Creative news and views for April 25, 2012

Using collaboration and shared learning to help performing arts companies


Build Capacity   Build Audiences   Build Spaces

First steps towards inclusion

Creative Trust and Picasso PRO proudly wrapped up our two year Sun Life Performing Arts Access Program last month. This pioneering program, introduced to Creative Trust members on November 23, 2009, was designed to open up the city’s theatres to Blind/Low-Vision and Deaf/Hard of Hearing audiences. Using a pilot series of audio described and American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted performances, our goal was to help theatre, dance and music companies launch and integrate these services into their organizational cultures and programming.

In two short years we

  • Auditioned and trained 8 Audio Describers with renowned AD specialist Deb Lewis, moving the number of theatrical audio describers in Toronto to…8!
  • Purchased audio description kits, including headsets and accessories; created a handbook, and trained describers for the experience of live performance
  • Held a roundtable for members of the Ontario Association Of Sign Language Interpreters on the specifics of Theatrical Interpretation led by star interpreter Joanna Bennett, our ASL Project Advisor
  • Developed our chops with an in-house test-described show without public audience of Featuring Loretta at Factory Theatre Read more

Creating a page for your company using Facebook Timeline

 by Sue Edworthy

Facebook’s new timeline format has been slowing rolling out over the past few months (I adopted in December to get an advanced handle on it). Sure enough, it’s now the way your company page is laid out. It’s fairly easy to update and reorganize if you already have a page, as you’ve been automatically transferred – but what if you don’t?

 I’ve created several pages for recent clients and while it’s fairly straightforward, there are a few things to note:

You used to choose what page you wanted folks to land on – not anymore. Your option now is something called a sticky post – you pin it to the top of your newsfeed and there it stays – I find many folks are using it to direct viewers to their donor page, or placing show information there.

Building your audience – I humbly suggest you have something on your page for people to see before you invite them to like it. It’s similar to having a restaurant grand opening with no menu, or getting to the dreaded “under construction” page on a heavily promoted website. Start thoughtfully with your invites – don’t click indiscriminately. Choose people who really will like your page – quality likes – and therefore share it with others. Quantity will follow quality.

Read More

Get Smart

The Maytree Foundation/CivicAction’s quick survey on board governance in sports, environment and arts organizations provides interesting food for thought on issues like board representation and community relations. It will be used to help nonprofits better reflect the interests and needs of their partners, members and (in our case) audiences. Results and recommendations will be shared.

Young Associates’ Pre-Fringe Seminar: “Make it to the end of Fringe before your money runs out!” with Heather Young and the team at Young Associates looks like a great assist to small companies, fringing or not. Learn how to project expenses, manage cash flow and identify areas of concern; budget and cash flow templates provided. To register email training@younga​