I’m teaching a master class today in San Francisco for arts organizations for Theatre Bay Area. This is a continuation of my work with TBA over the past 3-4 years. The first year I experimented with a peer design that included face-to-face workshops, action learning projects, and monthly calls back in 2010 called ArtsLab. The second year in 2011, we did two sets of peer groups using workshops, action learning projects, and micro grants to encourage experimentation.
The third year now expands the program into a “train the trainer” model. The master class is part of a, NEA-funded experiment being conducted by arts service organizations like Theatre Bay Area all across the country. The goal to help their members, small arts organizations, how to use social media and digital technologies to transform and energize their relationships with audiences, supporters, funding bodies and other arts groups. My master class here in San Francisco will be video taped and shared in other cities by a local facilitator using a lesson plan that I have developed.
The first phase was an intensive “Digi-Strat” boot camp last month. Staff members from theatre and arts service organizations met in San Francisco offices to undergo instructor-level training in strategy and tactical digital and social media. Along with my train-the-trainers session, project consultant Alli Houseworth ran sessions on using the tools and worked with participants to further customized the curriculum.
Now the networked capacity building begins. Trainers from arts service organizations will train their members. Theatre Bay Area is currently in the process of inviting a small number of Bay Area theatre companies to participate in a tailor-made six-month digital strategies training based on the peer learning models used through the project’s three years. Each company will identify a specific, goal; design an experiment to meet that goal using one or more social media platforms; run their experiment; and then assess the results. All this, with support from the project consultant. This is a model that I have designed and implemented over the past twenty years of my work as a technology trainer, so excited to see it in the train-the-trainers model – way more efficient!