Archive for 2017

Notes from NAMPC 2017

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By Koren Rife,
Marketing & Communications Manager, ArtPride New Jersey

From November 11-13, 650+ arts marketers from across the country came together in Memphis, TN, to learn how the marketing strategies, tools and decisions of today will play a pivotal role in creating our field’s tomorrow.  ArtPride New Jersey’s Web Content & Promotions Manager, Emily Ambash, and I (Koren Rife, Marketing & Communications Manager, at your service) attended the National Arts Marketing Project Conference (and stalked some ducks), and here are just a few quick-ish notes that I took away:

Don’t take your current audience for granted

While we all need to build new audiences, our current audiences are really the ones to focus on. They’ve already bought before, making them more likely to buy again, but this also makes them more likely to give! Retention is paramount.

Segmentation is key

So, old audiences are really important. But gaining new audiences is also pretty important. So, it’s SUPER important that you get the right message to the right people at the right time. If you are blasting the same message to everyone, no one – or, well, next to no one – will hear it. Technology allows us to segment audiences to make sure we are doing just that.

What is fringe will become mainstream

As Frank Zappa said, “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” Cool comes from the unknown. Go beyond your own borders. –Oh, and your current audience? They’re more likely to go against the grain with you than those new audience peeps. And how do you create something cool?…


The COOLEST thing I saw while in Memphis was an opera-hip-hop dance battle. It was AMAZING. Two crazily different art forms came together to make one of the most memorable arts experiences I have EVER had in my 30+ years on this planet.

Collaboration between arts orgs, whether they are completely disparate or actually rather similar, is not something to gloss over. The return when arts come together to create fresh experiences is incalculable. Speaking of experiences…

Experience as a social status

FOMO (“fear of missing out,” if you’ve somehow missed the memo) is still a thing in 2017, and that’s not changing anytime soon. People want to be completely immersed in an experience AND they want that experience to be exclusive.

For instance, I reconnected with an acquaintance from college who works for a chamber orchestra in Atlanta (hey, Vanya!). She has no trouble selling out her group’s intimate in-home performances, but her public concerts are a much harder sell. Being part of the in crowd, getting something that very few others can, is a big ticket seller across the board.

Art plays a critical role in making our communities better

Creativity joins people from many different ethnic, racial and socioeconomic backgrounds together. Art is a language that everyone can speak. And “it’s important for a community to hear their stories being told back to them like a mirror being held up,” –Leslie Barker, Director, Caritas Village in Memphis, TN.

If you’d like more information on how art can bring your community together, please reach out to ArtPride’s Director of Advocacy & Public Policy, Ann Marie!

It’s not “marketing multiculturally” but marketing in a multicultural world

Multicultural consumers are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. populations. As our nation becomes increasingly multicultural, leaders in the arts have the responsibility and power to bring people of different cultures together. As a multicultural nation, we have to adapt our message to our changing communities.

The focus must be on participation, though, not assimilation. And when it comes to participation…

Arts education–no, the other kind–is key

Not everyone knows how to be an arts patron. Not everyone knows that you don’t have to be an art major to enjoy a museum. We have to start at someone else’s level, and to create meaningful programs, we must first learn about the people we want to engage.  We have to find that “in,” and make it easy for them to join.

Interested in more? Check out Americans for the Arts’ YouTube page with videos of NAMPC’s keynotes. And don’t be afraid to reach out! While it’s impossible to put three days’ worth of knowledge into a blog post, I am happy to chat with you about what I heard, and I am sure Emily is too.


Koren Rife is short, sassy and a terrible liar.  Despite having not yet met her life goal of becoming a Muppet, she counts herself incredibly lucky to spend most days surrounded by art, whether at the office (ArtPride New Jersey Foundation) or at one of the community theatre groups she calls her second (third or fourth) home. At her actual home in Riverside, NJ, she snuggles with three cats (George, Jacques and Byng), one dog (Winston) and sometimes her husband, Jeff.

Register for 2018 Audience Insights Manager (AIM)

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Registration is now open for the 2018 Audience Insights Manager (AIM).

AudienceStop the guesswork and let your data find the target! Start making decisions based on the valuable insights you can gain by subscribing to our community database of more than 1.2 million unique households of qualified cultural consumers.

