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Visual Arts Center of Richmond 2012

VCU: Strategic Public Relations in a Digital Environment Joanna Fief Danna Geisler Schuyler Harding Asia Holt Tommy Mills Rupa Murthy Cherie Paquette Ariel Sierra Amanda Van Thunen Denise Vaughn Eliza Winston Instructor: Sean Stewart


Table of Contents 1 Client Description, Vision Opportunity Statement Key Publics 2 Research Methodology Key Findings 4 Project Vision and Goal 4 Objective 1 6 Objective 2 8 Objective 3 11 Objective 4 15

Appendix: survey questions and results


1 Client Description

The Visual Arts Center of Richmond (VisArts) is one of the major art organizations in Virginia. The center was founded in the historic Church Hill neighborhood in 1963 by Elisabeth Scott Bocock under its original name, The Hand Workshop. Today, the center is located on West Main Street in the Fan District of Richmond. Over the years VisArts has expanded its program, raised visibility within the community and increased its support base. Through a broad range of studio classes and workshops, it serves approximately 5,000 adults and children each year; more than 100 active professional artists teach VisArts classes. VisArts provides opportunities for people to express themselves through clay, wood, fiber, painting, photography, printmaking, glass, metal, drawing, writing and the decorative arts. It also offers five exhibitions annually, with work by emerging and established artists and a focus on innovative materials and processes. Staffing includes 10 full-time and seven part-time employees, 75 adjunct instructors, and 250 volunteers. The annual operating budget is $1.7 million. While the survey results indicate information is primarily shared via word of mouth, the data presents an opportunity for the Visual Arts Center of Richmond to increase their digital outreach.

Client Vision • To foster and celebrate individual creativity • To engage the community in the creative process through the arts

Opportunity Statement The Visual Arts Center of Richmond has an opportunity to expand its awareness in the surrounding Richmond Community. VisArts, ultimately, has the opportunity to increase enrollment in classes and increase its membership.

Key Publics ● Adults in the West End of Richmond ● Adults in Henrico County ● Seniors in the Richmond area ● VMFA members and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden members with Income of $70K to $100K


2 Research Methodology An electronic survey was deployed to approximately 7,000 email contacts of the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. The survey link was included one time as a part of the regular bi-weekly email newsletter. There were 92 respondents for a response rate of 1.3 percent. The overall objective of the survey was to better understand their reach and engagement and to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the awareness of VisArts, its website and the general effectiveness of current communications efforts.

Key Findings While the survey results indicate information is primarily shared via word of mouth, the data presents an opportunity for the Visual Arts Center of Richmond to increase its digital outreach. ● 67 percent of respondents learned about the Visual Arts Center through a friend or relative. 17 percent learned about the center from the printed catalog. ● Open-ended comments showed evidence of a strong foundation in Richmond, but also an opportunity to gain exposure with newcomers to Richmond.

Comments included: • “Just by living in Richmond.” • “Richmond institution. Knew about it as long as I could remember.” • “Richmond native. Always knew about them.” ● While no respondents indicated that they learned of VisArts through social media, 73 percent use Facebook, 37 percent use LinkedIn and YouTube, 28 percent use blogs, and 19 percent use Twitter. Only 16 percent do not use social media. ● 84 percent of respondents have taken at least an individual class, with 32 percent having participated in more than one class series. This indicates a high rate of repeat customers. ● A surprising 77 percent of respondents preview class offerings online, with 53 percent previewing through the more expensive print catalog. ● There was above average satisfaction with the current website. On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is poor and 5 is excellent, the website earned the following average ratings: • Ease and simplicity of use = 3.63 • Visual appeal = 3.58 • Interesting and informative content = 3.84 ● 72 percent are members of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, while 50 percent are members of the Visual Arts Center. Twenty eight percent are also members of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.


3 Key FindingsCont. ● Respondents were primarily female, showing an opportunity to target the male audience. ● The Baby Boomer demographic is engaged, while the overall age mix was widespread. The 21 and under range was the least represented in the survey data, recognizing an opportunity to engage the digitally-inclined generation through enhanced and new social media platforms. ● More than half of the respondents live within Richmond city limits. Chesterfield and Henrico counties almost collectively represented the other half. ● 95.5 percent of respondents would recommend the Visual Arts Center of Richmond to a friend. ● While the majority would not be willing to contribute to a blog or share their personal story, about a dozen expressed interest. ● The anecdotal accounts were overall favorable, expressing high value in experience.


4 Project Vision The Visual Arts Center of Richmond will be the premier arts destination for the City of Richmond and beyond.

Goal To increase student enrollment at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.

Objective 1

Expanding the geographic diversity of the high school student base. How can the Visual Arts Center reach more students in the area?

Rationale Forty-two of the survey respondents live in the Richmond area, and 21 live in Henrico County. According to the survey, less than one percent of participants are under 21. Of course, this could be because the survey respondents were not high school students. However, we can assume form that data that the high school demographic is an area where much student recruiting could be done, especially in the Henrico County area. High school students are an ideal demographic because they have the time to commit to the course, and their parents are more likely to have the resources to pay for a course. Both parents and students will agree that having a strong

hobby or interest such as art appeals to college admissions officials, and, by working with schools and art teachers, VisArts could recruit a new group of bright, dedicated and excited budding artists. Those students who are thinking about applying to Visual Art programs for college (such as the art foundation program at VCU), will be eager to learn more skills and further develop their portfolio.


