Archive for June, 2011

The Art on the Go! saga: Site visits

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

As we announced in last week’s newsletter, we’re launching a public art mobile tour called Art on the Go! It’ll give you an insider’s perspective on selected pieces of public art around the county — all you’ll have to do is whip out your phone, dial a number and listen! While not every single piece will be included, we’re planning to launch the first batch later this year.

Creating the public art mobile tour takes a lot of legwork. Not only do we have to scout out and identify which pieces to include, but we also have to design signage, obtain permission to mount signage, make site visits and consult with facility managers on its placement and write and record scripts. Yikes.

Last week, Fran and I visited the Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring Performing Arts Center to take a look at the public art installation there: “Watermark” by David Hess. Here’s a picture of the piece taken with the Instagram app:

We spent some time exploring the different places the plaque could go:

Thank you to Montgomery College for opening its doors to Art on the Go!, and thank you to OnCell Systems for supporting this tour. We’ll blog periodically about our adventures in developing the tour — stay tuned!

What piece of public art in Montgomery County are you curious about?

If there’s a there there, thank public art!

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Since this time last year, AHCMC’s Public Arts Trust (PAT) program has had the good fortune to be managed by Fran Abrams, artist, arts manager and MoCo native. During her tenure, which began the day after she retired from her position as AHCMC’s Grants Director, Fran has been busy. Busy ensuring that public art on County-owned property is inspiring, dynamic and meaningful to the community in which it is located. Busy making sure that County departments know that public art is a vital enhancement to public spaces and that public art draws communities together and deters vandalism and other criminal behavior. Busy planning for a virtual and mobile phone tour of the County’s public art collection. And, well… you get the picture, just really busy.

After such incredible work, AHCMC is sad to announce that Fran is stepping down as Public Art Coordinator effective July 1, 2011.  AHCMC is currently opening a search for a new Public Art Coordinator. If you are interested in this position, please click here.

“It has been my distinct pleasure to oversee the County’s public art program, including maintenance, for the last twelve months,” says Fran. “The Public Art Trust Steering Committee, chaired by Trish McManus, of the Montgomery County Parks Department, is a dedicated and thoughtful group of professionals that understand how vital public art can be in creating a sense of place for a community. And we are fortunate that the County budget includes a small allocation for ongoing art maintenance.”

Fran leaves the public art program with a very clear road map of exciting new projects ahead including…


Do & Go trends: Free summer concert series!

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Looking at the Do & Go calendar, it looks like everyone’s got music on the brain! Here’s a list of free summer concert series I found on Do & Go:

Summer Concert Series at Glen Echo Park – Thursdays at 7:30 pm in the Bumper Car Pavilion. Concerts don’t occur every Thursday, so be sure to check the schedule! Presented by Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture.

Bethesda’s Free Summer Concerts – Every Thursday through July 28 from 6-8 pm in Veterans Park. Presented by Bethesda Urban Partnership.

Concert in the Square – Every Thursday through August 25 from 6-8 pm in Rockville Town Square. Presented by the City of Rockville.

Free Summer Outdoor Concerts at Strathmore – Every Wednesday from June 22 to August 24 at 7:00 pm in the Gudelsky Gazebo. LaBrassBanda kicks off the series next week! Presented by Strathmore.

Know of another free summer concert series in Montgomery County? Let us know in the comments below.

Rich cultural heritage: right in our backyards

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Now that the Montgomery Traditions website is finally up and running, I’m taking a little bit of time to reflect on the process as we prepare ourselves for adding even more content from more traditional arts groups from all around Montgomery County. And as I go over the stories I worked on with John Murph over the last few months, I can’t help but be impressed with the fact that so many artists have decided to make Montgomery County their home. I don’t feel that Washington D.C. gets recognized as the arts-rich city that it is, compared to New York or Chicago; Montgomery County even less so, being a suburb of Washington. But the fact is that all of these artists have decided to make Montgomery County their home. Shizumi Manale, for example, is an internationally-recognized performing artist, and after living in Japan and becoming an award-winning performing in San Francisco, she decided make permanent residency here in Montgomery County. Other artists such as Lesole Maine and Diana Saez came to Montgomery County to take advantage of the same opportunities that have drawn in a diverse international community for years. In either case, the county’s unique international appeal has led it to become a hotbed for cultural arts that I think in many ways in unparalleled. I honestly don’t think we get enough credit!

As someone who’s young and has grown up in this county for nearly all my life, I’ve faulted MoCo for being boring, drab, etc. But I think that the abundance of artists that choose to make this county the place where they live and work is an excellent litmus test of how culturally viable and important Montgomery County is. We have created a dynamic, multi-faceted community which artists from all over the world have recognized not only as an optimal environment for conducting their own projects, but as a place worth investing in culturally. We should follow their lead and be proud of our county and the art it facilitates and produces.

CEO Vlog: Please thank your Councilmembers!

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

For a sample letter, visit our Advocacy Toolkit.

Thanks again for all your support!

Staying tech-happy

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

The Conversaion Prism by Brian Solis and JESS3: the former NBC peacock on steroids.

We’re kind of super tech-happy here at AHCMC. We’re all about being more efficient and leveraging what we can for the most impact. Here are some resources that help us make informed decisions and stay up-to-date on the ever-changing technology landscape:

Nonprofit Technology Network – NTEN is a fantastic resource for any nonprofit looking for best practices in the nonprofit sector. In fact, our staff had the opportunity to attend the NTEN Technology Leadership Webinar series over the past couple of months. (You’ll hear more about this soon.) There is a cost to membership, but their blog and podcasts are free to access and are incredibly valuable. (@NTENorg)

Technology in the Arts – For technology and social media coverage that’s focused on arts and culture organizations, Technology In The Arts is a go-to place. A service of The Center for Arts Management and Technology at Carnegie Mellon, TITA has a blog, podcast series,  webinars and even free mini-nars (mini webinars). Examples and tips for practical application and pirates talking about QR (cue-arrrrrgh) codes. You can’t beat that. (@TechInTheArts)

Mashable – This is a go-to place for all social media and tech news. Today’s headlines alone: “YouTube Adds Creative Commons Content to Video Editor“; “Microsoft Offers First Sneak Peek of  Windows 8“; “Google Launches Its Groupon Competitor.” The amount of news is a bit overwhelming, but staying on top of this stuff is pretty darn important. (@mashable)

You’ve Cott Mail – Thomas Cott sends a daily themed digest of articles related to arts and culture. While some of them might not be technology-related, the articles are always interesting — and you don’t have to hunt through news sources to find them. (Confession: There was an email digest recently about Twitter art that I nerded out on.) (@youvecottmail)

National Arts Marketing Project – A program of Americans for the Arts, NAMP is a great resource for articles specifically on using technology for marketing. NAMP also holds a yearly conference, which I was fortunate to attend in November 2010. (It’s also how I heard about The Conversation Prism, which is at the top of this post.) Highlights from the 2010 conference are available on the website.

What helps you stay afloat technology-wise?