and need a personalized program for stretching. There are many options for cross-training; you could do weight lifting, Pilates, Gyrotonic, running and more, depending on your goal. Sometimes it is difficult to prioritize which goal to tackle first. I suggest visiting a physical therapist, who specialized in performing arts medicine, to do a screening for you, and the therapist will be able to help you customized a program for you.

  1. Rest.

    Aside from dance classes, work, school work, performances, rehearsals, social life with friends and family, going to the gym to keep fit, and oh yeah, more rehearsals, who has time to rest?! A dancer’s schedule can get crazy real fast, however not having proper rest can cause adverse effects on the body. Fatigue is a result of overtraining and insufficient rest, and is one of the contributing factors to injury. When you are scheduling your day, don’t forget to schedule rest into your calendar. Your mind and body deserve some time to breathe and relax.

Connect with Yenwen:

Instagram – @yenwenkuodance

References:

  1. Critchfield, B. (2012, February 19). Stretching for Dancers. Retrieved October 11, 2018, from https://www.iadms.org/page/353
  2. Challis, J., Stevens, A., & Wilson, M. (2016, May). Nutrition Resource Paper. Retrieved October 11, 2018, from https://www.iadms.org/page/RPnutrition
  3. Simmel, L., & Michael, J. (2014). Dance medicine in practice anatomy, injury prevention, training. London: Routledge.
  4. Edel, Q., Rafferty, S., & Tomlinson, C. (2015). Safe Dance Practice. Human Kinetics.

 

 

Talk Art to Me: Writing A Winning Proposal By Angela Bortone

The main difference between winning and losing proposals is clarity. Panel reviewers read dozens, sometimes hundreds of applications, often with a short amount of time to review each proposal. If it is unclear what your project is, what it will look like, or why it matters, then it is unlikely your project will make it to the top. This doesn’t mean you need to have everything perfectly spelled out before you’ve even started the project, but it does require giving the grant-reviewing panel a strong idea of your proposed direction.

If you were to sit down with me to brainstorm a direction for a grant proposal, after you’ve determined the general project idea and reviewed the questions, I would ask, “What’s the story here?” Each answer is an opportunity to pull the reader in through storytelling. Does the project or idea stem from a particular incident that can form a unique hook? Differentiate your project from all of the other proposals by making it as unique as you are.

What I mean by story is start with a clear idea that you build and expand. Use structure to keep your writing on topic. Remember in high school when they taught you the three paragraph essay? At the time, I honestly thought this was something I would never need to use again. I actually used to copy my introduction paragraph in the conclusion spot to make it seem like I had written more because I’ve always thought I was a slow writer. Now, I just skip the conclusion paragraph altogether for brevity. The general structure though, I use all the time. Write a conceptual thesis, and then break it down into supporting paragraphs, and then support each of those paragraphs with specific evidence.

With my collective Living Melody Collective, we use meetings to discuss personal and collective opportunities we want to pursue as well as brainstorm strategies.

What that looks like in the form of a grant proposal is a broad overview of what the project is, that becomes increasingly more specific as you write. Supporting paragraphs can expand what it will look like, how you will make it, and even connect your theme to contemporary events. I’m of the opinion that every sentence of your proposal should be purposeful, focused point. If you go in too many directions, trying to nail down every possible interpretation, you risk clarity and possibly the readers interest.

It is better to write it simply, the way you would explain it to a complete stranger, than it is to is to veer into vague art speak. Then elevate your proposal with a dash of poetic language used sparingly for feeling. Ask your peers to describe your work and then keep that language in a document “word bank” that you can refer to when writing proposals for that added flair.

Once you have a solid project written out, look for ways to expand projects by re-using said applications. I call this recycling, and I do it because it’s sustainable. For example, if you get the a project funded, then perhaps look for a residency that can provide the studio space and solitude to get it done. Finding multiple streams of income is not only financially responsible, it’s a good way to be productive and efficient. I keep everything I’ve written in a searchable repository like Google Docs or Evernote for this purpose.

