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Volunteer Meeting Minutes

Monday July 23, 2012

Summer Sessions II: Publicity and Publications

location: Mad Oyster Studios, 2 Bradley St.
time: 7pm - 8:30pm
minutes recorded by Nicholas Shectman


Emily Garfield, SOS artist for three years, helped out with Artists' Choice show and other things

Rachel Mello, Coordinator for 2013

Ron Newman, fan of SOS since before it was founded

Pat Iverson, SOS artist for 9 years

Katherine Black, SOS artist for 9 years

Ellen Ellerbee, recently moved from England, artist looking to participate and volunteer

Aaron Ellerbee, SOS artist for 2 years

Christina Tedesco, SOS artist for 4 years, helped with volunteer show last year

Lucy Nadeau, did map book distribution, SOS artist for 2 years

Aram Comjean, web site, board member

Matt Kaliner, fan of SOS since 2001, doing dissertation on open studios at Harvard

Ann Anninger, fan of SOS, curator of Haitian arts and crafts and friend of many artists

Martha Ingols, fan of SOS, help fill mapstands and hang volunteer show

Ellie Laramee-Byers, SOS artist, last year first year

Nicholas Shectman, treasurer, board member, taking notes.


Rachel: Nice to have a mix of different perspectives represented. Last meeting topic was "big ideas" and unexpectedly lots of people were interested in the children's experience

Ellie was a camp counselor and is now a nanny....

Rachel: Friday event, film program, fashion show were also topics last time. Tonight, focus on publicity and publications. Mostly the map book but also ideas about how we already communicate with the world:
- Last year 20,000 maps for $16.800. Earned $5,500 in advertising.
- spot on WBUR, $2500.
- flyers or posters $165
- postcards $179
- banners $350
- trolley banners $750.
How could we shift this around?
Somerville scout prints 30,000 copies and delivers to every household in Somerville. For $5000 we could buy the centerfold and have it be a pullout. Their schedule is awkward: first week of March or first week of May, so either too early or too late.

Pat likes to take map-books to New England Folk festival, typically 1-2 weeks before SOS. If we had posters would NEFF be a good place for those? Sort of.

Katherine: a month before is perfect timing for the map-book.

Rachel: Is the map the right thing take, or postcards, or posters? What different ways to use different publications?

Ann: Museums do family guides as a sheet folded in two, inexpensive, maybe suitable for children's focus?

Ellie: hook this up with geocaching? If we could get a way for children to "find these studios" get kids involved in learning to read a map and also get parents to studios. Distribute kids pamphlet at kids events and kids museum.

Christina: if those are printed a month ahead, distribute at "family days" at ICA, MFA, science museum.

Ellie is interested in leading up Children's event

Pat: indicator for which locations will be having demonstrations? Can we get that in time for print deadline? A schedule might be tough. But promote at least that it's happening on all communications channels.

Ron: publicize SOS at fall OS brickbottom, joy st, washington st.

Pat: Some people do put things on their calendars that far in advance. Good to have postcards at those events. Maybe Waltham, holiday craft shows. "Save the date", no detail, but don't need it. Mention "weekend before mothers day". Acton has one in October.

Rachel asks for someone to commit to making a list of OS within 495.

Ron: Boston Open Studios Coalition. Just in city of Boston there's one every weekend from September to November. Agrees to put the list together.

Matt has this list for his dissertation!

Christina: some OSs would do ad-trades.

Ron: Talk to Pauline Lim who is chairing Brickbottom.

Ann: make postcard templates that make it easy to insert your name and info.

Rachel Maybe on Zazzle or Vistaprint.

Ellie: volunteers with Skills USA, can get printing done through them at a discount. In fall 1600 students come for three days of leadership conference, also events in spring.

Ron: connection to East Somerville Main Streets, cross-promote? Tricky with few artists, though Union Square is full of artists.

Rachel: Would love to get some books published in other languages. But don't want to give the impression that entire event is bilingual.

Ann: it's OK if language barrier is not bridged, visual art can be enjoyed anyway. Posters in other languages.

Pat, Lucy: posters could be more informative.

Lucy: We put a lot of effort into map distribution compared to return; some of that effort could go into posters. Volunteer hours are more critical than dollars here.

Rachel: There are companies that put up posters for money

Martha: map-stands do empty out, so people must be taking them. Would be happy to put posters up but was never given any.

Christina: posters and flyers need to be ready the month before, by March 15.

Rachel: Could have save the date postcards by September. Official posters don't depend on the map. Need to have web address, facebook page, QR code for smartphone app on poster. Analytics on QR code help us decide how many maps to print, or how to distribute them.

