Category Archives: Self-Aware Art

Where Is Laguna’s Cultural Relevance?

www.selfawareart.comCultural Relevance? People expressing dissatisfaction with the outdated cultural programming and leaving town for art events elsewhere are already one of the biggest findings in the draft of the latest Laguna cultural plan. What to do to prevent diminishing cultural relevance? How to hinder citizens to attend other-where or prevent local artists to show in cities where they have better exhibition opportunities than Laguna Beach? Art-focused cities like Santa Ana, Brea, Orange with Chapman University, Fullerton and Costa Mesa are all vying for an arts-interested audience. What steps can Laguna take to become a cultural hotbed again? First, get clarity about the arts.

How Important Is Art For Laguna Beach? What does Laguna Beach want to be known for to contribute to the world? This is the most important question to be answered to create an executable future vision/plan for the City. Without it, any future choices will be muddied and limit Laguna’s potential. To aligning citizens and stakeholders about the importance of art it is imperative to answer these questions.
What do artists want from the City?
What do galleries and festivals want from the City?
What do art educators and museums want from the City?
What does the City want from artists, galleries, festivals, art educators and museums?

Laguna Beach Needs To Establish First What It Wants To Be Citizens and Visitors.
a. Another Beach City with beautiful nature, water sports, recreation and art. Primarily, be an affluent community and tourist destination that has a lot to offer, but is not particularly culturally relevant.
b. A Beautiful Beach City with a specific kind of art-slant like “Laguna The Art Festival Town.” An affluent community and tourist destination that is known for the famous festivals it presents.
c. A Beach City Internationally known As California’s Art City. A city that offers new and established artists a way to express their creativity, from coffee shop to gallery to festival to beach. A yearlong cultural scene that is alive and interactive internationally, thereby creating an artistic imprint worldwide. (obviously, choice b and c does not exclude or diminish choice a)
d. Anyone has another Idea?

How The Evolving Of Artists Affects Laguna Beach’s Future: Since 2008, the only art related businesses that grew exponentially where art and music supply stores, accompanied by GoPro mini video cameras to capture it all. Technology and digitization allows to create very affordable and high quality products. There are not only more artists than ever out there, but through inventions of materials and technologies like 3D printers, more artists create more creative works. This trend is supported by intuitive usage, lower learning curves and available knowledge (140 million plus YouTube results of “how to art” videos.)

Buy Art in Laguna BeachThe Power Of Exposure: Even though the web is perfect to connect with one’s favorite art or artist, nothing beats connecting with art in person. What prevents great content to be exposed is venues are either too expensive, demand too many limitations, insurance and paperwork or are controlled by groups and organisations that decide by committee what art is and what not.
Make it easy for artists to express themselves in Laguna Beach. Open the City to international talent and all art. Instead of creating an additional international art festival, why not first open all existing festivals to international competition and keep them open all year long for different shows?

Vienna/Austria had the same curse with the classical arts as Laguna has with its history. Vienna opened up to support not only the classics but invited international art and artists. This decision raised the level of all local artisans. Vienna is today Europe’s art performance headquarter with hundreds of daily art experiences of all kind.

In 2015, I have been asked by Peter Blake of Peter Blake Gallery, Robert Holton of Drizzle Gallery, Michael Roy of LGOCA, and many others to look into the Laguna Beach Art Business and give them my assessment. Michaell Magrutsche is an Austrian-Californian multimedia artist, creative consultant, art educator and former Cultural Arts Commissioner of Newport Beach living in Laguna Beach.

Draft Laguna Beach Cultural Plan
Laguna Beach Cultural Plan Appendix 

What’s Missing From Laguna’s Cultural Arts Plan?

Dear Patron of the Arts.

www.selfawareart.comThe Laguna Beach Cultural Plan currently misses three major components that are essential to make the arts work for Laguna and revive its cultural relevance.
First, establishing a clear Voice of what differentiates Laguna Beach from all the other art cities and art districts.  A digital strategy of how to best represent Laguna Beach Arts on the web and in the digital world. Here, the proposed multi-purpose cultural facility could additionally act as digital terminal, content-production facility and as uplink of cultural content to support Laguna Beach’s web presence. Thirdly, a communication model consisting of a central mobile phone app linked to a website as interface for collaboration with existing local radio/TV and print. This model increases convenience of choosing and delivering the right programming to the right audience at the right time. This app also allows real time tracking of Laguna’s cultural content providers’ relevance and helps to keep art programming up to date.