5 Strategy Use social media to expand the awareness of VisArts and promote enrollment. Reach out to art teachers at public and private high schools in Henrico County and Richmond City. Encourage those teachers to share information with promising students. Almost 70 percent of people learned about the Visual Arts Center of Richmond through a friend or family. If there are more social media outlets available, there will be more opportunities for students to share. The message should also get in front of the parents, letting them know that art courses are a great way to develop their children’s talents and better prepare them for college applications to art schools, or as a desirable extra-curricular on their resume.

Execution ● Facebook posts that showcase VisArts’s classes. Almost 75 percent of respondents said they use Facebook. Teachers could also ask students to post a comment about their experience on their personal Facebook page at the end of each class. This would allow others in their network to see the work they made or hear about the experience. ● Promotion of classes through Twitter with encouragement to retweet from followers.

● Almost 20 percent of the respondents said they use Twitter. ● Blog that features various topics in the arts that inspire creativity and reference the VisArts center’s classes. ○ Blog post from students sharing their experiences. ○ Links to the blog to twitter and Facebook. ○ Short videos promoting classes that are uploaded to YouTube and the blog; then linked to Facebook and Twitter. Thirty-six percent of the respondents said they use Twitter.

Evaluation ● Enrollment data ● Follow-up survey to gage geographic distribution ● Number of retweets, reposts, and reblogs

Budget The budget is estimated at $10,000, which includes the time it would take staff to contact high school art teachers, print promotional materials, and monitor social media.


6 Objective 2 Increase community partnerships.

Rationale Community partnerships can spur new audiences to become involved with the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. This objective will help reach the current VisArts audience, as well as new audiences within Richmond that hold great potential.

Strategy 1 The Visual Arts Center of Richmond should engage popular Richmond events and traditions to create and promote community partnerships and involvement. VisArts can build these key partnerships to evaluate its role in the creative community.

Execution • Monument Ave 10K. • Take over a block of the 10K and line the street with murals on both sides. • Call it the “Visual Arts Block.” • The murals could be created on sheets of plywood by volunteers, students, children and parents. • The artists can hold them up as they cheer on the runners. • VisArts can attract participants

through social media; and charge a flat fee to cover art materials. • Partner with VCU Art School and Sports Backers. • Tacky lights tour: VisArts can offer its own tacky lights of Richmond campaign. • The inner gallery can temporarily be set up with photos of local tacky lights houses with written profiles on each house. • VisArts can turn their building into a tacky lights exhibit. • Hold a competition for the best design ideas for the building (try to get college students, parents and kids involved). • The best ideas from the competition can be used, with credit given. • VisArts can use social media to gain publicity, collect donated lights/decorations and money, and hold an ideas competition. • Partner with family friendly tacky lights bus tours and set up the VisArts as the last stop on the tour with refreshments and food inside.


7 Rationale VisArts members are involved with other well-known Richmond organizations. The survey found that 72 percent of VisArts members hold memberships with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), and 28 percent hold memberships at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

Strategy 2 Collaborate with other organizations in the Richmond area.

Execution • Partner with VMFA and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for cause marketing initiatives. Cross promotions for VisArts can be posted on the other organizations’ websites. • Sponsor Side-By-Side Saturdays at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond. Artwork from this event can be collected in a digital art gallery posted on both VisArts and the Children’s Hospital of Richmond’s websites.

Evaluation Track new website hits. Also, track which organization’s website visitors previously visited before they went to the VisArts website (what site were they referred from).


8 Objective 3 Increase engagement and class sign-up by making website more interactive.

Rationale

Strategy 1

The Visual Art Center of Richmond’s website is an important tool. Nearly four out of five of those surveyed said they use it to preview class offerings. The client has also indicated they would like to improve the website to make it easier to use.

Keep content fresh.

Although the MASC 671 survey indicated that people are fairly satisfied (an average rating of three to four on a scale of one to five) with the website, some parts are text heavy and outdated. The website also does not give opportunity for user feedback and interaction.

It is important to keep website content fresh. Regularly posting new content in various forms (pictures, videos, audio, text) will help draw users into the site for longer periods of time and encourage repeat visits. If a website redesign budget is small or non-existent, keeping site content updated will add readership value for little to no cost. While class offerings and special events are regularly updated on VisArts’ website, other sections are stale. For example, the most recent news articles are from 2010, and the blog has not been updated in nearly a year. In addition, the top of the homepage still says “formerly the Hand Workshop” – a transition that took place nearly 10 years ago.


9 Strategy 2

Strategy 3

Incorporate more two-way communication on the website.

Streamline website to make it more user-friendly.

According to the survey, the majority of Visual Arts Center of Richmond stakeholders use some form of social media, which means they are used to more two-way, interactive content. While traditional websites are primarily one-sided – organizations pushing out news and information to their members – today, consumers expect a more interactive, social experience.

While the colors and design of the website are very appealing, overall the site is text heavy with awkward navigation. A few drop-down tabs would help decrease the amount of clutter on the home page and also make website navigation easier.

Some simple ways to make the VisArts’ website more social include adding a comment/feedback section (a “suggestion box” application available on the home page), showcasing testimonials from satisfied students, and including a current student digital art gallery (e.g. a scrolling photo gallery of students’ work on the homepage). VisArts can also consider using students and board members to help keep the blog current. Some of the surveyed students indicated they would be willing to blog about their experience at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.

The class search feature can also be a little cumbersome and difficult to use. The feature does not have an option to compare class descriptions, schedules, or availability. Consider posting a PDF version (or something similiar) of the hard-copy class listings. This will allow for access to a printer-friendly class listing and may eliminate some of the costs of mass printing and distribution of the hard copy. Even without a full website redesign, the Visual Arts Center of Richmond can make significant web improvements just by using less text utilizing white space to improve readership. See appendix for website redesign strategies.


