Monday, June 17, 2013

Art and The Laws of Attraction.

We hear about the Arts in St. Pete a lot. Magazine(s) tell us we're #1, and we believe it. Given that, I thought to look on the web to see how the arts fare in the "things to do" in St, Pete in tourist websites.

My first stop was at [Link]

NYTimes' Practical Traveler [Link] Only made it as far as the Dali for art.

St Pete.Org [link] has its 50 fascinating things to do, including an arts section which does mention 2nd Saturday, but if the tourists are here on any other day, there's no DIY tours, and no mention of the 600 Block or the WAD!

Virtual Tourist [Link] has 114 things to do (some in other counties!) but none are about the 600 block, WAD or anything other than the major Arts Museums.

I could go on, and there are several sites that do mention more of the arts scene, but you get the point: Think too locally, and one loses sight that the county brings in almost 8 billion/yr in tourist dollars, and that artists should be grabbing a larger piece of that action. Out of sight is out of mind. In the websites that one can post in, make it known  that the area does have a thriving arts scene. Elsewhere, urge the owners to mention it, or do so in the comments. Let prospective visitors know about you and the things you do and enjoy about this City.If they do not know you exist, your hopes are pinned on random meanderings.

--- Luis

Ps. The point of this article was not just uncovering the invisibility of local arts and artists to prospective tourists/visitors so that artists can share in the 7,800,000,000 that are spene here by out of towners. It was a wake-up call. You can't just sit back and assume someone else is promoting the arts in your city on tourist sites. I discovered no one was, and hadn't been for several years. People are always complaining that everything that can be done is being done, and that money is an insurmountable hurdle. That is partially true, but I spent a couple of days thinking, and unearthed this, and I know there are many more things that I am not seeing that could be done at little or zero cost and a bit of keyboard work to improve things. Find them, and let me know when you do as I tipped you on to this one.

Artists are creatives. Focus that creativity on placing the arts on the map in this city or wherever you live. Most places with an arts district promote it to tourists, complete with detailed instructions and photographs. Offer the webmaster for the site to write it yourself and furnish pictures yourself. 

No one else can take your place. Remember to not just promote yourself, that is short-sighted, because no tourist is going to make a trip to see one place. Be the rising tide that lifts all boats.


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