You’ve got something absolutely smashing – a new book, an exhibition, an artist talk, a performance – and, naturally, you’re looking for the most effective mountaintop from which to shout about it.
Here are some ideas about where to promote your art news.
People Are Social (Media) Animals
Now, about Facebook. Did you particularly want to know where your middle school bully, now a prolific Facebook status-writer, stands on politics, religion, and embarrassing personal issues? (No.) But should you still consider having a Facebook presence, if only because it is – here in Autumn of 2012, 21st century, third millennium – one of the primary ways people learn about events going on around them? (Yes.)
If your friends, fans, and colleagues are all on social media like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter – and many of them are – then by using these platforms, too, you’re giving these folks what they want (news about you) in the mode that is most likely to reach them. If you’d prefer to keep your “artist promotion” self separate from your “true self” self, you can create a page as an “Artist.”
Also, if your news or event doesn’t have a web site all to its own, it’s easy to create an event on Facebook, which can become an online hook to refer back to when you email or otherwise e-communicate with your fans, friends, or potential media sources.
For advice on effective use of social media to promote your art, read this great primer by Jessica Burko, Getting More Out of Getting Online.
Next Stop… the Newsiverse
Okay, so you’ve shared your news with your Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, email, and other networks. But you want to reach other people, the ones who don’t know they love you (yet).
Consider telling your news sources. By your news sources, I mean the print/online/broadcast sources you yourself seek out, quite possibly specific to your region of the world. Those (and you’ll know better which ones I’m talking about than I do) are the media outlets to research and contact with your neato news. Whether it’s the Boston Globe, Cape Cod Times, Berkshire Eagle, Worcester Telegram Gazette, The Valley Advocate, Dig Boston, The Phoenix, local NPR stations – let them know. And look into your town’s Wicked Local site – these sites frequently include local arts coverage. Depending on the type of news you want to share, there may be potential for a review or feature, and many of these media sources do calendar listings as well (more on those, below).
Now, beyond traditional media, there are a number of Massachusetts and/or New England-based blogs and journals that cover and/or review the arts. Generally, they are run by artists or individuals enthusiastic about arts looking to create a dialogue about the arts. Our advice? Read them. Add them to your RSS feed. And then, when the time comes that you have news to share, consider whether that news might be of interest to them.
Some places to begin your research: Art New England, Artscope New England, Big Red & Shiny, Boston Art Underground, Cate McQuaid, flatfile boston, FLUX. Boston, Glovebox, Gwarlingo, New England Journal of Aesthetic Research, Mirror Up to Nature, North Shore Art*Throb, Spirited Magazine, 3200K, and Zilla617. This is a partial (and somewhat “visual arts” leaning) list. Add to it, expand it, find your own.
In our humble opinion, the ideas offered above represent the best bang for your time-promoting-yourself buck. But if your news is a date-specific event, you may also want to list it on some event calendars. Beyond the media venues mentioned above (which often have calendar listing sections), here are some places for individual artists to consider listing events.
Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism – free statewide events listings
Big Red & Shiny‘s exhibition/event listings
Arts Pioneer Valley
Boston.com‘s free event listings
MassLive for Western Mass events
Our Berkshire Calendar
Wicked Local arts calendar
Plus, many city government web sites feature events calendars, so research the homepage of your town or city.
Communing with Community
As choreographer Sarah Slifer said in an ArtSake discussion on building a thriving arts community, “it’s always good to SHOW UP or at least SHOUT OUT for each other’s openings and performances and readings. In other words, artists need acknowledgment from the community for the work they do within it.”
The more actively you contribute to and build your local community of artists, attending events, experiencing your peers’ work, sharing your peers’ work with others, the better your chances that the community will give you a boost when it’s your time to shine.
All for one and one for all. Now, back to your art.
Image: Patricia Shannon, OPEN HOUSE (2008), cut newspapers, acrylic gel, binder’s board 17 in x 24 in x 22 in.