10 Execution ● Website: The channel for these updates is the Visual Arts Center of Richmond’s website. Depending on the level of updates made, majority of this can be done in-house. ● Blog: Updates to the blog can also be done in-house. Just identify a schedule for regular updates as well as willing contributors.

Evaluation

To get more details about needed website improvements and to test the effectiveness of changes, consider two websitespecific surveys – one distributed before the site is updated and one after updates are made. Other effective measurement tools could be a virtual focus group or website beta testing sessions.

Budget The two main budget costs for website improvement would be outsourced research and hiring a firm for a website redesign/improvement. Costs for these services combined could run upwards of $50,000. However, VisArts can also make these updates in-house (think Survey Monkey and a do-it-yourself Wordpress blog) without much expense.


11 Objective 4 Increase peer-to-peer recommendations on social media.

Rationale Based on the results of the survey distributed to VisArts’ current members, we learned that many of them are actively engaged in social media. Our survey showed 73.4 percent of the survey respondents are currently using Facebook. Also, according to the survey, 66.7 percent of respondents said that they learned about the Visual Arts Center from a personal reference. Facebook is a powerful promotional tool. VisArts can engage in a Facebook campaign to increase enrollment. People who are friends on Facebook often have similar interests and would enjoy hearing about their friends’ experiences at VisArts. This can easily translate into new members and increased enrollment for VisArts. It is important to note, none of the survey respondents said that social media played a part in their initial experience with VisArts. A Facebook campaign could easily fill this gap. Facebook can help create a conversation about VisArts offerings, encouraging people to foster their creativity and enroll. Facebook also offers the opportunity to extend VisArts’ brand. Current students can be encouraged to show pictures of

their artwork, check in on Foursquare, pin VisArts’ blogs on Pintrest and show their creative side on Instagram. Mobile access blogs, such as Instagram and microblogs such as Twitter, are a focused easy way for VisArts to ask students to recommend. These blogs are also a great avenue for members and friends of VisArts to share their work, inspiration, updates and passion for art. The digital media campaign would allow current, vested customers to distribute their recommendations to many of their friends and family at one time.


12 Strategy 1 Increase VisArts presence on Facebook. Ask students, instructors and members to post one Facebook post a week for the next four weeks. Even if only one member in each class does this, the online conversation would increase dramatically.

Execution Employ tactics such as Facebook newsfeed optimization. An example of this is having faculty and students post at various intervals throughout the day. Engage friends, family and the artistic community by using #RVA or #RichmondArts hashtags. There are others using the same hashtag strategy out there and these posts will be seen by their friends, family and online community. ● Ask students to tag others who can relate to their posts. Using a person’s name will automatically let the poster “tag” them. Consequently, all of the “tagged” person’s online community will see the original post about VisArts. ● An example of this would be a student in the letterpress class posts: saying “Jayne Smith just made the hippest letterpress dinner invitation at the Visual Arts Center (www.visarts.org) #rva.” ● To increase the impact of a post, include a picture or video attachment of the invitation in the post. This allows the poster’s friends and the tagged

friends to like, comment and share the post. This increases the reach of this one post exponentially. ● Put together a campaign using existing lists. Use email and a visual at the front entrance of the building to notify customers that a Facebook campaign is beginning. ● Be honest and explain the reason VisArts wants a better Facebook presence. An increased Facebook presence will result in an increased awareness of VisArts across the region, and will spotlight the excitement of customers already using VisArts to foster their creativity. These peer to peer recommendations are powerful. VisArts aspires to increase enrollment in classes and membership in 2012. Your supporters will appreciate your honesty and the visual reminder placed in VisArts will help them remember to take action.


13 Strategy 2

Strategy 3

Use VisArts’ staff/volunteers to help place feature articles in local blogs such as vaarttherapy.wordpress.com and cultural websites similar to Richmond.com. Ask board members to link to them on Twitter, Facebook and in e-mails.

Integrate social media into the Facebook campaign to create a robust presentation of VisArts’ social media presence for its friends and their peers to enjoy and share.

Execution

Execution

● Local blogs focusing on VisArts’ target areas for increasing the member pool include: ● http://carolynhietalanatureartpaintings.blogspot.com/ ● http://chpn.net/news/ ● http://rvanews.com/ ● http://insiderspassport.com/Richmond-Va-Blog/ ● http://frugalrva.blogspot. com/2009/05/west-end-produce-hasrelocated-yeah.html ● http://nearwestendnews. net/2008/01/11/community-blogsincluding-the-nearwest-end-news-winbest-new-blog-award/ ● http://www.houzz.com/pro/lauratrevey/laura ● Staff/volunteer Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and Four Square accounts could also be used to host content created at or information about VisArts.

Engage current board members, students and faculty through: ● instagram – This mobile application is a fast and fun way to share what is going on at any given moment with friends through photographs. An easy way to start a conversation about VisArts is to have people upload their, or their child’s artwork to Facebook, Flickr or Twitter through instagram and have their friends and family comment. ● Pinterest – Artists use Pinterest to organize and share creativity. Pinterest allows others to browse each others’ interest and get inspired. Encourage VisArts members to create a Pinterest account. ● Foursquare – This mobile application allows people to connect with places of interest (such as VisArts) as well as their friends when they are out and about. VisArts could share information on classes on a daily basis, and encourage people to stop in for a relaxed class or invite members and their friends to attend events, such as fundraisers.


