Two Video Shoots in One Day, 528% Increase in Library Use, and other Adventures On the Boards
by the staff at On the Boards
Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol’s El Rumor del Incendio
Through the funding provided by the Mentorship and Leadership Initiative, On the Boards (OtB) has been able to help increase the capacity and skill-set of our OntheBoards.tv & Digital Media Manager, Monique Courcy, allowing her to evolve from program implementation to leading the OntheBoards.tv (OtB.tv) initiative at a strategic level. This growth has already begun to impact OtB’s ability to expand OtB.tv while also providing Monique the opportunity to understand the wider picture of the arts in the U.S. and develop her leadership potential as a young arts professional.
In December 2012, Monique attended the NPN Annual Meeting with OtB Managing Director Sarah Wilke. During her first trip to the conference, she was able to get a sense of how On the Boards fit into the larger sphere of the NPN community. Monique was able to expand her knowledge of nation-wide performing art and the city’s venues by attending the variety of performances made available to conference attendees. As she attended the conference discussions and presentations, Monique gained a broader understanding of the NPN culture, experiencing the community created by the many partners, and observing the wide reach NPN has across the country to many organizations and artists. At the conference, she co-presented (with Sarah) on the current state of OntheBoards.tv, and was able to take the lead during the presentation and answer questions from the attendees.
During the conference, Monique observed and interacted with regional and national peers and funders, participated in conversations about programming, collaboration and funding and began discussions with individuals interested in the distribution methodology and the web technology OtB.tv has developed. By participating in these conversations, Monique met individuals she previously had only spoken with via email or through executive management, and deepened relationships with some of the current OtB.tv partner organizations such as PS122, PICA and Fusebox Festival. This will be very helpful when she films in their venues in the future, working with them one-on-one. These partnerships also open the door to develop new relationships with future potential partners. NPN partners now contact Monique directly about all OtB.tv related activities and conversations, and she is more comfortable leading conversations about the program on her own. Having the ability to leave Seattle, visit a new city, and be able to observe excitement, interest and engagement in OtB.tv by her NPN peers helped Monique to appreciate the meaning of her role in this project, encouraging her to bring her work to the next level.
After the NPN Philly meeting, Monique engaged in a strategic planning discussion with Sarah where she began to highlight long-term goals of the project and the steps to take OntheBoards.tv to a new level of performance as a functioning web platform. Some projects that came out of that conversation include: how to gain additional and regular content now that we have a codified filming model, how to create a better revenue structure to financially stabilize the program, and how to manage our mobile distribution strategy since this area of technology is growing rapidly. Monique has been leading these projects, and managing the first stage of our mobile strategy research with an external web company, Mobilidus. Alongside this mobile research Monique is delving into our own data gathering, developing a baseline that will allow OtB to make decisions about website updates based on the current usage. She led a website functionality testing and in-house analysis and has been working with Surale Philips on an online survey looking into what might be stopping individuals from purchasing. From that meeting, Monique has begun to strategically organize her work schedule to tackle OtB.tv’s larger projects while maintaining the day-to-day work structure.
Additionally, Monique has been leading a new educational outreach plan; in January 2013 she attended the American Library Association conference in Seattle where she spoke with university and public libraries’ from around the U.S. about subscribing to OntheBoards.tv. In working so closely and directly with these individuals at the universities, Monique has developed partnerships with new networks. Her work has paid off, with our data showing that educational subscription viewing has increased by 528% in the past year alone. During the 2012/13 school year she has negotiated eleven new university subscriptions and three university trials. The trials allow Monique to deepen her relationships with the librarians purchasing staff, working with them to see how the OtB.tv content can work best on their campus, and developing the most helpful and communicative marketing materials for university librarians to easily share with their professors and students on campus. While maintaining these individual relationships with the universities, Monique has also been leading research since early 2012, looking at current educational subscribers with the research firm Decision Support Partners. This project is helping Monique understand OtB’s educational market by taking a deeper look at how the content is being used on campus, speaking with librarians, faculty and students about their experience with the product. This project research and analysis will be completed in March 2013, and will help to direct the next steps in strategically reaching out to new educational subscribers.
In September 2012, Monique led the OntheBoards.tv filming project at PICA’s TBA Festival, filming Mexican-based company Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol’s El Rumor del Incendio. In attending the festival, she was able to strengthen her relationship with PICA’s staff and meet new local and national partners. During this process she independently coordinated the production with our film partners (Thinklab) arranging travel, equipment rentals, show previews, contracts and conversations with the artists. In addition, this film was created in a venue we have not previously filmed in, so the planning process was much more detailed. This practice gave her the experience she needed to once again film off-site in January 2013 at PS122. This was the first time OntheBoards.tv had attempted to film two performances in one day, a dance piece by Pavel Zustiak/Palissimo and a theater piece by Half Straddle/Tina Satter. To accomplish this, Monique was in close contact with PS122 staff (both executive and production), the artists and film crew. The filming coincided with Arts Presenters’ annual meeting, where she was able to attend performances and conference gatherings. She attended an artistic programming meeting with OtB’s Artistic Director Lane Czaplinski at New York Live Arts, made new networking connections in the NYC artistic community and gained a broader understanding of performing arts culture on a national level. Monique also met with peers such as TenduTV, past OntheBoards.tv artists, and co-presenters of OtB live performances.
The Mentorship and Leadership Initiative, as part of the Community Fund, is made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, MetLife Foundation, and American Express.