Start Tweeting the News (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Tim Mikulski, Aug 12, 2009 13 comments

Since my birth year often tends to fall either at the end of the Generation X period and the beginning of the Millenials, I find myself sharing the characteristics of both “next generation” cohorts. I may not be on the leading edge of all technology (like the Millenials), but I keep up enough to know that before the entire world was on Facebook, I had already been a veteran member of Myspace and Friendster before it.

When Twitter first came to the forefront a few years ago, I resisted joining because I felt that everyone in the world didn’t need to know what I was thinking or doing all of the time. My life does not air on Bravo or MTV, and it probably shouldn’t.

However, over recent months, I started to read more about how others were using the site (and its many extensions), and my interest was piqued.

Talking to a friend a few weeks ago, she explained how she receives nearly all of her news during the day from Twitter.  While the Ashton Kutchers of the world are big Tweeters, so are many great organizations and news outlets that not only make the workday go by faster, but have informative Tweets that can be used in my everyday work.

Thanks to Twitter, I now receive constant article links from sources I use for Arts Watch, like The Chronicle of Philanthropy, while also keeping an eye out for what other arts organizations like ArtPride NJ are up to. While it hasn’t replaced the 25 different Google News alerts that I track, it is a tool that I think will only increase in value to me.

Not being a marketing guru like some of our NAMP staffers here at Americans for the Arts, I won’t even go into its uses as an audience-builder for performing and visual arts organizations.

Now that I tried it and enjoy using Twitter, I’m wondering what organizations or individuals do you follow on Twitter that help you in your daily work at an arts organization, institute of higher learning, or private business?

13 responses for Start Tweeting the News (from Arts Watch)


August 13, 2009 at 12:33 pm

As an arts administrator in higher education, I tweet to build relationships with local community groups, as well as to maintain a presence for students. My student followers have told me that I'm their favorite "Twartser" (tweet on the arts)This summer, I was actively RT posts on the Pennsylvania budget process from colleagues across the state. There's a local love fest going on with Twitter; for both promotions and advocacy awareness. As arts groups become more familiar with the communications capacity, I believe more will use this tool as a way to remain visible. But please, respect your followers and post judiciously.

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August 12, 2009 at 2:34 pm

I run a small non-profit arts publishing company and theater company, and I tweet as @indymill . I don't tweet about my own comings-and-goings, but rather I try to tweet and retweet about news in the NYC arts scene (and the national arts scene).

Twitterers I've found useful:





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Meli says
August 12, 2009 at 2:46 pm

@TheLittleArtist is doing 140 Character reviews of exhibits - concise but well written. He/She also has a few links interspersed, which aren't just the typical links everyone else posts.

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Megan Pagado says
August 12, 2009 at 3:06 pm

I tweet as @creativemoco for my work at the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and here are just some of the Twitter accounts I follow with both my professional and personal accounts in relation to arts admin and nonprofits:


I also follow these accounts for news and articles about media:


Thanks to Guy, it looks like my Follow Friday is going to be very, very full of mentions of newly followed accounts!

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April says
August 12, 2009 at 3:56 pm

I'm the marketing director of a small suburban arts council outside of St. Louis. We've found Twitter (@WestCountyArts) to be a very effective tool for staying in close contact with supporters and patrons, peer organizations and the media.

We follow local news outlets, including individual reporters and anchors, and often get followed in return. It keeps us on their radar in a whole new way.

I also like keeping up with what other organizations are doing, opening the door for new collaborations and partnerships.

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August 12, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Thanks for asking the question!

I began to tweet a few months ago as @TheatreSmart, to expand my network prior to the publication of my book, "Theatrical Intelligence". I don't yet tweet as a business owner (Sachs Morgan Studio: Theatre Design Specialists) but plan to begin in September.

Twitter gives back so much more than I ever imagined; the 140 word format functions as headlines to be skimmed for areas of special interest. So it is FAST.