14 Staff, volunteers and board members should hold regularly scheduled contests on the various social media outlets used by VisArts to encourage members to engage their peers to learn more and enroll in classes. ● Give current members the opportunity to win small prizes like discounts, free studio time, tickets to an event or other gifts for mentions on their page about VisArts. ● Track Facebook and blog mentions, tweets, Facebook posts, Foursquare check-ins and other social media tools and give away incentives to the first 10 people or the 50th mention. Use community blog “coupons” to encourage enrollment from areas where VisArts wants to increase potential members. ● Incentivize faculty, volunteers and board members to engage in this campaign by acknowledging their participation with the website, newsletters and visuals.

Evaluation

Use existing social media tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and RSS feeds to track reach and exposure. ● Use your Facebook insights to learn who is sharing from VisArts Facebook page. ● Conduct a six month survey to see if students are hearing about the classes through Facebook or other social media outlets.

● Track instagram, Flickr, Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare and other blog mentions. ● Check to see if enrollment increased from the beginning of the campaign. Check again midway to see what needs to be retooled, and again at the end of the campaign to see what other tools friends of VisArts recommend. Peer recommendations are VERY influential.

Budget

● Five-ten volunteer/staff hours per week. ● $500 – iPad using existing wireless infrastructure. ● $50 – Signage at the front desk, explaining the importance of social networking for VisArts. Get creative and use different mediums to create this visual i.e. cartoon drawings, letterpress, fabric making. ● $1,000 per year – prizes for contests on social media driving interest to VisArts blog, Twitter account, and website.


15 Appendix


Visual Arts Center of Richmond

1. How did you learn about the Visual Arts Center of Richmond? Response

Response

Percent

Count

A friend or family member

66.7%

44

Advertisement

9.1%

6

News story

1.5%

1

Blog

0.0%

0

Facebook

0.0%

0

Twitter

0.0%

0

Printed course catalog

16.7%

11

visarts.org

15.2%

10

Other (please specify)

1 of 22

30

answered question

66

skipped question

26


2. Please select all the organizations in which you are a member. Response

Response

Percent

Count

Science Museum of Virginia

9.0%

6

Children's Museum of Richmond

3.0%

2

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

71.6%

48

Valentine Richmond History Center

7.5%

5

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

28.4%

19

Maymont Foundation

6.0%

4

Visual Arts Center or Richmond

50.7%

34

Other (please specify)

2 of 22

17

answered question

67

skipped question

25


3. Please select the social media networks that you use. Response

Response

Percent

Count

Facebook

73.1%

68

Twitter

19.4%

18

You Tube

36.6%

34

LinkedIn

36.6%

34

Blogs

28.0%

26

I don't use social media

16.1%

15

Other (please specify)

3 of 22

2

answered question

93

skipped question

-1


4. How many times a year do you take classes at the Visual Arts Center?

One class (class met one time) 2-5 individual classes (classes met one time) 6 or more individual classes (classes met one time)

Response

Response

Percent

Count

7.6%

7

6.5%

6

1.1%

1

37.0%

34

31.5%

29

16.3%

15

answered question

92

skipped question

0

Response

Response

Percent

Count

One class series (class met multiple times on the same topic) More than one class series (classes met multiple times on the same topic) I have not taken a class

5. How do you preview the class offerings?

Online

77.2%

71

Print catalog

53.3%

49

Flyer handed out on site

5.4%

5

I have not taken a class

7.6%

7

Other (please specify)

4 of 22

4

answered question

92

skipped question

0


6. How would you rate the quality of the the Visual Arts Center of Richmond website (visarts.org) based on the following? Use a scale of 1-5, where 1 is poor and 5 is excellent.

1

2

Ease and simplicity of use

4.4% (4)

7.8% (7)

Visual appeal

4.5% (4)

5.6% (5)

Interesting and informative content

2.2% (2)

3.4% (3)

3

4

5

30.0%

35.6%

22.2%

(27)

(32)

(20)

34.8%

37.1%

18.0%

(31)

(33)

(16)

29.2%

38.2%

27.0%

(26)

(34)

(24)

Rating

Response

Average

Count

3.63

90

3.58

89

3.84

89

Comment

15

answered question

90

skipped question

2

Response

Response

Percent

Count

7. Gender:

Male

10.9%

10

Female

87.0%

80

I prefer not to answer

2.2%

2

answered question

92

skipped question

0

5 of 22


8. Age range: Response

Response

Percent

Count

21 and under

1.1%

1

22-34

14.0%

13

35-44

18.3%

17

45-54

30.1%

28

55-64

20.4%

19

65 and older

11.8%

11

I prefer not to answer

4.3%

4

answered question

93

skipped question

-1

Response

Response

Percent

Count

9. Annual household income:

$0-$29,999K

7.4%

7

$30K to $59,999K

19.1%

18

$60K to $99,999K

24.5%

23

$100K to $250K

18.1%

17

Over $250K

5.3%

5

I prefer not to answer

25.5%

24

answered question

94

skipped question

-2

6 of 22


10. What part of the Greater Richmond region do you live in? Response

Response

Percent

Count

City of Richmond, Northside

5.7%

5

City of Richmond, Southside

9.2%

8

City of Richmond, West End

13.8%

12

City of Richmond, East End

3.4%

3

City of Richmond, Downtown

16.1%

14

Ashland

2.3%

2

Hanover County

9.2%

8

Henrico County

24.1%

21

Charles City County

0.0%

0

Chesterfield County

17.2%

15

Goochland

1.1%

1

New Kent County

0.0%

0

Powhatan

1.1%

1

Tri-cities area

0.0%

0

I prefer not to answer

1.1%

1

Other (please specify)

7 of 22

12

answered question

87

skipped question

5


11. Would you recommend the Visual Arts Center of Richmond to a friend? Response

Response

Percent

Count

Yes

95.5%

85

No

4.5%

4

answered question

89

skipped question

3

12. Please tell us about your experience(s) at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. Response Count 66 answered question

66

skipped question

26

13. Would you be interested in contributing to the VisArts blog, or sharing your story? Response

Response

Percent

Count

Yes

13.8%

12

No

86.2%

75

Contact Information

8 of 22

11

answered question

87

skipped question

5


9 of 22


Page 2, Q1. How did you learn about the Visual Arts Center of Richmond?