1. Laguna Beach’s Cultural Voice?  Why is a clear Voice so important? Technology and digitization have sped up most of our lives resulting in unclear direction and an unforeseeable future. To stay on track, Laguna needs to establish who or what we are and how the City matters, or it risks diminishing its message/branding. Know thyself is more important than ever.  Laguna needs to make a choice about having cultural relevance or stay content being an affluent beach community and tourist destination with art? To avoid such a generic image hold off thinking about new ideas and instead follow the organic flow of image integration. Establishing a clear vision, followed by an executable function, followed by a fitting form. To establish a clear vision is the most thought intensive and intricate work. When done right it can act like a turbo charger, where function and form fall into place. If done haphazardly, the function will show major problems and the form will be unclear like a movie that does not make sense. A clear cultural Voice is essential to build a sustainable function to be on purpose to find content of various art forms that reflect the overall vibe of the City.

2. Digital Strategy Blueprint: Today, No business works without a digital interface. Since Real estate for artists housing is becoming increasingly limited due to Laguna’s high property values, digital real estate is cheap and unlimited. The advantage of a strong digital web platform would allow Laguna Beach not only to be a physical space for the arts, but also matter and be relevant as a well sought-after art-content destination on the worldwide web. Laguna would profit from a 24/7 hour “All Arts All The Time” pipeline to the web. Searchable by date and genre with a Live stream of what’s going on in California’s City of Arts. Artists, art organisations and stakeholders can feed into the system allowing bread crumbing audiences to the world’s famous artists community. The bigger Laguna gets on the web, the stronger the branding and cross promotion and the better for everyone.

www.selfawareart.com3. A Communication Model: Convenience has become a key decision factor to engage or not. Traffic and parking is Laguna’s number one challenge. As the draft of Laguna’s Cultural Plan points out, people still want more art opportunities and thus looking for them outside of Laguna’s city limits. One of the reasons people look for art outside is that like in most cities, citizens are not aware what is offered at home. With today’s technology, a mobile app would allow Laguna Beach to have a complete central source that lists all events, galleries and other cultural activities and remind the audience about upcoming events on time. (more details of Laguna’s mobile app click here) Due to its size, Laguna Beach could be easily served with one central information source for all cultural, hospitality and recreational activities. This cultural mobile app can be part of Visit Laguna Beach’s app and linked and part of a Visit Laguna Beach website. Use social media campaigns to link audiences to website, app and stakeholders. I have proposed this app over a year ago and it is more relevant than ever.

Michaell

In 2015, I have been asked by Peter Blake of Peter Blake Gallery, Robert Holton of Drizzle Gallery, Michael Roy of LGOCA, and many others to look into the Laguna Beach Art Business and give them my assessment. Michaell Magrutsche is an Austrian-Californian multimedia artist, creative consultant, art educator and former Cultural Arts Commissioner of Newport Beach living in Laguna Beach.

Other Related Articles:

Where Is Laguna’s Cultural Relevance?
Laguna Beach Digital Cultural Strategy
Spending Money On Art Without Direction Helps No One
 
Draft Laguna Beach Cultural Plan & Appendix 

Laguna Beach Digital Cultural Strategy

Dear Laguna Beach Patron of the Arts,


www.selfawareart.comWhat We Need To Understand:
We are in a transitional time, moving deeper into the digital age, including the arts. No one knows where we are going. Technology made what we did 3 years ago obsolete for today’s challenges. The following finds are an essential first step for the future of Laguna Beach and the arts:

Laguna’s Core Power: The marketing strength of Laguna Beach has always been its organic growth combining the Arts and its beautiful local. The City can count itself as very lucky. Within a 1.2 mile radius it offers 100 galleries, 3 festivals, museum and plenty of art education. This is convenient, but can also overwhelm, since 1-day visitors can’t visit all the galleries during art walk. To support visitors, an destination like Laguna Beach would profit from a cultural mobile app with an accompanying website and integrated social media links. The app needs to include an updated and complete master directory of all its cultural stakeholders. See New York’s gallery map (without hospitality) as an example http://chelseagallerymap.com.

