Thank you so much for your support of ArtsPond as valued followers, participants, partners, and advisors for DigitalASO. We have a few updates to share with you below.
DigitalASO 2022 Update
What can you expect this Spring and Summer prior to the completion of DigitalASO Phase 2 in Fall 2022? It includes several paid opportunities (deadlines to apply are April 15 and April 20, 2022).
We have learned so much from storytelling roundtables in Northern, Western, and Central Canada in 2020 and 2021. Here is what is happening in 2022:
Ecosystems Map Wireframes Feedback (April 2022)
This year, we have been hard at work wireframing ArtsPond’s open source arts management software platform, Hatch Open. DigitalASO’s Ecosystems Map is being designed concurrently as a module of Hatch Open.
Between April 18-22 and April 25-29, 2022, we are seeking to host one-on-one feedback sessions with you to gather feedback on conceptual wireframes for the Ecosystems Map prior to coding later this year. Honoraria will be provided for a maximum one-hour session. The language for these sessions will be English. Express interest by April 15, 2022 to email@example.com with “DigitalASO Ecosystems Map” in the subject line.
Knowledge Workshops (May to August 2022)
In case you missed it, we have published a preview of DigitalASO’s Knowledge Framework which strives to express all the wisdom gathered in 2020 and 2021 as a compelling infographic.
For 2022, we are seeking regional experts from Manitoba/Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Maritimes to help us plan and facilitate one 60-minute and one 90-minute workshop with community leaders in their regions between May and August 2022. Save the date for an upcoming workshop in collaboration with Business and the Arts Newfoundland and Labrador on April 26, 2022!
The purpose of these digital-only workshops is two-fold: 1) (in)validate DigitalASO knowledge framework; and 2) collaboratively co-design a vision for a regional/national network that can help support community digital needs. The wisdom gathered will feed into our plans for DigitalASO Phase 3.
Fees for animateurs are maximum $5,000 each, and honoraria will be available for all workshop participants. To express interest in one of the animateur positions, please send a note and a CV to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 20, 2022 with “DigitalASO Animateur” in the subject line. Please reference which region you are applying for (Manitoba/Saskatchewan, Quebec, or Maritimes). The Quebec animateur should be bilingual (English et français).
For the animateur positions, we are looking for individuals who are well connected to their communities and have strong digital knowledge. This includes experience facilitating participatory, co-creation dialogues with such digital tools as Miro. We are seeking individuals who are invested in the development of collaborative ecosystems that can help strengthen the accessibility of digital infrastructure. We are seeking individuals with strong interest and experience advancing equity and justice with, by, and for Indigenous, racialized, suburban-rural-remote, disability, gig workers, youth, women, and other equity-seeking groups in the artistic and cultural industries.
Knowledge Report (Fall 2022)
As the conclusion to DigitalASO Phase 2, we are working on a more detailed knowledge resource called, So Far: Collective steps toward a positive digital future in Canadian arts and culture. It will be published in English and French by Fall 2022 with summaries in selected Indigenous languages. It includes a plain language digital transformation manifesto, a collection of case studies on digital transformation alliances and networks from around the world, and a more detailed discussion of the DigitalASO Knowledge Framework referred to above.
DigitalASO Phase 3
We invite you to partner on a $1M expression of interest to the Strategic Innovation Fund at Canada Council for the Arts. Our proposal is for DigitalASO Phase 3 from Winter 2023 to Fall 2024 (please respond by April 11, 2022).
Essentially, we wish to formally establish DigitalASO as an (inter)national network to guide knowledge sharing and collaboration for digital transformation. This builds on the shared community vision for a positive digital future that we have heard during DigitalASO roundtables in Phase 2.
We are seeking community leaders who would like to consider becoming a potential partner for this application. Partnership details will be ironed out later this Spring and Summer if we are invited to submit a full application. Send Jessa Agilo a quick note by April 11, 2022 to email@example.com or cell 647 920 6187 to express interest or to ask questions with “DigitalASO Phase 3” in the subject line.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Canadian art services are unprepared to address the many urgent social, economic, technical, and environmental challenges and opportunities brought on by our rapidly evolving digital world.