1

Knew it when it was Hand Workshop

Feb 5, 2012 12:37 PM

2

Don't remember. Started going to the Hand Workshop about 20 years ago.

Feb 5, 2012 6:41 AM

3

sorry...so long ago that i don't remember

Feb 4, 2012 1:14 PM

4

Knew it as the Hand Workshop for very many years.

Feb 4, 2012 6:57 AM

5

course catalog in Style Weekly

Feb 3, 2012 6:40 PM

6

Daily commute - drive past building

Feb 3, 2012 5:55 PM

7

VCU

Feb 3, 2012 2:10 PM

8

Ex-boss

Feb 3, 2012 1:54 PM

9

& that was over 30 years ago, when the Handworkshop was in Church Hill

Feb 3, 2012 5:12 AM

10

I live in the Fan and learned about it from neighbors.

Feb 3, 2012 4:53 AM

11

I designed the cell phone tower

Feb 3, 2012 4:02 AM

12

don't remember

Feb 2, 2012 5:56 PM

13

New Stories and artists from the 1970's in the early days of the Hand Workshop

Feb 2, 2012 5:09 PM

14

? CAN'T REMEMBER

Feb 2, 2012 5:03 PM

15

google

Feb 2, 2012 4:59 PM

16

Long-time member; past trustee

Feb 2, 2012 4:34 PM

17

I am a student in the classes

Feb 2, 2012 3:36 PM

18

i don't remember

Feb 2, 2012 2:41 PM

19

many years ago - "Hand Workshop"

Feb 2, 2012 1:44 PM

20

Richmond institution. Knew about for as long as I can remember.

Feb 2, 2012 1:35 PM

21

my job

Feb 2, 2012 12:52 PM

22

Searched online for arts organizations in Virginia and you came up

Feb 2, 2012 12:08 PM

23

Walking by

Feb 2, 2012 12:07 PM

24

Richmond native - always known about them

Feb 2, 2012 12:02 PM

25

It has been there for years! I learned about it from history!

Feb 2, 2012 11:49 AM

26

known forever, still call it the Hand Workshop

Feb 2, 2012 11:45 AM

27

Have lived in Richmond all my life. Known about if for a long time.

Feb 2, 2012 11:34 AM

10 of 22


Page 2, Q1. How did you learn about the Visual Arts Center of Richmond?

28

Took classes when it was the Hand Workshop

Feb 2, 2012 11:33 AM

29

Art show

Feb 2, 2012 11:32 AM

30

by just living in RIchmond

Feb 2, 2012 11:31 AM

11 of 22


Page 2, Q2. Please select all the organizations in which you are a member.

1

Va Watercolor Soc. and Portrait Society of America

Feb 5, 2012 12:37 PM

2

1708 gallery

Feb 5, 2012 6:41 AM

3

AWSA, VSCPA

Feb 4, 2012 6:47 PM

4

Museum of the Confederacy, Friends of the Library

Feb 4, 2012 6:57 AM

5

C3

Feb 3, 2012 3:33 PM

6

None

Feb 3, 2012 2:10 PM

7

HABCC, MAP, VA Chamber of Commerce, Hanover Herb Guild

Feb 3, 2012 1:54 PM

8

none

Feb 2, 2012 5:56 PM

9

none

Feb 2, 2012 5:20 PM

10

Virginia Boat Club

Feb 2, 2012 5:15 PM

11

VA Historical Society

Feb 2, 2012 5:03 PM

12

Virginia Historical Society

Feb 2, 2012 3:36 PM

13

James River Writers

Feb 2, 2012 12:02 PM

14

Visual Arts Center OF Richmond

Feb 2, 2012 11:49 AM

15

James River Writers, Poetry Society of Virginia

Feb 2, 2012 11:45 AM

16

VA Historical Society

Feb 2, 2012 11:40 AM

17

Virginia Historical Society

Feb 2, 2012 11:32 AM

Page 2, Q3. Please select the social media networks that you use.

1

Rarely use social networks

Feb 5, 2012 12:37 PM

2

Quit FB over privacy and ownership concerns

Feb 2, 2012 11:40 AM

12 of 22


Page 2, Q5. How do you preview the class offerings?

1

ask friends

Feb 3, 2012 3:33 PM

2

Flyer mailed ---maybe just to members?

Feb 3, 2012 4:53 AM

3

Word from the instructor

Feb 2, 2012 4:34 PM

4

I love browsing the catalog and look forward to it every season :-)

Feb 2, 2012 1:40 PM

13 of 22


Page 2, Q6. How would you rate the quality of the the Visual Arts Center of Richmond website (visarts.org) based on the following? Use a scale of 1-5, where 1 is poor and 5 is excellent.

1

Do not like flipping thru web pages. Like printed matter.

Feb 5, 2012 12:37 PM

2

looking for tabs for different age groups

Feb 4, 2012 6:47 PM

3

Website is difficult to more around in and hard to find what you are looking for

Feb 3, 2012 6:40 PM

4

haven't visited but will

Feb 3, 2012 9:16 AM

5

Honestly,I don't use the website unless tempted to do so when I receive an email.