Here’s the entire collective on site with our most recent project, painting a school bus for the upcoming midterm elections. From left to right: Angela Davis Johnson, Haylee Anne, Jessica Caldas, Angela Bortone and Danielle Deadwyler.

Connect with me:

www.angelabortone.com
Instagram: @angela_bortone

New Voter Engagement Initiative Using Art

C4 Atlanta collaborates with local artists to encourage people to vote in the 2018 Midterm Elections
DATE: Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Atlanta, GA – C4 Atlanta is excited to collaborate with sound artists, Meredith Kooi and Floyd Hall on Vote With Your heART, a civic engagement project designed to encourage people, especially the under-35 age group, to vote in the 2018 Midterm elections. This project is nonpartisan. Vote With Your heART is generously supported by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta through a $5,000 award from their Civic Engagement Fund. Part art project, part civic intervention, Vote With Your heART is an invitation to the citizens of Atlanta to vote on November 6, 2018.

Vote with Your heART seeks to encourage Atlanta citizens, particularly young voters, to participate in the voting process
through a simple invitation to join the process. Floyd and Meredith have captured the stories of local residents’ experiences with civic participation. Through our public art instillation and website, passersby can listen to these compelling stories from Atlantans of diverse backgrounds and points of view. The temporary installation will be located at two local universities this fall and in Woodruff Park during Atlanta Streets Alive.
During the in-person events, students and other participants are invited to record their own stories and reactions
with local artists Floyd Hall and Meredith Kooi. Participants will have the chance to share their stories inside Meredith Kooi’s Buckminster geodesic dome, known as the Bucky Dome. These stories will be broadcast over an internet radio channel during
Atlanta Streets Alive. All interviews are housed on the site c4atlanta.org/voteart
Additionally, research tell us that many people do not participate in the voting process because no one asked them. C4 Atlanta will be literally inviting people to participate in their community through voting. Designer and printmaker Lennie Gray Mowris is designing an actual handmade letterpress invitation to be a part of our democratic process.

“The website serves as a repository for stories about voting and civic engagement,” said Jessyca Holland, C4’s Executive Director. “But it also serves as a place where anyone in Georgia with internet access can learn about voter registration, polling location, and it links to information about the candidates. By setting up the listening dome we hope to engage with as many people as possible. Maybe this project will give us better insight into how people in Georgia feel the  political process.”
Vote With Your heART web address:https://c4atlanta.org/voteart
Atlanta Streets Alive – Activity PartnerWoodruff Park, Downtown September 30, 2018 Free & Open to the public
About C4 Atlanta:
C4 Atlanta Inc. is a non-profit arts service organization whose mission is to connect arts entrepreneurs to the people, skills and tools they need to build a successful artistic career in metro Atlanta. The organization was founded in July 2010 in response to a growing need for business services for Atlanta’s arts community. C4 Atlanta fulfills this mission by offering professional practice classes for artists, fiscal sponsorship, co-working space, and advocacy for arts workers. C4 Atlanta’s program offerings are geared toward creating a new foundation of sustainability for arts and culture in the Atlanta region. For more information, visit c4atlanta.org.

Five Ways to Optimize Your Website

 

With the continous rise of social media, creatives often wonder why it’s important to still have a website. Instagram allows you to collect your profiles data analytics,  connect with your audience , sell ads, and essentially expand your brand. However, there are still many incidents where popular influencers pages have gotten hacked and they’ve had to start all the way over. Your website is YOURS! This is where people are coming to learn about you. The question becomes, why should your audience visit your website? They can visit your Instagram , Facebook, and Snapchat to see what you’ve been up to.  Here’s five ways that you can optimize your website and keep your audience coming back for more.

  1. Update your website frequently –
    Keeping your audience engaged with what your doing is very important. Make sure that whatever new projects you’ve been working on or new achievements you’ve made in your career are featured on your website. Some artists have content that is exclusivley for their website. When you update your website frequently, you’re giving your audience a reason to constantly check your page for new content.

