James North Art Crawl
James North Art Crawl

Let’s make it a Social Media Event

The second Friday of every month, James Street North comes alive with people as local galleries and shops stay open late and throw open their doors to the public.

The event has become a great success and has established a way to attract visitors to the downtown by showcasing the latest works by emerging and mid-career artists.

What if we build on this success by using cell phones and twitter to:

  1. Promote audience participation
  2. Document the event
  3. Create a wider audience

All this and more without spending a dime!

What I am proposing is that visitors, galleries, shop owners and artists generate comments, photos, and videos of their experience of the evening – each from their own unique and authentic perspective.

Promoting Audience Participation

Everyone likes to share a good experience.  In fact, this is already happening with shout outs and photos of art, bands and galleries being posted to #Artcrawl via twitter (April12th, May 10th).  With encouragement, audience participation could be greater. See examples of my art reviews: Stephanie Vegh, Kyle Reed. As a result, artists, bands and galleries can have authentic, real-time, coverage of their events via messages, photos and cell phone videos.

Documenting the event

Just like a birthday party or a wedding, it is nice to have photos and videos of the evening.  Twitter messages, photos and videos create a great way of documenting the evening.  This documentation can be used to promote further efforts or simply record the evenings success. See Open Doors, example 1, example 2.

Creating a wider audience

As a parent of two small children, it is very difficult for me to attend evening activities like the Art Crawl.  At the moment, getting dinner ready and then sending everyone to bed takes priority.  Nevertheless, I am still very interested in what is happening and who is showing.  If I had access to messages, photos, or videos then I might later visit key galleries or artists.  This is how I found out about Kyle Reed’s art show at the Mulberry Street Coffee House (De Facto) and also discovered a great place for a coffee and a sandwich.

And what is most amazing about all this is it is free!

Cell phone messages, photos and videos cost nothing to the creator and nothing to the artists, galleries or others who may wish to use it.  It’s a win-win from my perspective.

What I would like to suggest to everyone is that using social media in this way is something that every artist, gallery, and shop should be exploring.

Why not start with the next #ArtCrawl and build from there?

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