Feb 3, 2012 4:53 AM

6

Not always easy to find info about special events and exhibitions

Feb 2, 2012 5:56 PM

7

honestly, haven't used it.

Feb 2, 2012 4:52 PM

8

Figuring out available classes is a challenge - actually a challenge not necessarily worth undertaking.

Feb 2, 2012 4:34 PM

9

The calendar is very difficult to read online. It would be nice to have an extra page that breaks out the one day or weekend workshops in case I have a free weekend and could sign up on short notice. Hard to find these workshops without going through the entire catalog. Sometimes the prices are switched for members and nonmembers so I have to call in.

Feb 2, 2012 3:20 PM

10

cannot use the online calendar - too much overlap and cut off words and dates

Feb 2, 2012 2:20 PM

11

not bad, not great

Feb 2, 2012 12:07 PM

12

would like to see hours of operation on home page

Feb 2, 2012 12:05 PM

13

Difficult to see if class is full when you try to sign up.

Feb 2, 2012 11:41 AM

14

Too much noise. No teacher information. Calendars are unreadable.

Feb 2, 2012 11:40 AM

15

Have not been on the website.

Feb 2, 2012 11:32 AM

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Page 2, Q10. What part of the Greater Richmond region do you live in?

1

Chester, Virginia

Feb 4, 2012 6:47 PM

2

Fan

Feb 4, 2012 6:57 AM

3

The Fan

Feb 2, 2012 5:10 PM

4

Fan

Feb 2, 2012 4:38 PM

5

Fan District

Feb 2, 2012 4:34 PM

6

The Fan

Feb 2, 2012 1:35 PM

7

eastern

Feb 2, 2012 1:30 PM

8

Fredericksburg, VA

Feb 2, 2012 12:08 PM

9

less than a mile away from VisArt

Feb 2, 2012 12:07 PM

10

Fan

Feb 2, 2012 12:05 PM

11

City of Richmond, Fan

Feb 2, 2012 11:48 AM

12

the Fan

Feb 2, 2012 11:35 AM

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Page 2, Q12. Please tell us about your experience(s) at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.

1

Portrait sketches in oil Life drawing open sessions-no instructor in AM Hope for AM open session extended life draw poses

Feb 5, 2012 12:37 PM

2

When it was still the Hand workshop, I used to teach in the TNT program. Now I bring my high school students to see exhibits. I have also exhibited in some group shows.

Feb 5, 2012 6:41 AM

3

good classes and good teachers

Feb 5, 2012 5:07 AM

4

emails only..usually have to reply with questions about whether or not my children, ages 9 and 14, are welcome at announced events. never have events when my child's school is closed or on christmas or spring breaks..asked for help finding a drawing teacher for my 14-year old, & no one knew of one they would recommend.

Feb 4, 2012 6:47 PM

5

My experience has been wonderful. I have always wanted to take drawing or painting. When I retired I took my first class last spring. I have taken three drawing classes at this time and the instruction has been excellent. Lots of positive feedback and encouragement.

Feb 4, 2012 4:11 PM

6

I think I sold two memberships to the VACR this week by talking it up to folks I was doing business with. Both thought the side by side programs might be perfect ways to connect with their children and have fun at the same time.

Feb 4, 2012 1:14 PM

7

I have tried watercolor, mixed media, photography, encaustic, & metal jewelry. Although I am always the slowest, least productive, least "artistic", and sometimes the oldest, participant (trust me, this is a VERY objective assessment) I enjoy trying. I have always felt accepted and encouraged by all instructors and students.

Feb 4, 2012 8:42 AM

8

I've enjoyed many classes and other experiences at the VAC, but I definitely am cutting back my involvement because of the cost.

Feb 4, 2012 6:57 AM

9

My watercolor teacher is just fantastic. She is supportive, nurturing and informative. I have not had the same experience with all the different classes that I have taken. Some teachers are disorganized and unclear. I don't like that you can't pay online for a class. My kids have attended summer camps and have had a wonderful time.

Feb 3, 2012 6:40 PM

10

Have been to several art exhibitions

Feb 3, 2012 3:33 PM

11

We love being members, taking classes and interacting with everyone we come into contact with at VisArts. Such positive, creative and supportive energy and it flows from everyone we see and meet there. We love trying new classes in areas we are not familiar with. It keeps our graphic design and signage careers fresh and exposed to different media.

Feb 3, 2012 1:54 PM

12

took a wonderful B&W photography class, good content, great interaction with class members. Would have liked more in-depth teaching - but it was a beginners level class.

Feb 3, 2012 1:23 PM

13

Our children have taken several classes in the summertime and have always had a great experience. I am planning to sign up for a course with 2 friends

Feb 3, 2012 9:16 AM

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Page 2, Q12. Please tell us about your experience(s) at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.

14

I took classes from Tommy Van Auken and David Tanner and loved them!

Feb 3, 2012 5:55 AM

15

I ended up taking the class I've taken just because it was the only one offered at a time that worked for me, but it has been very rewarding.

Feb 3, 2012 5:53 AM

16

I took a class in pottery once but did not have a good experience. The instructors time seemed to be taken up with "regulars" and I felt I was left to figure it out on my own, which I was unable to do. Needless to say I have hesitated to take any other classes. I got nothing at all out of my experience, it was a waste of money.

Feb 3, 2012 5:39 AM

17

I love the physical building. I go there often for screenings and poetry readings as well as the occasional opening. I remember with fondness the annual craft show, but haven't been in recent years.

Feb 3, 2012 5:12 AM

18

I took stained glass with Barbara Atkinson and the class was terrific. I can't wait to retire so I have time to take classes more often!!

