Written by: Sydney Luther, Communications Assistant
What do I love about the work I do at the SCC?
I love working with artists and being an advocate for them. Every day I get to write and share the fantastic things our members and artists in Saskatchewan are doing. The staff I get to work with every day at the SCC are phenomenal, and being near the Gallery & Boutique space is so lovely. Also, working half a block from my apartment is definitely a plus : )
One main aspect of my job is curating the SCC’s social media accounts. Since I am the first ever SCC Communications Assistant, it has been fun figuring out what and how much to post. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished in the year I’ve been managing the SCC’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Our Facebook likes have grown by 66%, Twitter followers by 98%, and Instagram followers by 110%! This means that we have more people than ever interested in our exhibitions, markets, events, and our artists.
My plan is to post to Facebook and Twitter 2-3 times per day, and schedule posts for the weekend. The content I post comes from emails from members and staff, from other arts organizations, and from our members’ Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts. As well, I try to post to Instagram at least twice per week, and have recently started a Pinterest account for the SCC.
Before I was working full time at the SCC, I worked part time compiling the SCC member e-zine SaskCreate, which I still do. It goes out every two weeks, and is chock full of helpful information for our members. Calls for entry, exhibitions, and other craft events that are relevant are included. It takes me at least a full day to pull this together every two weeks.
I also compile and edit our public e-zine Talking Craft (*hint* — subscribe here!), which is also sent out every two weeks. This informs the public about our activities — like exhibitions, new boutique items, and markets — as well as highlights work by our members.
As an editor of our website, I keep the Current Exhibition page up to date, add and edit member profiles, and take care of other website housekeeping. Any member of the SCC can make a member profile (if you’re interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org). I refer to the profiles quite a bit when posting about our members online. These profiles are a great way for SCC artists to establish a web presence, even if they don’t have a website or Facebook page.
I also run the SCC Blog (which you’re reading right now). While I don’t write most of the posts, I do manage the schedule and post what is written by our staff and our members.
With the help of Vivian Orr — our Communications and Publications Coordinator and my mentor — I promote our gallery exhibitions online. I create the page on our website, add information and photos, and I share the poster and postcards on our social media accounts. A few weeks before the exhibition opens, I also work with our Exhibitions Coordinators and Vivian to prepare a news release.
A recent innovation is the Promotions Package I send to the artists involved in our upcoming exhibitions. This includes the poster, postcard, and Facebook cover photo Vivian designs, as well as information on the exhibition, and the link to the Facebook event for the Reception (and sometimes the Artist Talk). The way I see it, our artists are a fantastic avenue for promotion, because they want to promote themselves! We just need to give them the tools to do so. If we utilize each artist’s own network of friends, family, and fans of their work, we can increase awareness about each exhibition in Affinity Gallery. This effect is magnified in group exhibitions.
We have a similar plan for promoting our markets. I update our website with information, issue news releases about the market with help from Vivian and Ferron Olynyk, our Member Services Coordinator, and share as much information as I can on our social media streams. I often feature several posts on specific artists who will be at the market. Please be aware that I am always looking for high quality images of work or interesting artist tidbits which can be used for promotion. If an artist has a member profile on our website, I’m much more likely to share their information, as I have a bio and photos on hand.
Citizens of Craft
I am also the Regional Administrator for Saskatchewan for a national campaign called Citizens of Craft. The SCC has joined together with our colleagues in the Canadian Crafts Federation, led by Craft Ontario, to declare ourselves Citizens of Craft. The movement is dedicated to clarifying the public’s understanding of Fine Craft and to making craft more accessible to Canadians.
In this position, I help our members create profiles on Citizens of Craft. This means I lead them through the steps and answer any questions they may have. It’s understandable that some of our artists aren’t tech wizards — because their focus is their art! I’m here to help them with their online presence as much as possible, including with Citizens of Craft. (Again, if you’re a member and you have any questions, please reach out at email@example.com)