Firstly, a very special thanks to Great Dane Brewing Company for sponsoring this gathering with food, beverages, and space! It’s remarkable having this kind of support for the arts in Dane County, and we are tremendously grateful for their support! The staff was kind and accommodating, and made sure we had everything we needed to keep the ideas flowing!

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This is post is an aggregation of all the ideas that were shared. We thought that by setting this up as a blog, it would give not only the artists that attended the opportunity to expand on ideas and clarify, but this will also give artists that did not attend the opportunity to weigh in. It will also be a great way for the broad community to see how things are progressing with DABL2019.

We’ll list some key takeaways, and then a list of things artists said went well, and things we can improve uppon. Artists and the community are encouraged to contribute and ask questions here.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • DABL will be held at Yahara Bay Distillers this year, October 18 & 19. It is not decided whether or not we will have the same booth setup, or if we will explore a new format. This will be decided by the time the artist application goes live May 1.

  • The reasons why we decided to move DABL from the US Bank building downtown to Yahara Bay Distillers were to: 1) to fulfill our commitment of reaching new parts of Dane County; 2) to book a venue for two days, as US Bank couldn’t commit as far in advance as we needed; and 3) Yahara Bay Distillers has a good amount of parking.

  • Professional development workshops will be held at Promega this year, weekly during the month of September.

  • Brent is working with Daryna to come up with a Pledge to Purchase narrative that interested artists can help share throughout their networks. This will be ready by the week of March 7.

  • Can DABL become more of a Creative Conference, with an component where artists can sell their work, as well as different workshops and presentations? This would be something to consider going into 2020, as a way of rephrasing what an art fair can do and/or be.

  • Create a more personalized way for artists to help promote, like a digital flyer design where the main image can be swapped out with examples of art from the participating artists.

  • The RSVPing page was confusing and a major pain point for a lot of people. This will be addressed.

POSITIVE POINTS OF FEEDBACK

  • professional development workshops

  • DABL is comprehensive (i.e. professional development, networking, promotional opportunities, selling opportunities, etc.).

  • networking with other artists

  • exposure

  • professional networking opportunities

  • events are "cool"

  • diverse in many ways (e.g. DJ, dance, food, drinks, crowd, art, etc.)

  • Connected with paid opportunities outside of DABL itself

AREAS WHERE WE CAN IMPROVE

  • better inform what each artist does

  • setup takes a long time

  • difficult identifying consumers during the events because of the breadth of work

  • get higher profile businesses that can afford larger price point pieces

  • communication was confusing with all the different dates

  • RSVPing on the event page was a barrier for a number of people. *** this was the most mentioned point of feedback ***

  • the flow was difficult with how some of the artists were arranged. We should have nonprofits be in the gallery space this year, and make sure the people with larger setups are designated their locations accordingly

  • more of a drinking crowd at Yahara Bay Distillers

  • connections with businesses have declined since the inception of DABL

  • too many artists at DABL last year

OTHER IDEAS

  • exhibition and online gallery that spans an entire month, rather than just two days.

  • all artists need to take responsibility for the promotion of DABL.

  • figure out which municipalities in Dane County have venues that could accommodate DABL.

  • rephrase concept of “Art Fair”

  • take the financial burden off artists and find support from businesses in Dane County via Pledge to Purchase.

  • businesses that support are put into a drawing to receive a piece of art donated by a participating artist.

  • come up with other ways to recognize businesses in Dane County to generate more support. What are model businesses that already support the arts?

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If you have any questions about how to make posts or how the blog will be used, please review this post.

DABL is a Dane Arts affair.

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