Feb 3, 2012 4:53 AM

19

I have enjoyed the weaving classes and Julia but did not like the woman (Sheri) teaching the yarn spinning. She was very pushy and even went so far as to let me know that the information she would give at school would be limited but that I could take her private class for $40 an hour. Also I don't think that the volunteer hour ratio is very fair. I worked myself stupid cleaning the fiber studio literally from the rafters to the corners with no square inch untouched. It ended up being about $2.50 an hour of time cleaning verses a discount in my classes!

Feb 3, 2012 4:02 AM

20

Have taken one class series (videography techniques, or similar title). This was a very helpful class and I would like to see more classes oriented around video.

Feb 2, 2012 9:28 PM

21

I took a watercolor class and enjoyed learning the basics, but mostly I enjoyed the space, and time for myself

Feb 2, 2012 8:11 PM

22

Side by Side Saturdays - when they were free - loved them! And would still come but haven't had the time on Saturdays Kids - animation class - great class for the kids Water Color class - loved this class too

Feb 2, 2012 7:42 PM

23

I have taken classes on and off for about 15 years and have enjoyed most of them. I think the center could do a much better job marketing classes to improve enrollment. An analysis of cancelled classes due to low enrollment needs to be done and more effort put into increasing class size. Be more aggressive in marketing.

Feb 2, 2012 7:33 PM

24

I enjoy the classes, but the expense is pretty much prohibitive.

Feb 2, 2012 5:56 PM

25

Side by Side, pottery, writing, photography classes

Feb 2, 2012 5:33 PM

26

I have not taken classes but my son and several of his friends have taken several summer offerings over the past few years (he is about to turn 13). He has always liked the classes. I would like to take a class to if my schedule allowed it.

Feb 2, 2012 5:31 PM

27

My son has taken classes and has enjoyed them and learned a lot.

Feb 2, 2012 5:20 PM

28

I took a great photography class.

Feb 2, 2012 5:15 PM

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Page 2, Q12. Please tell us about your experience(s) at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.

29

excelleint, skilful instructors, pleasant studios, safe, lovely gallery space, active and engaged with the community and surrounding areas

Feb 2, 2012 5:09 PM

30

great teachers love the new space

Feb 2, 2012 5:03 PM

31

We have participated in the Side By Side Saturday class.

Feb 2, 2012 5:01 PM

32

enjoyed the classes. The instructors, while they good at their art, were not great at teaching it - high dropout rate and makes me think twice before taking another class

Feb 2, 2012 4:59 PM

33

We are regulars at Side-by-side, and at summer camps

Feb 2, 2012 4:52 PM

34

Long association; many classes; board service. The historic creative excitement seems to have been subsumed by a pretty, institutional, corporate and unexciting culture. The completion of the great new facility has been accompanied by a loss of the organization's vitality. The Hand Workshop was a great, intellectually and creatively democratic organization. Asking about age and income confirms that ethos is gone.

Feb 2, 2012 4:34 PM

35

I love VISARTS. It's a part of my life that I'd hate to lose.

Feb 2, 2012 3:36 PM

36

My husband & I have taken and enjoyed classes, we've attended the Craft & Design Fair, we've participated in other events at the VACofR. Still prefer the HandWorkshop name.

Feb 2, 2012 3:32 PM

37

Here are some random suggestions... Please don't assume everyone is using Facebook. Many of us choose not to sacrifice our privacy and spare time to that form of social media. I appreciate that your website is very informative and doesn't just say "see us on Facebook". You could consider creating an "alert" page for classes that need more participants to avoid cancellation or ones that start later than the normal cycle. By the way, when I use Internet Explorer, and I type in www.visarts.org, the website does not work. I get a suspended page message. I get to your site by other ways, it's possible other people are missing you because of this issue? I like getting the weekly emails. They're informative and succinct. I also like it when the class catalog (online or print) includes a picture of the type of art to be done in class, sometimes I can't tell from the description what to expect. Please don't stop publishing the print catalog. That version is actually the easiest way to see everything Visarts has to offer all at once without having to scroll through lots of menus. The people who answer the phone are very friendly, but it would be nice if they said their name so I know to whom I'm speaking, as in, "Hello, you've reached the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, this is Jane." It's more personal and that way if I have to call back later I can say "I spoke to Jane about xyz". Finally, can you do something about the odd odor in the True F. Luck gallery? I've seen people leave the exhibit because it bothered them so they didn't want to hang around (they thought it was mold).

Feb 2, 2012 3:20 PM

38

I have had pleasant experiences there. The art sale where folks donated art and you sold it for funds was really fun! Is that coming again?

Feb 2, 2012 2:41 PM

39

Would like to take drawing or other classes, but they always seem to be full by the time the schedule comes out.

Feb 2, 2012 2:20 PM

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Page 2, Q12. Please tell us about your experience(s) at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.

40

Have taken many classes and learned a lot and enjoyed most.

Feb 2, 2012 2:10 PM

41

The classes are expensive for those of who are retired public servants. A break in price for seniors would be greatly appreciated.

Feb 2, 2012 2:00 PM

42

excellent exhibitions; craft sales, etc.

Feb 2, 2012 1:44 PM

43

In addition to taking classes (which I do often), I find events like Arts & Coffee, Exhibitions, First Friday Samplers, Artist talks, Juried Student Shows, etc. to be very interesting and useful. I love the range of classes offered. I find the staff (both teachers and administrative staff) to be very helpful and supportive. Overall I love the exposure and experience that aspiring, amateur artists like me get from Visual Arts Center. (NOTE: Last time I tried to submit this survey, it went down before I submitted - so doing it again)

Feb 2, 2012 1:40 PM

44

My daughter has taken ArtVenture summer classes there in the summer for the last 2 years and does Side-by-side classes with my husband. She loves it and has created several masterpieces:) It is one of the only activities that allows improvisational creativity. She is very frustrated by dance, music, and theater classes that are adult directed activities, where the adults tell the children exactly what to do.

