Top 10 iPhone Apps for the Arts

Posted by Liz Bartolomeo, Mar 10, 2010 4 comments

This week Stanford University released a study on iPhone addiction. The 200 college students surveyed said: “On a scale of one to five, where five is full blown addiction and one is not addicted at all, 10 percent of the respondents ranked themselves as a five, 34 percent a four …”

Now, I am a few years out of college, but I am whole-heartedly addicted to my iPhone. That’s why I was excited to hear about Americans for the Arts’ inclusion in a new free app called CauseWorld (also available for Android). It’s a micro-giving social media app that is easy to use and allows you quickly (and frequently) support your favorite causes. CauseWorld works similar to Foursquare: just open it up when you are near retail stores or local businesses, check-in to receive Karma Points, and then donate those points to one of the featured causes such as bringing art to schools. Karma Points are actually real funds provided by sponsors, Citibank and Kraft foods.

It seems that everyday cell phone apps are opening up new doors for promotion, fundraising, and productivity for those working in the nonprofit arts. So here is my list of the Top 10 iPhone Apps for the Arts.


  • Brushes – The infamous painting app.
  • TypeDrawing – This is a very cool text-based drawing app
  • MovieMaker – Make your own stop-motion movies.
  • Paint Light – It’s Lite-Brite for your iPhone, ’nuff said.


  • Artnear – A worldwide guide to art exhibitions, museums, and galleries. Also available for Blackberry users.
  • BandMate – Find live music events and concerts no matter where you are.


  • Evernote – The ultimate multi-media sticky pad. Available for numerous platforms, including Mac, PC, iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.
  • Quickoffice – See Excel spreadsheets in your sleep? Now edit them easily on your iPhone.
  • Shiftboard – Mange volunteer or staff schedules from your phone. Great for events or conferences.


  • CharityFinder – Make sure your nonprofit is listed to maximize visibility and outreach to new donors.

And don’t forget to check out these apps from Americans for the Arts members: ArtsMemphis and 40 North | 88 West. Both apps include comprehensive arts calendars for their regions.

Are you inspired to make your own app? Here is a good resource of case studies on what other nonprofits have done. Or check out or Swebapps for information on how to create your own mobile app.

Do you have a favorite app? Let us know in the comments below.

4 responses for Top 10 iPhone Apps for the Arts


March 10, 2010 at 6:55 pm

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March 11, 2010 at 7:15 am

What would also help is advice to organizations on how to insure that their venues and events are included in localized search engines, such as Yelp, Around Me, etc.

I think there will come a time when the App marketplace will reach saturation levels (if we are not already there), and it is unrealistic for every non profit to have its own app (as cool as that would be). Rather, we need to learn how to be visible in already popular apps and search engines.

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December 30, 2010 at 7:25 am

Thanks Liz Bartolomeo for sharing your valuable information

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January 18, 2011 at 12:01 am

The name of the game is an iPhone today. Close to everybody has it and those who do love to flaunt it

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