2. Offer discounted prices or promotions for people who join your mailing list through your website – 

People LOVE discounts! They’re also intrigued by recieving incentives for actively engaging with your platform. Once you’ve collected contact information from your audience you now have the power to engage with them more frequently. You’re able to see what they like, what they care about, and invite them to your shows/events outside of social media.

3. Use social media to drive traffic to your website – 

Whenever you post a new video,  put new artwork up for sale, post a blog, or an article that you like, let people know on your social media pages that there’s something new up on your website.. As a performing artist, I will often post a teaser performance video and tell people to view the entire video on my site. Make sure that you’re utilizing your Instagram and Facebook stories along with posting on your page.

4. Use your data analytics from your website to create your own marketing strategy – 

Knowing what your audience is interested in and how many times their visiting your site isn’t enough when you don’t know how to use the data to expand your brand. Anaylze your site data and come up with marketing strategies based off of what your audience wants. For example, if my unique visitors

5. Sell ad space/ offer ad space in exchange for sponsorship – 

When I started reaching out to potential sponsors for my debut concert, I created a sponsorship package which included ad space as perk for sponsoring the event. This is a way to generate income based off of how many people view your site. It provides an incentive to create new business realtionships.

 

Whether you’ve had your website for years or just starting out, these are great tips to help you stay up to date in the constantly changing digital world. People are interested in receiving information and content in real time! These tips can help to make your website the go to place for content in your artistic field.  If you’re thinking about starting a website or revamping your own, sign up for our Website Bootcamp class happening Tuesdays, Sept 25 – Oct 16, 2018 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.

 

Thanks for reading!

Sponsor Spotlight : Megan Dougherty Photography

                                                        

Megan Dougherty Photography

Thanks to Megan Dougherty Photography in there generosity in sponsoring for the Atlanta Unifieds Auditons. It’s important to C4 Atlanta that we support Atlanta businesses that support local artists. Learn more about Megan Dougherty and her support for Atlanta Theatre community.

What makes your style of photography unique? 

I specialize in acting headshots, and so I’m usually only photographing the head and shoulders. I rely on different angles, and lot of expressions to make each shot unique. I’m very well known for bringing out my client’s eyes, and making their headshots look like them. My retouching is very light, and I do my best to photograph accurate representations of my client’s on their best days! I love doing headshots, but also enjoy fashion and family portraits when I get the chance.

How long have you been in Business?  

I’ve had my studio for a little over 11 years now, and am so happy that I get to do photography as my career! 

Why is the Atlanta theatre community important to you?
I love meeting all kinds of different people, and working one on one with actors (film and theatre) really inspires me and creates great energy during our shoot. I believe theatre and the arts is truly important to our communities. When a child, or anyone, sees a play they can be transported right then into a whole different world and the actors on stage make that world come alive! The lighting, set designs, costumes and everything is just amazing to see when you are there.
What do you love about your business?
I truly enjoy everyone that I am able to meet because of my career. I’ve met so many amazing people. I try my best to be an inspiring person on their acting journey, and I love keeping up with my actor’s recent bookings and what they are up to. My favorite thing is showing a client a great photo of themselves, and how awesome they look!
 
What inspires you as an artist?
I love interior design, traveling, being outside with my family, and all kinds of art. I can be inspired so easily, something as simple as a walk with my child and seeing different colors out in nature, or traveling to a totally different place and experiencing totally new things. I love to stay open and try to take as much in as I can.
Are there any promotions that you would like to share with us?
I’ll offer a discount to anyone who mentions “MDP C4”, they can get 10% off  any session until June 30, 2018.

Sponsor Spotlight : The Pixel Pusher

We appreciate the support of “The Pixel Pusher” who sponsored the Atlanta Unifieds Auditons. It’s important to C4 Atlanta that we support Atlanta Businesses who support artists. Learn more about The Pixel Pusher team and their support for the Atlanta Theatre community.