Feb 2, 2012 1:35 PM

45

I love every thing about the VAC. The people there are like family to me. Everyone is so friendly and caring and oh so patient. I participate in the classes offered by Studio S. Since taking classes at VAC, I feel alive and there is a purpose in my life.

Feb 2, 2012 1:30 PM

46

I liked it better when known as the Hand Workshop. I appreciate that there is value in re-branding, but you've lost something of the experience with that name.

Feb 2, 2012 1:22 PM

47

I've always had a good time at open houses -- like the gift making days in December.

Feb 2, 2012 1:20 PM

48

My daughter takes at least one class series per summer--she loves the authenticity of your classes, teachers and facility (as opposed to the more structured and less funky VMFA)

Feb 2, 2012 1:13 PM

49

Took stained glass class - liked it very much.

Feb 2, 2012 1:04 PM

50

I loved my time at the center but class times are not at times that I can attend.

Feb 2, 2012 1:03 PM

51

Took a one day workshop on encaustic sculpture and enjoyed it. Took part in a fundraiser/auction a year or two ago, in which participants paid an amount ($50 or $100, can't remember) and were assigned a number, numbers drawn in random order and a donated art work was selected. Hope you have that event again!

Feb 2, 2012 12:52 PM

52

Our family has taken several of the Side-By-Side classes and really learned a lot. In addition my two daughters took summer camp classes and I was able to find an adult metal jewelry class offered at the same time. It worked fantastically! We all got to experiment and learn at the same time.

Feb 2, 2012 12:08 PM

53

I have taken watercolor, acrylic and clay classes. some teachers more

Feb 2, 2012 12:06 PM

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Page 2, Q12. Please tell us about your experience(s) at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.

encouraging than others. 54

I view the VisArts Center as an integral part in developing the artistic nature of our community.

Feb 2, 2012 12:05 PM

55

Love the course offerings - for my daughter. I live too far away to take advantage of the adult classes which are a bit expensive. Used to do Side-by-Side Saturdays but they got too popular (and crowded) and our schedule was such that we could not commit to multiple Sats with a 90-min round trip commute. My daughter takes summer classes and has gotten a lot out of them.

Feb 2, 2012 12:02 PM

56

Exhibitions, receptions, lectures.

Feb 2, 2012 11:59 AM

57

Took a class in creative writing from Doug Jones, the first class I had taken in years; it was stimulating, great fun, and Doug was a really helpful, inspiring instructor! I would love to take more classes with him in the future.

Feb 2, 2012 11:59 AM

58

Not much to tell. Good classes

Feb 2, 2012 11:54 AM

59

Awesome! I really enjoy the poetry/fiction readings that happen, along with the art, of course. Never hurts to blend the arts.

Feb 2, 2012 11:49 AM

60

attended readings, meetings, parties, and openings.

Feb 2, 2012 11:45 AM

61

Great experiences for my son - who loves art. Enthusiastic and knowledgable teachers. The summer programs are well-organized.

Feb 2, 2012 11:41 AM

62

Had great experiences there until the last couple of years. Too many new courses, too little substance. More teachers are one-shot or not that qualified.

Feb 2, 2012 11:40 AM

63

Very nice just most classes too expensive

Feb 2, 2012 11:39 AM

64

I used a Groupon and really enjoyed the class I took. I would not have been able to take the class with out the Groupon help with the cost

Feb 2, 2012 11:35 AM

65

Experience has been mixed. The class I liked, as I liked the instructor. However, overall, the Vis Arts Center does not feel welcoming. I think customer service and public relations needs improvement. I also think you need to revamp and re-evalulate how you work with volunteers. A friend had a terrible experince there as a volunteer. If you are going to use volunteers, you need to have a background and understanding of how to work with them and motivate them. Be open to new ideas, and not so dogmatic about doing it "your way." Volunteers can be a tremendous asset to an organization if you know how to utilize their skills to the maxiumum. If you don't, it can prove detrimental to your image in the community. Just saying....

Feb 2, 2012 11:34 AM

66

I have taken a business card letterpress class and a beginners sewing class. I loved both! I think a smaller sewing class would have been more beneficial. I loved Julia as a teacher.

Feb 2, 2012 11:31 AM

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Page 2, Q13. Would you be interested in contributing to the VisArts blog, or sharing your story?

1

not now

Feb 5, 2012 12:37 PM

2

cjgiff@verizon.net

Feb 4, 2012 8:42 AM

3

not at this time

Feb 3, 2012 6:40 PM

4

baltazar_claudia@yahoo.com

Feb 3, 2012 2:10 PM

5

bethmail@embarqmail.com

Feb 3, 2012 1:54 PM

6

eptaggart@gmail.com

Feb 3, 2012 5:55 AM

7

Davidleeaustin@Verizon.net

Feb 2, 2012 5:15 PM

8

Contact info? For what purpose other than asking for money?

Feb 2, 2012 4:34 PM

9

Email contact: sankiran@hotmail.com (Depending on what is okay - can it be on a specific experience?)

Feb 2, 2012 1:40 PM

10

kristenbaird1@gmail.com

Feb 2, 2012 11:54 AM

11

easthomas@hotmail.com

Feb 2, 2012 11:39 AM

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Spring 2012 Strategic PR in a Digital Environment