| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

Innovation & Job News

The Cultural Alliance hits the ground running with a new arts and tech residency

Fresh from its victory helping the Philadelphia Cultural Fund secure stable funding for 2016, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is on the trail of innovations that spark deeper collaborations between the local arts and technology sectors.
2014 saw the launch of the organization’s TechniCulture Initiative, and president Maud Lyon says this year’s TechniCulture Innovation Residency Awards, announced in June, further that work.
Local cultural groups invited to apply for the residencies must have an annual operating budget of $1 million or less. The hard part isn’t necessarily finding the solution to a problem, but trying to frame what you need in the first place.

"One of the things that’s both fascinating and intimidating for technology is that you don’t even know what questions to ask," explains Lyon. 
That’s what these unique art/tech residencies, each seeded with $2,000, are going to help three local organizations accomplish. Winners will be paired with a technologist or a digital agency who will work in-depth with them for months to help them achieve something they don’t have the resources to develop on their own.
"What really is an issue for a lot of organizations is that they sort of have an idea that technology could help them with something, but they don’t know what that is," says Lyon. On the other hand, "the technology people can create an app for anything, but they need to understand what the organization’s really trying to accomplish."
What those projects will be is still an open question, but Lyon points to challenges such as better management of existing data, better audience and consumer services, new organizational capacities, new forms of art, or more efficient, effective business models.
A specific timeline is in place. On July 16, the Cultural Alliance is hosting a free orientation session for interested organizations (register online); August 21 is the deadline for applications. Three winning organizations will receive their new tech residency partner on September 30.
The first phase will include 80 hours of work from the participating tech professional or firm between October and December, developing an actionable concept. In early 2016, a "design challenge" will follow in which volunteering technologists, marketers, and communications and development experts create grant-ready road maps for implementation of the three residencies’ concepts, pinpointing the platform or medium and estimating costs. (The Alliance has an open call for TechniCulture design challenge partners; interested professionals or firms should contact grants and program manager Tracy Buchanan at [email protected].)
The TechniCulture Innovation Residency Awards will culminate in a public presentation on April 29 as part of Philly Tech Week 2016. An audience vote will award one of the concepts further dollars for implementation, but all three organizations will walk away with a concept ready for funding.
Writer: Alaina Mabaso
Source: Maud Lyon, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts