Artist & Makers Week goes virtual for the creative economy

Penobscot Bay Pilot
Posted 2021-04-06

ROCKLAND—The Island Institute and its retail store, Archipelago are champions of the Midcoast’s creative economy and sponsors of the past in-person Artist and Makers Conferences. This year due to the pandemic, they’ve spun in a new direction, creating a virtual Creative Economy Hub for the week of April 5 to 9, 2021.

Organizer Lisa Mossel Vietze knew the undertaking of an artists and makers event would be different this year. “After surveying 850+ past participants, we began to think about how to engage them knowing that Zoom fatigue is real,” she said. “In the past, we’ve had nearly 30 hours of content in a day and a half and I knew we couldn’t recreate that amount of content online while having it be engaging, inspirational, and informative. The survey really informed the content and so, we came up with the idea of a Creative Economy Hub where there would be new and existing content that could be accessible throughout the year, as well as a focus on a week-long portfolio of content and events that would launch during Artists and Makers Week. 2021. We wanted to also provide content that wasn’t easily found elsewhere, that helps us feel connected, even while being apart. Those are the specific reasons for the Daily Art Prompts and Daily Art Voices being dropped all week.”

Artists & Makers Week will feature a variety of live and pre-recorded events, web-based resources for artists, makers, and arts-based businesses, stories and insights from artists and makers across the state, a community art project, and opportunities to connect, learn, and create.

How to tell your artist’s journey on Instagram

Hannah Richards, brand content strategist at Ethos in Westbrook, is the featured speaker of the week, giving multiple webinar presentations on how to use the features of Instagram to reach and engage your audience.

Takeaway tips from her hour-long webinar on Instagram included:

  • It is the best visually-oriented platform for artists to showcase their work. “I always say it is the art gallery of social media,” said Richards. “People are very invested in what you’re making and are most likely to engage.”
  • It’s the best platform for shopping; people tend to check in every day and make impulse purchases. “Small businesses that use Instagram ads get a bigger audience for their accounts and more followers,” she said.
  • Instagram’s Reels, its video function, gets the highest amount of views and engagement.
  • Use a branded hashtag after each post that is completely unique to your work and put it in your Instagram bio.
  • Instagram offers tools to tell stories in different ways such as: Feed (photo and caption), Story (best for building brand), Story Highlights (categorize your products), Reels (short video), IGTV (longer video) to tell a story; use the free app Planoly to help draft, schedule and publish content.

Those who wish to view the recorded event can see it here. Richards will do a follow-up webinar on any Instagram questions artists and makers might have on April 8 from 10 to 11 a.m. Register here.

Stay tuned for more stories on Artist and Makers Week from PenBayPilot this week.

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