Whether you choose to engage in list trading or just use your data for internal research, the insights you’ll gain from AIM will help you target your marketing materials, identify potential new donors, make your case to funders, and guide your programming. There’s really no limit to what you can do with this powerful new information – and AIM lets you have it all for a fraction of the cost of going it alone!

Registration for 2018 closes January 18, 2018 

Register Today

Discounts available for ArtPride and New Jersey Theatre Alliance members!
The subscription year runs from February 1, 2018 through January 31, 2019.

AIM is presented by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the ArtPride New Jersey Foundation, in partnership with TRG Arts. Additional support is provided by the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

2017 NJ League of Municipalities Conference

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Join us at the NJ League of Municipalities Conference from November 13-16 at the Atlantic City Convention Center.  ArtPride staff will share information on Art Matters, a co-sponsored project with the NJ State Council on the Arts, and first steps to create public art in towns throughout the state. Kelley Prevard, an artist from the Atlantic City Arts Foundation, will paint a 4 x 6 foot mural panel live at the ArtPride booth (105/107), and the Art Matters video celebrating 40 years of public art in New Jersey will be on display along with videos that show public art being created locally in Atlantic City.

A panel discussion, “Creative Partnerships that Transform Neighborhoods,” will take place on Tuesday, November 14 at 2 pm in Room 308 of the Convention Center. The panel is coordinated by ArtPride NJ and the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ, and the presiding mayor is Mayor Barry Conaway of Burlington City. Panelists include Marie Mascherin, Chief Lending Officer, NJ Community Capital, Anthony Smith, Executive Director, Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District, Julia Taylor, Deputy Operations Officer, Isles, Inc., and Leo Vazquez, Executive Director, National Consortium of Creative Placemaking.

Panelists will discuss the ingredients necessary to transform vacant spaces and stranded real estate assets into dynamic, community-revitalized neighborhood, and how partners come together to develop and sustain creative spaces that not only house and engage residents, but also entice businesses and visitors.


Making Art Matters Real

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By Ann Marie Miller,
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy, ArtPride New Jersey

No matter how you get your news, you have to admit that there is a lot of it. The delivery of news is rapidly changing the way and rate that we respond to it. As a result, too often there is little time to really think about the news and the content we receive before resorting to social media with an immediate emotional response.

We end up with a cluttered email inbox and social media news feed that is difficult to sort through to prioritize for response, read carefully or file for future reference. Often social channels are just filled with emotional responses that exponentially precipitate even more “chatter.”

As Facebook algorithms dictate what you see and target marketing tailors the news you read to your psychographic profile, it is more important than ever to be mindful of your values and personal priorities. This mindfulness assures that your attention is not diverted to chatter and that, in addition to responding, you take action on issues that are important to your life.

And here’s where the arts part fits in: Art matters.

You’ve heard ArtPride NJ use that byline repeatedly, particularly through the work of the co-sponsored project with the NJ State Council on the Arts, but it REALLY DOES matter. And if you truly believe that, it requires you to not only “like” that two-word sentence, but do something about it.

Since it is Discover Jersey Arts Month and National Arts & Humanities Month, besides sharing social media posts and promoting awareness of our state’s awesome arts (which we also want you to do), here are three easy action items that make a difference and will give you that great feeling of accomplishment.

  • Support your local arts organization financially. Whether it is a large institution or a small community group that uses the arts to bring your community together, make a donation. This may require you to 1) find them on the internet, or 2) respond to the direct mail piece you will receive between now and the end of the calendar year requesting your donation. And, hey, here is the link to donate to ArtPride NJ. Remember that buying a ticket is definitely support, but a donation is the extra step that makes a difference. No donation is too small (or too large!).
  • Volunteer at an arts organization. ArtPride learned through the Arts & Economic Activity 5 study that more than 14,000 people volunteered at a New Jersey cultural event last year – and the value of 17,000+ hours of volunteering is $16.7 million! Volunteers help make art happen all over the state, from being an usher to using professional expertise in social media, advertising and graphic design and event planning.
  • Know how candidates feel about local, state, and federal support for the arts and arts education and vote on November 7. Consult ArtPride NJ’s candidate survey and learn what those running for office are interested in and if they are involved in the arts through family and social ties. Also, Arts Ed NJ will soon feature a school board candidate survey that provides similar info on candidates for local school boards all over the state. It is your privilege and obligation as a U.S. citizen and your vote really does count!

