Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Promoting the Arts in Harrisburg: Where to Begin?

This is a test. This is just a test.

The idea is to see if we can form a working "central blog" to promote the Arts in Harrisburg - whether it's visual arts with gallery exhibits or artists' web-pages, or the different theater and dance organizations in the area, or what's happening in classical, jazz or popular music across town as well as writer's organization and poetry readings - where events are taking place, what those events are and how you can find out more about them, a way for presenters, performers and the members of our diverse and active arts scene to reach the all-important part of the equation, the audience.

I've started by adding a few links to the side bars for the "art categories" (visual arts, theater, classical music, jazz, poetry and so on) and from there a viewer would select a link to find out about events related to that category.

Since I'm a classical musician, I'll use that as an example. (I hope this doesn't get too confusing...)

Someone looking for information about Classical Music events would click on the link on this page's sidebar. Ideally, the plan is each of these "category links" would direct you to a "category sub-blog" to find promotional and informative posts related to the category - perhaps a "what's happening this week" post or something about a specific highlighted event; a blurb that would direct you to the event organization's website or blog - or give you details about, say, a "free-lance" recital being given by a classical musician not affiliated with any organization.

On this category sub-blog, then, there would be a further link-list that would include links to all the related organizations involved in the HarrisburgArts blog like, among many others, the Harrisburg Symphony and Market Square Concerts (both organizations I have been involved in, by way of disclaimer), plus choral groups in town like the Susquehanna Chorale and so on, which perform regularly in Harrisburg and its suburbs.

Also included would be classical music presenters in the area from Gretna Music to a wide variety of church- or college-related concert series (which, frequently including various varieties of performances, would also be cross-referenced under other links as well as a more generic "Performance Venue & Presenters" page). 

These "category sub-blogs" would also link you to an organization's blog (if one exists) - like the ones I maintain for the Harrisburg Symphony and for Market Square Concerts which at this point are primarily "audience enrichment posts" - as well as to an organization's website.

Since clicking on one of those links will take you away from this page, rather than open it in a separate window (hopefully I can figure out how to do that), you can click on "Classical Music" now since that "category blog" is temporarily active. (I've tried a few different "looks," thinking maybe they shouldn't all look alike...)

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We would expect the different organizations in the community to provide links from their websites to this "central blog" so it becomes a "go-to" place for people in the community to find out more about what's happening in the arts in the Harrisburg Area.

Obviously, as we discuss more opportunities and options, it will become more complex but with any luck, not too complicated it can't be functional and in general helpful to the local arts scene.

Like many things in the arts, this is a "work-in-progress" that will undergo numerous changes as it develops -- it's the way artists work -- and hopefully prove a way to promote the different arts in the area.

As they say, "watch this space."

- Dick Strawser