As a special preview, we are pleased to share a few results based on the responses received thus far to the Managing Creativity in a Digital World survey. You can still share your own perspectives until Apr 14 (extended deadline!) at ArtsPond.com/ele-survey. A full report on the survey will be published here in early May!
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Last updated Feb 9, 2017
A strong majority of respondents report using digital applications to manage their arts career/organization (82%), or plan to in the near future (14%).
81% of respondents report having either "proficient" or "advanced" skills using digital applications to manage their arts career/organization, while 19% report "basic" or "below basic" skills.
For the "Top 10" digital applications they currently use to manage their arts career/organization, on a scale of 1 to 5, respondents report lower levels of satisfaction with "user support", "relevance to arts industry", "data/service customisation" (2.9), and "interoperability", i.e., the capacity of software to efficiently integrate and communicate with other platforms (2.6).
The most respondents report the "Top 5" applications they currently use for managing their arts career/organization as Google Mail (39%), Google Calendar (34%), Facebook, Google Drive, and Microsoft Excel (tie, 32%), Microsoft Word (25%), and Microsoft Office versions 2011 to 2016 (20%).
The most respondents report the "Top 10" applications they currently use for managing their arts career/organization as Facebook (68%), Google Mail (55%), Google for Nonprofits (52%), Microsoft Office 365 (50%), Google Docs (41%), Microsoft Word (39%), Google Drive (39%), Dropbox, MailChimp (tie, 34%), Instagram (32%), and Wordpress (27%).
Last updated Feb 9, 2017
For the design of new arts management software, respondents ranked the top five services they require (on a scale of 1 to 5) as: marketing and outreach support (4.42), group collaboration (4.38), document management (4.27), digital content dissemination (4.26), project management and social media management (tie, 4.25). The top 20 priorities include 8 administrative (40%), 4 marketing (20%), 4 financial (20%), 3 development (15%), and 1 educational service (5%).
The majority of respondents (66%) report "more quality time devoted to creation/presentation of art" as one of the "Top 5" desired impacts of new arts management software, followed by "enhanced collaboration with my team" (41%), "increased earned revenue" (30%), "improved decision-making" (27%), and "enhanced collaboration with the broader industry" (26%).
A strong majority of respondents (92%) have prior experience using open source software to manage their arts career/organization.
If an open source arts management applicationn was available, 86% of respondents would download and use the code for free, while 25% would consider making regular donations to support the evolution and growth of the software.
A significant percentage of respondents expressed interest in supporting the development of open source arts management software as either a beta testing participant (63%), focus group participant during the needs analysis stage (60%), providing feeback on impact evaluation for the project (44%), community partner or advisor (40%), or interface design and prototyping feedback (30%).
A smaller percentage expressed interest in providing marketing and networking support, or being able to serve as a representative of priority groups (Indigenous, Francophone, New Generation, Rural/Remote Regions, Disability Arts) to ensure the software is responsive to needs of diverse communities.
Last updated Mar 7, 2017
"Congratulations - (Element:e) sounds like a wonderful and timely project. Access to these digital tools will make artists more visible, more relevant, more recognized and our organizations more creative. Thanks for taking the leap and working on this!!"
Jane Gardner, Carousel Players (St Catharines, ON)
"Keeping all three plates spinning - creating, selling and admin - is hard work when you are the only employee. Any and all help is welcome."
Suzo Hickey, Visual Artist (Prince Rupert, BC)
"Things are getting more and more complex every second and I've got data scattered across every corner of the known universe. Help!"
Darren O'Donnell, Mammalian Diving Reflex (Toronto, ON)
"Efficiency is effective. Give us tools made for the right job and you will see the social benefits light up the sky!"
Becka Viau, Becka Viau Inc (Charlottetown, PEI)
"Not-for-profits are always being asked to do more with less, and the way to do that isn't by scrounging together free software that never quite meets your needs. Very few of us have the resources to build the right tools on our own. Software built by people who know arts administration inside-out would help cut down on administrative busywork, and let us put more of our resources towards meeting our mandates."
Media Artist-Producer (Calgary, AB)
"Updating our digital infrastructure is like a little backstage magic, so we can continue producing on stage magic."
Nicole Mitchell, Roseneath Theatre (Toronto, ON)
"(Element:e is) like having a team of administration help, something I cannot afford at the moment!"
Lisa Anita Wegner, Mighty Brave Productions/House of Dada (Toronto, ON)
“I want to create, make, do - be active in the community. I want (public support of my work) to go toward making an impact, not to fund me shuffling papers.”
Multidisciplinary Artist (Cornerbrook, NL)
"With at least 65% of arts industry professionals operating as contractors, developing and implementing a user-friendly, multi-use database that is accessible from anywhere, is essential for maintaining excellent business practices that actually support what happens on stage."
Debra Chandler, Chandler Arts (Toronto, ON)
“Individual artists have been hanging on by their finger tips for years now, but there is a limit to how long one can continue to do so. The notion of level playing fields seems to be at best a cruel farce. Therefore, the leg up that a robust digital infrastructure developed on or with an open source software is imperative from the perspective of an individual artist - not just for our survival in a digital realm with its unending growth and the overwhelming complexities, but also for our individual human imagination to create and actually flourish in such a state.”
Harry Symons, Visual Artist (Kingston, ON)
"(Element:e) is so needed. Please finish fast!! We need a new solution yesterday. We don't have the budget to purchase the tools we need, so we operate with free but insecure systems held together with twigs and bits of string. Nothing works well together, and we waste so much time transferring data from one platform to another. Crucial information sometimes falls through the cracks, and we are worried about the security of our dependence on Google, especially with the new US administration. An affordable solution that integrates our operations in a secure, Canadian, solution, customized for arts, would streamline our work and allow us to better fulfill our mission of empowering artists and engaging audiences."
Multi-Arts Festival Producer (Vancouver, BC)
"It's a digital world, but we don't have adequate, relevant, flexible and integrated systems for the myriad needs we have, and the demands of the sector and funders. Until I can be an octopus with multiple arms, and a hybrid administrator with multiple heads to manage and use multiple inefficient programs, I will continue to work inefficiently. These inefficiencies impact our work, what and how we deliver our programs, the stretch we have on our very small operating budgets and add stress to an already stretched and underfunded sector."
Sophie Edwards, 4Elements Living Arts (Kagawong, ON)
Last updated Feb 9, 2017
The majority of respondents live in Ontario (62%). However, the survey also includes residents of all other regions of Canada except Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the Territories. Participants also encompass all major arts professions and disciplines.