These are three action items that are not terribly difficult to remember or do, but they can cut through the daily noise of news and views and make a real difference. Accomplishing even one task is guaranteed to give you that warm fuzzy feeling of completing a meaningful task—one that ties to your personal values and priorities. Email us and let us know how the arts factor into your daily life, how you support them to make sure they survive and thrive, and what actions you are taking that provide you with personal satisfaction knowing that art matters to you!


Ann Marie Miller is currently director of Advocacy & Public Policy for the ArtPride New Jersey Foundation and served as Executive Director there for 20 years. Prior to joining ArtPride in 1995, Miller served as director of Development at McCarter Theatre and as grants coordinator for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Miller serves on the Executive Committee of the State Arts Action Network of Americans for the Arts; as chair of the Hightstown Cultural Arts Commission in her hometown; as member of the Governance Committee of the NJ Arts Education Partnership; and served on the board for the Center for Non-Profit Corporations in New Jersey. Miller is a graduate of Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia with a B.S. in art education.

The Music in Me

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This special Voices from the Field comes from our own Ann Marie Miller in honor of National Arts Education Week (September 10-16). Miller recently interviewed Jada Quin, a 17-year-old singer-songwriter from Howell, NJ. Now entering her senior year in high school, Jada is in marching band, concert band, chorus and taking classwork in music theory.

Passed by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 designates the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week. During this week, the field of arts education joins together in communities across the country to tell the story of the impact of the transformative power of the arts in education.

I first met Jada Quin, and her parents Lori and Sebastian, at ArtPride New Jersey’s 30th anniversary celebration last November. She offered to perform and blew us all away with her stunning vocal solo.

A 17-year-old singer-songwriter residing in Howell, NJ, Jada incorporates her own life experiences and those of others around her into her soul-searching lyrics. Now entering her senior year in high school, Jada is in marching band, concert band, chorus and taking classwork in music theory.

I had the privilege of interviewing Jada to learn more about how art and music is a part of her life. We had a wonderful conversation and it was great to share ways that our passions – music and visual art – while different from each other, provide us with similar delight and comfort and are indispensable parts of our lives. Coincidentally, but not surprisingly, we both took a path toward developing our talents with the help of an inspired arts educator.


Ann Marie Miller: How did you get into arts education?

Jada Quin: I was in band, and my middle school band teacher, Miss A, made the difference for me. From that time on, I was hooked and got into music construction.  I was not great at making friends, so music became an outlet for me. It helped me express everything I wanted to say, and better than I could ever say it in words. Many kids won’t go into band thinking it’s lame, but for me it was life changing and gave me a way to express myself.


AMM: What type of art is important to you, and why?

JQ: Music is my life.  I love music composition. There are two ways to compose, with lyrics and without, and notes help you express yourself without words. My instrument is the marimba. I was in drum line, but not the healthiest kid, and I got involved in small ensemble. The marimba captivated me. Its sound is both sharp and warm! Most bands don’t have a marimba, or if they do, it’s not in great shape. I finally was able to purchase one dirt cheap this summer.


AMM: What have you learned from arts education?

JQ: I learned how much I actually like to learn! Music composition to me is like problem solving. The payoff is when everything comes together and you are pleased with the results. There’s nothing like it. And I have learned that I can compose without worrying if everyone else is going to like my work. If it represents me, it’s authentic and not fake, that’s enough to make me proud.


AMM: What would you like to see for the future of arts education?

JQ: I come from a family of five that struggles financially, so I’d like to see more access to funding for music and the arts, because it’s expensive. The curriculum may be there through a great band teacher, but it’s still expensive to keep studying music. It would be great for increased funding to give kids more access and also to help with scholarships to continue music education in college.

How can the arts positively impact your community, our country, or the world?

JQ: Music can make a community healthier. When you are deeply involved, it almost feels like taking a little vacation. I think if the arts were more widely accepted with enthusiasm, our entire country – including our youth – would be happier and healthier.


You can hear Jada Quin by subscribing to her YouTube channel, and on Facebook and Instagram @jaja_quin. Her first album, “Beginnings,” is downloadable on Bandwave. Jada hopes to continue her music education past high school into college with dreams of attending the Boston Conservatory at Berklee School of Music.


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