This idea is inherently bold. It breaks new ground.

centre-artsThe Cycle of Arts project has a bold intention; to use the arts to transform the community and increase communications and connections between the people in all areas and on all levels. The arts have always had a unique place in the public sphere, and this project suggests we can use that unique influence to begin the larger and much grander Centre Inspires program of innovation and community expansion.

Creating events and orchestrating them over the course of a year, continuously inviting more and more people around the county to participate and produce their own smaller art events as part of the Cycle of Arts, will be an organizational and management challenge. But it is not the events themselves that are bold, it is the intention, to use art, drama, dance, and music as a vehicle to get the people of the county talking to each other on a new level.

There is simply no doubt that things WILL go wrong, and I think it’s the things that go wrong that are just as important to the overall value of the effort, as what goes right. Check that – it’s what goes wrong that is valuable, if it all goes right and smoothly, that means we have not innovated quite enough. 

REALLY SIMPLE VERSION

1. We create a Year of Art, anchored by four main events, that uses music, drama, dance, visual and experiential arts, and culture to uplift the county. We set inspiring themes, but otherwise leave it to the artists to produce the events, and let a conversation occur naturally.

2. We create a recording and web system to capture the process in videos photos and writing, and a web community system so we can discuss what we learn. We create and give away freely multiple Apps to make it easy for as many people as possible to be involved. The apps work on phones, tablets, and desktops, and let us send out news games questions and more, and receive reports info photos videos ratings, reactions, and more . We improve and develop the apps as we go along.

3. The collaboration itself is the main point, the deepest message of the project. To show that we can come together and make the effort to do art on such a grand scale sends a message of hope and possibility through the region. And when we fail, that too will be a message, because we will laugh, get back up, and try it again, with the resilience and mutual support a vibrant community needs.

4. And at the end, we have a web services system that will keep the conversation going, and which can be used to help support the next 5 years of Centre Inspires projects, and more. We have the apps, which can be modified and developed for as many uses as we like. And ee have a record of the experience to study and use as reference, to pass on to other communities, and to serve as an archive of content for any use we want. 

5. And, the administrative and management system used for such a grand collaboration will be there as well, and all the lessons learned brought forward and shared. Everything is completely open, transparent, what worked and what didn’t stored in the web system and available for use and study.

The “App” is not just a phone application, it’s for desktops and tablets too

[wc_box color=”success” text_align=”left”]Most people think “Mobile” when they hear the expression “App”, but in web development it has a much larger meaning. [/wc_box]

It is a term that is applied to anything that acts like a tool for the users, often with a webservice behind it providing the features, and often with a mobile phone version, but, you can get apps for windows8, chrome and other browsers, as well as for phones.

I have been describing this as an app for multiple platforms, which means one that works on desktops, tablets, and phones, and adapts to each type of platform so that it is most easily used for that. In fact, for the most complete use if it’s features, the app will encourage people to use it on a desktop as well, it will have a “send to my desk” function so a person can start an entry then store it for later improvement.

I am actually personally more focused on the conventional web desktop experience than the app, as I see that part of the project as the most critical. That’s where the real action happens, where the community engages; it’s the “mind” of the project, the apps in the phones are the senses, bringing in streams of messages and information, and receiving suggestions from the “mind”.

The Cycle of Arts “Grand Collaboration (with an app)” project outline for Centre Inspires

Centre Inspires Project Outline (first draft)

1. The current working title of the project is: A Cycle of Art

1a. Full title with tagline is “A Cycle of Art: 2015, The Year We Know Ourselves”.

2. The purpose of the project is to assemble a grand collaboration of arts and culture to create and send a message to all the people in our region. The message is to be “Your participation is needed. We request your presence.”, to begin the 6 year #centreinspires engagement.

2a. This baseline message could be elaborated upon endlessly, as long at the core remains. My favorite elaboration is “Entertainment will be provided.”

3. The method of the project will contain these elements below, and two critical Meta Elements that tie it all together The metas are the Web System (section 3A below) and the Four Agreements (section 5 below).

3A. A Web System with Apps The 1st Meta Element is a community website, web service, and app for phone, desktops, and multiple platforms, that is to last for 6 years at minimum. The app will be distributed at no cost. The complete web system will collect information using crowd curating about all the arts and culture in the region, will “push” arts and culture news, particularly news related to the Cycle of Arts activities and cyclics to the participants. It will also gather reviews, feedback, ranking, opinions, tags, photos, videos, and other information and store it in an open community archive. Recordings gathered more formally will become the official public record of the project. Forums and other interactive features will be provided and some will be moderated. The app will also be used to deliver arts and culture games, hunts, challenges, contests, and rewards to participants. When 2015 is over, the website will become an independent forum and meeting place for artists and culturists and the community at large. The requirement that it last for 6 years minimum preserves all results for future use, and ensures it continues to exist as an infrastructure that supports all future #centreinspires, community, and arts and culture efforts.

