ArtCoach aims to boost the capacity of rural and remote arts organizations and artists to create and share experiences, by removing barriers to digital tools and supports. All of our barrier-free projects include active tech coaching - a vital component identified in our November 2021 survey co-designed with ArtsBC.
In April 2022 we experimented with a variety of ways to narrow the digital divide for rural and remote artists and arts sector workers, including in-person workshops, 'ask me anything' webinars, hand-picked youtube playlists, a comprehensive resource hub, and an arts-focused podcast series. This initiative is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategy Fund.
Our three in-person, one-day workshops were held in:
Port McNeill (partnership with North Vancouver Island Arts Society)
Port Alberni (partnership with Alberni Arts Council)
Victoria (partnership with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre)
(Here are some lessons learned from the technical side of things from these workshops.)
Each of these activities experiments attracted dozens of people from all corners of our super-region, and helped deepen our understanding of the parts of our super-region that are underserved, and the fundamental importance of access to culturally safe, low-cost digital tools and coaching.
In November 2022, we shifted gears to see if we could do more than just provide a single day of supports in some of our rural/remote communities. With additional funding from the BC Arts Council to pay for a part-time coach, we launched the Central Island Digital Creation Hub. In the past six months, this digital creation hub has provided free one-to-one coaching to over 150 artists in the Central Island area to build their capacity to engage with the digital world. Funding for this hub runs out end of May 2023, and then we will pivot to user pay/ user subsidized fee structure. Here is the project report we submitted to BC Arts Council in June 2023.
In March 2023, building on the lessons learned from the Central Island project (report coming soon!), Comox Valley Arts opened their Comox Arts Digital Creation Hub. This hub also offers one-on-one sessions with a tech coach, and has a sliding scale user fee structure.
In the spring of 2023, we submitted funding proposals to see if we could also install digital creation hubs in partnership with the Tofino Arts Council and the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. No word yet on these grants. It is our hope we can find funding and partners to install a digital creation hub in Port McNeill soon.
We had our engines revving to also try to get a digital creation hub in Port Alberni, and then we learned about the newly opened Alberni Valley Makerspace. This makerspace contains many of the components of our other hubs, and also has incredible prototyping and manufacturing capabilities.
All of these experiences and experiments - some of which are still emerging, have cemented for us the value of and need for physical spaces full of digital creation tools AND coaches. That's why we have built strategically placed physical/digital infrastructure into our vision for an inclusive, connected, thriving Creative Economy.
Ask Me Anything (AMA)
Podcasting for Beginners
Watch our AMA all about podcasting and audio recording. Our podcasting experts offer tips and tricks for starting your first recording.
How to Digitally Capture your Art
In this AMA you'll learn how to start taking great photos and videos of your art, plus get basic camera and lighting recommendations.