Helping you with the business of being an artist

Saratogian Covers Arts Spark Launch

July 20 – Saratogian.com
Full URL: http://www.saratogian.com/general-news/20160719/spa-city-company-sculpts-program-to-aid-artists

Spa City Company sculpts program to aid artists

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SARATOGA SPRINGS>> One local media company is launching a new program this week intended to help artists in the region and nationwide.

On Thursday, Saratoga Springs-based Interactive Media Consulting will launch a new digital marketing platform designed specifically for artists. The company will have a free launch and networking party from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday at Creative Corks, located at 1107 Ellsworth Blvd. in Malta, where local artists can learn more about the new program.

Arts Spark, which can be found online at arts-spark.com, is a business resource for creative entrepreneurs, including musicians, photographers, visual artists and writers.

While Interactive Media Consulting has a wide range of clients, it chose to focus on the arts community because, “It was a niche that wasn’t really being served,” Moeller said.

“Artists are great at creating the art. They love creating their arts,” Moeller explained, “but the business side of it, the marketing side of it, is something that they’re not as fond of doing. They just want to do their art.”

So, Moeller and her team created a platform to help them out. At Arts-Spark.com, artists and creative freelancers will find marketing information, forums to share information and best practices, articles on a variety of topics, and easy-to-use, affordable website and e-commerce solutions.

“It’s more than a site, it’s a community,” Moeller said. “The idea is that we want to build a community of artists who are all working together and talking with each other.”

Arts Spark solves a problem identified in the 2014 report issued by the Capital Region Creative Economy Project, which highlighted the need for access to business support services for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers. Arts Spark serves as a virtual portal with information about a variety of business services as well as networking experiences.

Basic membership on the Arts Spark website is free, including a free artist profile, access to online forums, and the ability to add events like gigs and gallery openings to the calendar listings.

Arts Spark’s hosting plans start at $14.95 per month for a basic WordPress website, related tools, and email accounts. There is also a $29.95 per month package including e-commerce capabilities to enable online sales.

Arts Spark also offers additional marketing services such as review of existing websites, social media programs, email marketing logo development and design services.

At the event Thursday, Interactive Media Consulting will offer demonstrations of Arts Spark and show artists how to use other technology tools that may be helpful to them, such as Facebook Live and Periscope.

Event-goers will have the opportunity to sign or tag a large canvas board with the Arts Spark logo at the launch party. A Skype feed will also bring in live music from Dallas-based guitarist Pete Weise.

Arts Spark is currently focused on assisting clients in the Capital Region, but the platform can work everywhere, Moeller noted.

Beginning this fall, Arts Spark will also begin a seminar series, which is expected to start with cartoonist John McPherson giving a talk on “Marketing Your Brand.”

Arts Spark, which had a soft launch in October, is an initiative that has been two years in the making. This past spring semester, a group of three graduate MBA students at Clarkson University’s Capital Region Campus in Schenectady created a business plan for Arts Spark that helped to get the idea in action.

“They asked us a lot of really good questions and it helped us fine tune and really kind of help direct where we were going to go with what we were doing,” Moeller said, mentioning that she even changed the project’s tagine because of the students’ work.

“Helping you with the business of being an artist,” is that new tagline.

“It was a nice collaboration,” Moeller said, on working with the college. “It kind of gave us the push we needed to get things done.”

Going forward, Interactive Media Consulting plans to grow Arts Spark by bringing on a full-time employee that is dedicated solely to that project.

For more information about Arts Spark and its upcoming events, visit arts-spark.com.

Thursday’s launch party is free and open to the public, though advance registration at arts-spark.com is requested.

For more information about Interactive Media Consulting, which is located on the Collamer Building at 480 Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs, visit www.imediaconsult.com.

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