3B. The Grand Collaboration itself is the key demonstration. That we came together to share the grant, benefiting minimally from it as individual orgs, is our demonstration of sincerity, and our faith in the importance of the message and the vision.

3C. “CYCLES” Four “Cycle Orgs” (may also alliances of several orgs) will take on the leadership role in the creation of four events, to be called “Cycles”, that will occur seasonally in 2015, the year of the grant fulfillment. Each Cycle Org will have creative control of it’s Cycle, although collaboration and cooperation is encouraged. The Four Cycles create anchoring points, a place and time for the message, the community, and the artists and arts to meet.

3C(1). A set of specific themes will be chosen by Promotions and Message (4b) to unify the Cycles and other activities. Here is a proposed example set of themes:

The thematic purpose of the events will be to seek engagement, and commit to engagement over time. Our keywords are:
1. To “reach out” to those that make art meaningful – the unsung heroes – they that look, and they that don’t, the people of our communities.
2. To “bring together”, and celebrate bringing together.
3. To “uplift by knowing” – the point of the year is to look at each other, and seeing and knowing, we lift together.
4. To “engage the cycle”. The cycle is the great unifier. Time, season, weather, age, coming together and going apart, action and follow thru, planting and harvest, everything we have done, do, or may do depends upon engaging the cycle with repetition, endurance, planning, scheduling, and respect for the power of time.


3C(2). Individuals and teams may be assigned specific pieces and elements to create, that will be used as pivotal pieces in the Cycles and activities. If these assignments are to be paid from the original grant, the payments may come from one of the Cycle Orgs, out of their allotment, or from Promotions and Message or Primary Admin (see section 4b and 4a).

3D. “CYCLICS”. Any and every org or combination of orgs, businesses, groups, individuals, or ad hoc teams will be earnestly encouraged to create their own “Cyclics”, art events of any type whatsoever, at any time, to be included in the Cycle of Arts. All are welcome. New artists, first time artists, and pieces that bring together those who don’t yet know they are also artists will be given special attention and awards.


3E.
In addition to these basic elements, A. B. C. and D., which we define as required to fulfill this proposal, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. The Cycle of Arts is an Open Community effort, and all you have to do to be in it, is to state you are in it, affirm that you make the Four Agreements, do your piece, and put your records of the work into the website through its standardized public submission system.

This state of Open Community is to be frequently emphasized ih promotions and content, and be stated as part of all official communications. Our goal will be to get as many participants as possible to do an artwork, performance, craft, making, or decoration.

4. Four Departments will be created that will serve as the administration and management focus of the year long project. These four departments will be:

4a. Primary Admin, responsible for receiving and distributing the grant money. This automatically includes the primary organization making the grant proposal, and other persons as they require, and responsibility for Primary Admin is solely placed in the hands of the primary organization. However, Primary Admin is encouraged to seek and even require advice and help from all the elements of the collaboration, particularly the four Cycle Orgs and the Four Departments.

4b. Publicity and Message, responsible for promoting the cycles and cyclics and all other activities, and for developing and transmitting the core messages and deep storylines of the event.

4c. Recording and Content, responsible for getting the official recordings in video, audio, photo, and text form, and converting them into usable forms for the website and for the message and promotions use of Publicity.

4d. Web Systems, will build, operate, and maintain the website, web services, web presence, and web application, solve web related problems, and act as the web communications hub to pass online communications to the appropriate department or org. When the year is completed, it will be responsible for preparing the website as a fulfillment record of the grant, and for keeping the site operating for 6 years.

5. The Four Agreements

5A. I agree to be responsible for what I bring into the collaboration.

5B. I agree to strive to be at my best, and to uplift.

5C. I agree to regard critique as an honor, to give critique, if asked, as an act of honoring.

5D. I agree to KEEP IT SHORT AND SIMPLE! Better too short than too long.


Endnotes:

a. All orgs and persons are encouraged to ask for additional funding to help their particular part of the project.

…….  Insert amendment notes here

z. The originator of the Cycle of Arts Idea, Bill Eichman, will receive a check for one dollar, and a photocopy of the first Centre Inspires check and accompanying documents, as an award.