Hi all! I haven't written in a year! Mostly because I was inbetween jobs. But, I have just started a new job at the Monmouth County Arts Council in New Jersey. I'm the new communication director and have come in at a great time. The organization is looking to redesign their website and I'm going to be a big part of that effort. I'm extreemly excited and am formulating ideas, I would love some feedback, check out what we have at www.monmouthartscouncil.org. it's very web 1.0 and I'd like to make it as dynamic as possible.
OK, I've spent some time on this today and come up with a hodge podge of framented thoughts about how a blog would be PERFECT for my organization, but I'm still worried the people I need to reach won't get what I get. We have great programming that could translate well into a blog, I just have to figure out how to get these people to get as excited about this as I am, and thats hard because they aren't nearly as 'into it' as I am. They're going to need some convincing. So, I'm asking for some help from whoever's out there and knows some tips about this, how do you transform a completely offline organization into an organization with an online presence and how do you convince offline people to want to get online?
I thought it might be a good idea to post our mission statement...
The Puffin Cultural Forum, a project of the Puffin Foundation, Ltd. is a gallery performance space located in Teaneck New Jersey. For over seven years, we have strived to bring thoughtful, socially-relevant, provocative, and culturally diverse arts programming to Bergen County and northern New Jeresy. We support public schools and community institutions, offering free arts workshops, guided gallery tours, and theater and other cultural presentations. Located in perhaps the most culturally diverse region of the US, we seek to create an environment where the arts are celebrated as expressions of the best of our humanity, and as catalysts for the achievement of human rights for all
I just got back from entertaining a highschool class. Their class was documentary for social change. My boss did most of the talking, but I was able to see the potential of this kind of thing. The kids were very into it, it seemed. I also realized that my contribution to this place is more technical than anything else. I always seem to come up with something to do with the web. Maybe I am missing out on working towards things like this. Organize in the community or online? I'm only one person so doing both is hard. Of coarse after it was over I said to my boss "I'll make up a website people can go to to learn about our educational programs".
Since the season is almost over--by June 9th we'll be done with all of our programming-- I've decided to take the summer to write up a proposal for the use of the Internet to extend our reach and promote our mission. I am proposing that we use the blogging format to reach out to people, not just to get people in the seats, because most likely the people who will view our blog won't be in the area, but to spread our valuable content through the web.
At the suggestion of my mother, who is a seasoned grant writer, I'm using the New York/New Jersey Area Common Application Form to structure my proposal. Here are some of the questions I will have to answer...What need does this project address? Who is the audience? What are your strategies? Who will be working on it? How does it contribute to our mission? How will you measure success?
I guess I will introduce myself and my organization. I'm the Associate Director of the Puffin Cultural Forum, a gallery performance space in Teaneck NJ. Our mission is generally to nurture the arts in the area and bring challenging programming to the community. We have music performances, fine art exhibits, author interviews, workshops and much more. We're a pretty busy space for sure.
I just started here about two years ago after graduating from Rutgers University with a degree in communication. I was hired to maintain the website, assist the program director, manage press relations and make the coffee.