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ARTS2U

Digital Solutions Prototype

ARTS2U is a feed of arts and culture events listings. Information about arts events is compiled into a structured database and fed to media for display on their websites, and directly to arts audiences, saving producers time and by-passing marketing intermediaries.

How Does ARTS2U Work?

  • Scan your website

  • Producer Approves the Data

  • Data Renders into ARTS2U Feed

  • Feed Distributed to Media & Public Across Different Channels

Technologies including data structuring, natural language processing, AI, and machine learning must be understood and made available to arts producers. ARTS2U is connected with a network of arts producers in multiple disciplines across the country who are participants in the digital transformation of the sector.

What’s Happening in the Arts Sector?

In Canada, the arts sector is being subsidized by several levels of government to create digital literacy and to standardize and structure data across the industry.

Programs for support to the arts are managed by Heritage Canada, the Canada Council, Innovation Science and Economic Development (Canada), Ministry of Culture and Communications (Quebec), among others. The funding organizations have supported the case made by arts organizations that cultural producer systems must be updated to take advantage of today’s semantic web.

What are the Outcomes?

The immediate benefit for the arts sector is an improved visibility for arts events. Producers have access to query-able metadata that was previously given away to transnational intermediaries such as Facebook and Google.

Collectively, leveraging the network of arts producers results in a streaming flow of constant, real-time content that is served according to user preferences. Producers achieve control over the data created and they gain direct access to update data. Producers have potential to learn from demographic and behavioral information so they can automatically segment audiences for re-targeting and sales.

Arts producers are caught in a cycle where they must spend more to market events but are receiving diminished sales revenues due to a lack of visibility. The human resources needed to successfully manage social media promotions is growing each year.

And each year, more social media and arts blog posts present that producers do not have time to inform. In our research, producers told us very clearly that they need help.

Digital Literacy

Digital literacy and knowledge of semantic technologies are required skill sets for today’s webmasters, website designers and for producers who are writing the descriptions of arts events.

Though the successful discovery of arts events is highly dependent upon organizational knowledge of how the semantic web works, many organizations are struggling to catch up to technological change and the learning that is required. Increased efforts on the part of arts funding agencies need to be dedicated to this reality so that Canadian arts productions can stay relevant and make arts visible in the AI-powered world.

Collective Vision

Pooling knowledge to address technical problems, and fostering interoperability between technologies, can advance a collective strategy.

In our DCCADI report, we propose the establishment of a working group to document shared concerns and initiatives between organizations working with arts metadata. Specific tasks would be: to review URI scheme candidates, and to dedicate resources to resolve linked open data publishing barriers. ARTS2U, Culture Creates, Espaces temps, Culture Cible, Stagepage, and CAPACOA are target participants to form this working group to follow through on collective recommendations.

Recommendations

via ISED Report

1. ELAN constituency learning initiatives

ELAN should devise a Digital Literacy program to develop skills among its membership and extended community, and to inform them of sectoral developments related to organizing and publishing arts events in the Web 3.0 universe. ELAN should continue research into funding sources for programs to address digital literacy gaps among members and partner organizations.

2. Leadership in minority language communities & inclusion across disciplines

ELAN represents artists and organizations from all disciplines and backgrounds. Many are from marginalized communities. The impact of the ARTS2U platform on inclusion and representation of all art forms and communities was raised as a topic in producer meetings. As an open platform, ARTS2U has potential to be explored and developed in future work in these areas, with the goal of developing models that can be shared for other platforms and regions.

3. Specific digital engagement initiatives

ELAN is well placed to engage with youth and young digital developer talents by hosting hackathon-style events. Events can be imagined to engage youth in creating systems that increase value for artists and products, for example through gamification and rewards systems. Engaging with youth, and including young artists and arts patrons, will encourage them to become early adopters of the ARTS2U platform. Learning activities such as Q&A workshops about digital privacy concerns, publishing and sharing digital versions of artwork, and working towards adoption of guidelines for posting art online are possible areas of discussion.

4. Leadership in minority language communities & inclusion across disciplines

ELAN represents artists and organizations from all disciplines and backgrounds. Many are from marginalized communities. The impact of the ARTS2U platform on inclusion and representation of all art forms and communities was raised as a topic in producer meetings. As an open platform, ARTS2U has potential to be explored and developed in future work in these areas, with the goal of developing models that can be shared for other platforms and regions.

5. Leadership and national participation

ELAN should continue to collaborate with Quebec-based and national initiatives that are working toward the standardization of linked and open data sets for events. This work has already started through ELAN’s participation in the Digital Arts Symposium (Toronto, March 2019) and through sharing project outcomes as part of ELAN’s Developing connections & collaborations among digital initiatives project, recently approved for funding by the Canada Council for the Arts’ Digital Strategy Fund.

6. Platform Development Recommendations

The ARTS2U prototype has been developed using a core of community assets, including producers, media and technology experts to demonstrate behaviour and potential that can increase value for English-language artists in Quebec. Scaling the prototype to work as a feasible solution on a larger scale is essential before building a minimum viable product. Investigating the core set of components and participants to launch a working and sustainable public release of the system will require a revised scope and further resources.

Want to Know More?

Discover more in our full ISED report:

Between August 2018 and March 2019, ELAN’s Prototype Digital Solutions research project conducted prototype development toward a more effective digital marketing system for Quebec-based English-language arts producers. The project currently uses the working title of ARTS2U.

Project Evolution