Archive for the ‘Program info’ Category

Make Art Through Making Art

Broadway Producer, Ken Davenport posted a blog that relates directly to one of AEP’s goals: to help artists use their art to support and produce more art. You can read his full post here, but below is an excerpt that is right up the same alley as what we’re helping you do through AEP.


If you’ve got a product that already has market interest, another way to boost that interest is to create supporting products that might appeal to either a new demographic, or more importantly, your core demo. That group is desperate to consume as much information as they can about who you are, what you do, and where you come from.

So once you have a show that has some traction, take some time to supplement that traction with a history book, a mini doc, or something else that might make money on its own . . . and that supports your primary product.


How does this relate to your work? You can build on your show before it even opens by creating offerings that lead up to your major performance. Take a look at some of the ways AEP artists are building momentum for their shows by creating a Project around it, or supporting performances by giving sneak-peeks or follow-ups.


Aug. 2, 2011, Filed under category blog, Program info


Spring is in the air and AEP’s artists are springing into action!

Melissa Riker, Artistic Director of Kinesis Project, is presenting “Phase 1: Mapping Home InStudio”- a look into the creative process of their new work in it’s early stages of development.  You can get into the action, but seating is limited so reserve your spot today!  You could also win tickets to a Yankee’s game so don’t forget your raffle ticket.




The event will be held at Gibney Dance Center in one of their newly acquired studios.  Guess what, YOU can also use these studios for rehearsals, classes, and private events!  Check out the beautiful studios in the heart of Manhattan and book your event today!








Jun. 3, 2011, Filed under category Announcements, featured, Program info


Shaping the Artist-Audience Relationship: Presentation at NAMP conference.

In a few days I will be flying out to California for the annual arts marketing conference for NAMP, the National Arts Marketing Program, of Americans for the Arts. I’ll be leading a session which you can read about below or watch this quick video about it. I’m looking forward to hearing about all the experiementation in the arts at the conference, and to having conversations with the attendees who are flying in from across the country (and abroad)! Here’s a link to the description of our session and the other exciting events at the conference. I’ll be sure to post more about the conference while I’m there. – Chris Elam

SHAPING THE ARTIST-AUDIENCE RELATIONSHIP. Sunday, Nov 14, 9am-10:15am PST. Do you struggle to build connections with your audience beyond your performance or exhibition schedule? Want to know about digital audience engagement innovations happening in the field right now? This session covers recent applications of technology being developed to invigorate audience engagement, including a new web-based service, the Audience Engagement Platform (AEP). See how digital relationship building works, how it can apply to your organization, and how it can improve measuring your marketing efforts.

Speakers: Caleb Custer, Strategist, Design Brooklyn; Chris Elam, Artistic Director & CEO, Misnomer Dance Theater; Ron Evans, Arts Marketing Consultant, Groupofminds.com; Amy Kweskin, Program Director, California State University East Bay

Nov. 9, 2010, Filed under category Announcements, Program info


Reflections on AEP Testing Process

Hello everyone, my name is Ron Evans, and I’m a technology consultant who has worked on various levels of the design of AEP in the past, and recently I was brought back on board to lend a hand in the software testing process. My recent role included leading the interview process of early users of the software, which is always a fascinating experience.

The initial experience that a first-time user has with new software is an incredibly useful event to witness and record. And it only happens once for each person — after that, they are already somewhat aware of the software and how it works. So, user experience testing at this stage is designed to gather the most amount of feedback from users, on all aspects of their experience — things like their thoughts on the look and feel of the software, their expectations on what it should “do,” and how effectively it “does” that at this point in development. Even people’s facial expressions are important if you can get them — they can tell you when someone “doesn’t get it” right away, and how long it takes them to figure “it” out. It’s incredibly interesting from a software design perspective, but even more interesting from a psychological perspective.

For AEP, a number of individual artists and small organizations were invited to participate in this first round of testing. They were given the url and password to the AEP demo site, and asked to create an account, login, play around, create some content, and generally kick the software around a bit and see how it worked.

The testers were split into two groups — one group was given detailed instructions on how to login and do all of these things, and the other was given almost no information. This A/B test was designed to show how easily understood the functionality of this early stage of development was without training for the “B” group, vs. the “hand holding” of the “A” group.

After a set testing period, I contacted the testers individually, and scheduled interview times to meet with them and discuss their experience in AEP. The AEP staff and I had designed a number of questions to ask the testers to help them describe their experience in a way that would create useful feedback for the AEP developers. There were 15 questions, including:

* What do you think AEP is now? What is it being designed to accomplish?
* How do you hope those goals and functionality will fit into your organization?
* What did you think about the look and design of the site? How does it compare to other sites you frequent?

The feedback from the testers was very interesting — it’s remarkable how certain people are very focused on one aspect — say, look & feel — while others are totally focused on some other specific aspect. With the variety of testers we were able to interview, we received a healthy view of how these early users view AEP, and that info will be used to improve the product into the next testing stage.

Sharing a product at an early a stage is always somewhat anxiety-inducing for any developer. But the feedback you receive can offer the potential for detailed levels of course correction that would be too costly to discover later on, as well as validation that the choices you’ve made up to this point in development were ultimately accepted and understood by your users. I’d like to thank the initial testers for their dedication and great feedback, and I look forward to working with them in future testing stages!


Ron Evans, Principal
Groupofminds.com Arts Marketing Consulting

Oct. 30, 2010, Filed under category Program info


A few thoughts on artists creating technology

A lot of people have been asking me how, as an dance artist, have I become interested in technology and software creation. The way I see it, there are two main types of ways that technology intersects with the arts:

1) in creating access and ways of experiencing the art and

2) as part of the art itself.

Today I thought I’d share a few thoughts on the first, and write more about the second at a later time.

I am both very interested in artistic creation itself, and in the ways that audiences connect with it, and are impacted by it. I believe that audiences are inherently co-producers, in that they bring their own history and ways of seeing to the art as they experience it. Since there are many different kinds of people seeing any single work of art, I aim to create multiple access points which people can choose to augment their overall experience. These are ways that individuals can gain access to the art, creation process, and to the community around the art. Technology provides ways for artists to extend and manage these exchanges for their audiences, which has driven my interest in making the web easier for myself, and for other artists to use.

While I haven’t stopped choreographing for more that six months at a time since I was 14 years old, my undergraduate degree was actually in Public Policy, focusing on federal level involvement in the arts and education. In addition, I spent a lot of time taking and being a teaching assistant for computer science classes, and worked in the Brown University Computer Graphics research group. I started to recognize how creative software programming could be, and even to see some parallels to the choreographic process. While I haven’t personally written software code for years, these above experiences fed my familiarity with and interest in applying the smart use of technology to helping artists on a systems level to involve audiences in realizing their artistic visions.

As the founder of a small dance company in NYC, I experience first-hand the challenges of managing the company, alongside creating art. My interest is to engage our audiences around both the artistic and production process, so that they can feel closer to the experience, and so that artists can both deepen their impact on audiences and benefit from the partnership of audiences in helping to support the growth of their work.

Yes, managing a software development process is quite different from being in the dance studio. But at core, building AEP is about furthering the mission of our artistic work, to create deeper impact on our audiences and to progress the art.


Chris Elam
Artistic Director
Misnomer Dance Theater

Oct. 30, 2010, Filed under category Program info