Rachel: We have a lot of great ideas we can move forward with here; Don't want to cut discussion short, but it's 7:50 and we have also the mapbook mock-ups to look at tonight; Let's take a 10 minute break, then we'll still have 30 minutes to discuss the mapbook in greater detail after the break. Email Rachel if you have more ideas about publicity.

break for refreshing and refreshments
Return from break
Discussion on Mapbook Mock-ups

Rachel presents three versions, created by her, Emily Garfield, and Gessica Silverman. Shows key differentiations; passes them around. general discussion for several minutes before meeting re-focused
-Map Book (A) is an 8 x 5.25 “booklet” format with the map scaled down as a center-fold;
-Map Book (B) is a full broad-sheet “map-style” foldout;
-Map Book (C) is the same 9 x 4 format as current, but with a larger map-pullout in back that is visible while flipping through pages;
all books have the same content, that of the 2011 book. Except all remove the sub-maps and therefor (A) and (C) are down to 24 pages from 32; Also broadsheet (B) does not have alpha-by-name

- font is too small (Rachel: in all samples, they're all the same font to make comparison easier; all have same text characteristics from 2011 where data came from, but this can change)
- everybody LOVELOVELOVES the big fold-out version of the map [version C].
5.5x8.5 nice size and shape but centerfold is too small for map.

Lucy: could we do the big fold-out on the 5.5x8.5 booklet? Everyone likes this idea.

Aram: old books were sized to be mailed.

Martha: who does that?

Ron: I carried the old one in my pocket.

Martha: I couldn't put the 8.5x5.5 in my pocket.

Rachel: 8.5x5.5 is mailable, but map-books don't go through the mail well. Reports of books arriving mangled. Focus on postcards for mailability.

Martha: Can't read broadsheet on the bus. Can't fold map book back up and put it back in a display.

Ron: Can't ride a bike while holding broadsheet
Several people try to discourage Ron or anyone from riding a bike while reading any mapbook.

Ellie: pricing?

Rachel: I haven't priced them out, yet; step 1 was feedback from tonight's meeting; after this discussion will price before Board Meeting in September, and proceed from there.

Lucy: Maybe we could have a few of the broadsheet, *not folded*, put up in large studio buildings and the Armory and City Hall and the libraries and exhibiting artists, but not distributed to the public. Get size feedback from them before printing. No, better to have three choices of size.

Martha volunteers to put these up.

Martha: sandwich boards, perhaps inside due to sidewalk regulations.
Generally no one thinks we should make 20,000 broadsheets. Everyone loves the fold out in C.

Ron: Likes to have artists by name, especially if they are in group shows, or Brickbottom residents who show elsewhere, or change of medium, or ...

Aaron had a problem finding a multimedia artist because he tried to look them up under each of the media in question. Alpha by list makes it possible to determine that someone is *not* exhibiting.
Not having to change the stands is nice.

Ron: Better to have street-grid "north" up than geo north.

Christina: What about 9.5x5.5"?

Rachel: max them out for map stands?

Martha: Some of the stands are more forgiving than others.

Lucy: as a filler I thought it was awkward to fill them with the slot on the side, and the flap. Nicer to have opening on top.

Christina: rain?

Lucy: put plastic on top?

Ron: If it's much wider it won't fit in your pocket.

Rachel: Definitely time to inventory the map stands.

Rachel Let's take the remaining time to discuss other aspects of publicity

Lucy: Facebook presence was lacking. Pinterest is really popular and we should be looking at them.

Ellie spends "way too much time" on Pinterest.

Rachel:We have a twitter account but no G+. What sounds like a good strategy: One person for all social media, or one per medium?

Chorus: need one person per, especially Twitter is really involved. FB is more passive. Make sure everything on FB is public.

Ellie volunteers to take photos of meetings for FB.

Minor places: LJ, tumbler.

Rachel can handle email but not all the other social media.

Ellen: Link into one social medium from the others.

Ellie: HootSuite links into all.

Lucy sounds interested in Pinterest.

Rachel: And moving off Social Media? what else?

Lucy: do we pay to advertise?

Rachel: $2500 WBUR last year, intends to do more with ads in community theatre programs, good targeting.

Ron: North Cambridge Family Opera for that.

Pat: What about WUMB or WMBR or WERS or WMFO or harvard's station.

Ellen: advertise on newspaper websites, like boston.com

Ron promotes Somerville Bicycle Community rides in all of the online calendars.

Lucy: The Dig?

Rachel: to get coverage you need some new angle.

Martha: Will we know about fashion show further ahead? Yes, definitely.

Pat: promote Friday on the map-stands!

Rachel: Thank you everyone, it's been a great meeting; lots of great ideas. It's 8pm so we'll wrap this one here. If you have more ideas and want to follow-up email or call.

Next meeting Tuesday, August 7, location TBD.

Topic community space and home studios, so inquiring about a home studio site.