Efforts to advance a more robust, cross-disciplinary national innovation ecosystem are essential to help transcend regional silos and grow a more sustainable, connected, collaborative, and accessible industry.
A national alliance supporting digital innovation led with, by, and for equity-seeking groups in arts and culture is a necessary step to guide both positive systems change and community care.
What is your project about?
DigitalASO is a national knowledge-, ecosystem-, and platform-building effort to help guide the equitable transformation of Canadian arts services to the digital world.
Phase 1 (2017-2019) featured the national digital needs survey, Managing Creativity in a Digital World (2017), plus two editions of the national Digital Arts Services Symposium in Toronto and Ottawa.
DigitalASO Phase 2 (2020-2022) has sought to define a collective vision for a positive digital future and the roles of Canadian arts services in helping us get there. It has included national storytelling roundtables scoping the design of a national Digital Arts Services Alliance and developing an Ecosystems Map digital tool.
DigitalASO’s upcoming Phase 2 report, So Far: Collective steps toward a positive digital future in Canadian arts and culture, features a plain language digital transformation manifesto, international alliance/ecosystem-building network case studies, and a collectively sourced knowledge framework summarizing the wisdom of equity-seeking arts and culture workers from across Canada. This knowledge framework sets out a path to (re)assert the role of the arts in real and digital life including three themes:
- Fostering bridges, cultivating trust [problem-framing]
- Building up wise practices [solution-building]
- Advancing a just society [(in)validating].
DigitalASO Phase 3 (2023-2024) will build upon the wisdom and connections from Phase 1 and 2 to grow an equity-centered national Digital Arts Services Alliance (working name). The Alliance will help guide the digital transformation of Canadian arts services in an accessible and environmentally sustainable manner. Major activities in Phase 3 include:
- Launch and grow a national Digital Arts Services Alliance / Alliance des services d’arts numériques
- Formalize governance structures and essential requirements, costs, and benefits of membership for individuals and organisations
- Launch founding member recruitment drives across Canada
- Serve as a primary intermediary between digital champions and impacted people from academia, business, government, and community, including gig workers, small/mid-sized enterprises, and large institutions in the artistic, creative, and cultural industries
- Explore relationships internationally and map critical resources and assets in an interactive Ecosystems Map
- Models of inspiration for the Alliance include:
- Australian Network for Art and Technology
- Digital Culture Network (UK)
- NTEN (USA)
- Alliance Culture + Numérique (Quebec)
- Québec Numérique
- Canadian Centre for Nonprofit Digital Resilience
- Canada’s Digital Supercluster
- and many others.
- Host monthly (digital-first) convenings featuring regional and national champions of emergent digital transformation opportunities in English and French with ASL and LSQ on request for networking and knowledge sharing
- Advocate, and educate other to advocate, for government policy changes in response to DigitalASO knowledge framework and ongoing community input on realizing a more equitable digital future
- Invest directly in the creation of essential knowledge-building resources informed by multiple domains that guide environmentally-conscious social-technical innovation in the arts sector in response to climate crisis
- Provide micro grants to emergent digital perspectives and platforms with a focus on critical access for Indigenous, racialized, outside the core (suburban, rural, remote), and disability communities
- Cultivate a more coordinated and sustainable approach in the design of open domain ontologies and knowledge models that support findability of equity-seeking arts workers and resources across embedded silos, help better illustrate the value and impact of equity-seeking arts workers, improve accessibility of digital technologies for people with physical or developmental abilities, and more. Host a hackathon to co-create viable tools and solutions.
Who is your project for?
ArtsPond’s mission is devoted to promoting arts-led systemic change for social good across multiple sectors, not only the arts. Our aspirations for DigitalASO Phase 3 are similar, benefiting prioritized members, wider arts sector, and broader community.
Digital innovation experts from Canada’s arts services sector, including Digital Strategy Fund supported projects from all regions, disciplines, cultures, and abilities.
Desired beneficiaries and participants include champions from nascent, emerging, and established large, mid-sized, and small organizations, academic institutions, non-profits, for-profits, collectives, cooperatives, startups, individuals, entrepreneurs, and systems changemakers. We prioritize networks that bolster digital strategies for small, under-served groups in the arts industry, including visual, performing, media, multi/interdisciplinary, literary, disability, community-engaged arts, craft, creative industries, cultural heritage, GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums), Indigenous, Francophone, rural/remote regions, and other diverse groups and perspectives.