Connect Buyer & Seller: While serving on the steering commission of the Newport Beach Arts & Cultural Master Plan, my own research confirmed that the key is all about connecting the right audience to the right product, now. Now is today’s most important success factor on the web and in world-business. A non-targeted arts exposure counts almost zero and is often dismissed, while delivering the right information to the right people spawns interest. People who want to buy art, don’t want to browse 100 galleries to “perhaps” find what they need. Collectors do not want to be bothered with plein air, when they are looking for minimal abstract. The overwhelm of choices demands help to connect the RIGHT BUSINESSES to the RIGHT CUSTOMER!

Convenience as Sales Force: Another reaffirming trend is that convenience increasingly plays a major role in getting people’s attention, react, take action to buy or visit a certain venue. Except traffic and parking, pretty much everything can be handled over the web connecting buyers with what they want.. By adding a complete and updated event calendar, this cultural app would be the most powerful implementation any city can currently do for its economy. Actually, an app could affect traffic and parking positively too.

The App Solution: To enliven the the arts, a complete and updated Master Directory for Arts &Buy Art in Laguna Beach Culture available on the web and as mobile app has more impact than any event or venue could generate. Currently, there are numerous lists, but none of them is complete or representative of what Laguna Beach has to offer. This cultural app’s success thrives on the completeness of Laguna Beach’s cultural stakeholders. Lists in magazines lack the functions of interactive of mobile devices such as directions or contact the store before visiting. The key is that the audience can put in their preferences and quickly find what they are looking for with attached map and relevant information. Money can be made by charging any business for special exposure or additional content other than name, telephone number, address and website to stand out on a page.

Follow Up Step: After Laguna Beach has created a central master cultural app, the next step is to implement a complete and relevant events calendar with hospitality options that connects art venues with the special interest clientele. Laguna Beach would be able to sell its unique cultural experiences and helping audiences find and sell them what they are looking for quickly and easily.

Better Experience: The app would improve customer experience and increased audience participation.  If the visitor experiences an adventure that is convenient, discovers and finds more of what they intended, they will return and tell their friends. The best advertising is word of mouth.

Real Data Benefits: Besides an increase in sales and attendance of art events, an app would be a perfect interactive tool to gather more accurate information about the relevance of Laguna’s cultural stakeholders. It would provide a steady stream of information and an arts real-me needs assessment of Laguna Beach visitors, which is more important than anything one can do otherwise for any local business.

Official Interface: I feel that Visit Laguna Beach needs to take the helm of this project, since this app with website are primarily in context with hospitality of the City. Stakeholders have to participate to keep this project relevant. This directory could also be a bases to start a dialogue between stakeholders to smooth Laguna’s cultural events calendar, avoiding double bookings and overlapping events.

Pledge: Finally, this project needs to stand above all personal interests and conflicts, in the spirit of honoring Laguna Beach’s magical whom, that gives so much life to the arts and its audiences. I ask you Ladies and Gentlemen how can we achieve this and who is on board?

Michaell

In 2015, I have been asked by Peter Blake of Peter Blake Gallery, Robert Holton of Drizzle Gallery, Michael Roy of LGOCA, and many others to look into the Laguna Beach Art Business and give them my assessment. Michaell Magrutsche is an Austrian-Californian multimedia artist, creative consultant, art educator and former Cultural Arts Commissioner of Newport Beach living in Laguna Beach.

Other Related Articles:

Where Is Laguna’s Cultural Relevance?
What’s Missing From Laguna’s Cultural Arts Plan?
Spending Money On Art Without Direction Helps No One

Draft Laguna Beach Cultural Plan
Laguna Beach Cultural Plan Appendix