I have received valuable information from the following:

@artsbeat (NYTimes)
@artsyschmarzy (Milwaukee: brilliant real-time coverage of the recent Skylight Opera saga)
@charleneli (innovative leader on emerging technologies; co-author of “Groundswell”)
@ensemblestudiotheatre (NYC new play development)
@carlarieger (Vancouver, BC)
@clydefitch (Always stimulating, with political commentary)
@KenDavenport (Savvy young B'way producer)
@Papatola (Minneapolis: brilliant coverage in general, with links to his column in the Pioneer Press)
@WendyRosenfield (Philadelphia)

In my opinion, the single best source of consolidated information on the arts (and it is not on Twitter) is “You’ve Cott Mail”, a free service to which you can subscribe. Email Thomas Cott: [email protected]

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sherry kack says
August 12, 2009 at 10:33 pm

I have been registered with Americans for the Arts for less than 3 months. Silly me, I signed up for Twitter, Facebook, and email info. I now get you and yours on all of the above, along with the Director, and all of the above. If anyone in the Arts, or Not ,gets my twitter or blog, my email or Facebook, they see you. Oh and I am a Commissioner for the Port Townsend Arts Commission and I fwd. all of all of the blogs from your team to my team, along with the City of Port Townend sending me your Organizations Forward.
Thank you for keeping in touch! It helps us make better decisions here in the other Washington. My sister has worked with your convention group before and said you all are wonderful!
We are connected more than you will know. And with that, I invite you and yours, to Port Townsend Arts Commission's new area of Capacity Building to help the Artists from the roots up, Of most importance is the enhancement of individual Artists, through the area of education. This is our first major attempt to produce a seminar for them here on the Olympic Peninsula. If you can, please get on a plane and come to Port Townsend Nov. 14 for our first Port Townsend Arts Commission with Sponsor, Centrum Org., co-sponsoring our first annual educational forum. This will be a seminar for Artisans of all Venues. We are holding it at Fort Worden, Commons Building, rm.A from 11- 5. It will be on Techno Marketing, Web Site Building, Finding Yourself fast on the Net., Utilizing technology to optimize your Portfolio, Presentation, Information, Self, and Income.
Our Guest Speaker is Mark Gerth, Director of Communications and Technology for the Washington State Arts Commission.

Thanks for all you all do to help the Arts, in the home of our National Arts!

Sherry Kack

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pj says
August 13, 2009 at 8:30 am

Hmm, would like to mention


here. We're an startup promoting artists and stuff that happens on our platform. As we're growing, quite international and working towards becoming some kind of service described as 'the pulse of art' it could be worth having a look..


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OperaLover says
August 14, 2009 at 12:55 am

There are lots of opera companies and symphonies on Twitter. Only a small few post regularly and have something of substance to say.

Even fewer opera stars are on Twitter. The best is Janet Hopkins from The Met. She's ultra talented and very approachable. She had quite the sense of humor. Miss Hopkins is to be admired for her undying support of the The Arts. She often gives away cd's to Twitter followers just to show appreciation and to encourage support of The Arts. Brava, diva Hopkins !

Here she is on the web:

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August 14, 2009 at 11:43 am

I am the Deputy Director of VSA arts of Michigan, and follow all the major foundations. This helps me keep up to date on new arts initiatives that they sponsor. Here are just a few.


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August 15, 2009 at 4:42 pm

I Tweet at @shanedhudson

Mostly theatre (national and local) along with other arts news.

Lots of local arts organizations in NC are getting on Twitter:


Also my poodle @gabelincoln Tweet from time to time...

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August 16, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Hey Tim,

I also had the same reservations about jumping on the Twitter bandwagon. However, since I've been using it I have been able to keep up on the latest in arts news and commentary from my favorite arts bloggers. I too have used twitter to promote my own arts blog.

Some of my favorites include:


Just to name a few.....

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September 22, 2009 at 3:49 pm

How do we know if anyone is actually reading all this stuff, or if we are just pushing it out there into empty space?

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