Creators, curators, designers, managers, producers, educators, arts professionals, and other arts workers less knowledgeable or less digitally experienced that wish to benefit from constructive evolution of shared strategies for digital transformation.
Educators, researchers, funders, advocates, policy advisors, technologists, social innovators, entrepreneurs, the general public, and more, that are invested in a healthy digital arts services ecosystem. They will each benefit from improved access to innovative digital solutions, platforms, resources, and more that a more collaborative, networked arts industry will be able to develop and sustain.
Our primary focus is to reach all 13 provinces and territories in Canada. However, we have fostered ties with international digital arts services that we would like to explore further through this initiative. Prior international partners that have expressed interest in collaboration include SMU/Data Arts (USA), Culture Counts (Australia), The Audience Agency (UK), and others. They were each featured speakers at Digital Arts Services Symposium 2019.
Who are your partners?
ArtsPond and DigitalASO utilize an open, non-hierarchical approach to governance drawing upon elements of Laloux’s “Teal” organizational culture, including evolutionary purpose, self-management, wholeness, and organisations and initiatives as living systems. Our objectives are to empower justice and equality, and to foster trust and appreciation for diverse perspectives focused on under-represented voices.
Phase 2 of DigitalASO has been supported by a dozen backbone staff including Arts, Technology, Equity, Ecosystem, and Indigenous Leads, Regional Representatives from Northern, Western, Central, and Eastern Canada, plus an advisory committee with several dozen members from across Canada. We will employ a similar structure for Phase 3.
Partners are to be confirmed.
What are you seeking funding for?
ArtsPond and DigitalASO take a knowledge-informed approach to guiding positive systems change and care across our complex national ecosystems. Over the past two years, we have listened deeply to the wisdom of equity-seeking groups from across Canada. They have shared with us a deeply embodied vision in response to two questions:
- What does a positive digital future in arts and culture look like to you?
- What is the role of Canadian arts services in helping us get there?
We feel prepared to actualize their collective vision. Realizing a national Digital Arts Services Alliance is the first step to being a respectful steward of their dreams. At the same time, we have also developed our own multidimensional views of what we feel is needed having topped the list with the most funding granted to a single organisation by Canada Council’s Digital Strategy Fund. We are convinced commissioning new knowledge resources informed by multiple knowledge domains, providing microgrants, and cultivating a more coordinated and sustainable effort for ontology design in the arts are some of what is needed to address systemic barriers.
Requested funding will be allocated as follows:
- 65% salaries and fees for 10 to 12 staff (5 full time equivalents) including knowledge and ecosystem development and domain ontology design
- 15% commissioning fees for new knowledge resources on social-technical-environmental issues related to digital transformation of Canadian arts services
- 15% microgrants for digital champions of emergent opportunities in our rapidly-evolving digital world
- 5% marketing and general operating and administration expenses
What is your timeline?
DigitalASO Phase 3 will span a period of 24 months. It will begin with pre-planning in October 2022, and an official start in January 2023 after completion and approval of final reports for Phase 2 activities which are supported by Canada Council for the Arts’ Digital Strategy Fund.
Main activities include:
- Recruit, hire, and train staff, governance, and advisory committees for Alliance
- Establish internal and external measures of success, requirements, and benefits of membership
- Recruit and onboard minimum 50 founding members, 50 other members from across Canada
- Map minimum 350 digital transformation resources and assets (individuals, companies, projects, tools, artworks, stories, perspectives)
- Host monthly member and public convenings with 1,200 minimum total attendees
- Commission minimum three knowledge resources ($25,000 each)
- Provide minimum ten community microgrants ($7,500 each)
- Co-design with partners and disseminate semi-public (alpha) editions of three open domain ontologies for community feedback (financial, impact, arts ecosystem mapping)
Same as Year 1, plus:
- Recruit and onboard 300 members from across Canada and internationally, average $125 dues annually each ($37,500 total)
- Host hackathon to (in)validate alpha open domain ontologies ahead of final public release