Welcome to our bi-monthly blog series Arts Night Out: Off the Map, where we share the insights and reflections of past Arts Night Out participants. While our signature event may be on a short hiatus right now, it is still in everyone’s hearts (especially ours). So, until we can all gather again, we are temporarilly taking it off the map and bringing it to you on the page in small bites of memories from businesses around town.
Arts Council: Kate, when did you and Piper & Gold first start participating in Arts Night Out (ANO) events?
Kate Snyder: The first ANO Piper & Gold participated in was in 2016, when our office was still in Old Town so we were involved for three years. In 2018, we moved to REO Town. We love it there, and when we return to the office, we’ll be excited to see where ANO goes in terms of expanding to different geographic areas. We would love to get back in the ANO fun again.
AC: What are some of your favorite things about ANO, and why did you and P&G enjoy taking part?
KS: Of course, having the opportunity to support, showcase and connect with local artists is just awesome. And as a public relations agency, it's rare for us to have a lot of people in and out of our space beyond our team members. ANO offered us not only a great opportunity to connect with the neighborhood and the public, but it also gave us a chance to bring our families, P&G alumni and clients together to socialize and celebrate.
AC: What do you see as some of the benefits of having local artists in your space?
KS: Certainly the vibrancy and new perspectives they bring. It's always meaningful to hear directly from an artist and hear about their process, their motivation and their business. We may not all do the same kind of work, but all entrepreneurs are kindred spirits, so it's also nice for me, personally, to talk shop with them.
AC: Tell us about an artist that you have worked with in the past and what that experience was like.
KS: One of our favorite ANO artists has been Steph Joy Hogan. She's a personal friend, and our team members have known her and her art for years. Her vibe of bright colors, whimsy and strong female representation resonates with our team and our business values, and we have plenty of her pieces in our office.
AC: What was unique about the collaboration with Steph?
KS: In the summer of 2017, we started a summer-long intuitive painting project. We had a massive canvas and paints that we put out during each ANO event, and people could come by and add whatever they wanted to the painting. In early 2018, we asked Steph to spend the summer transforming the piece. For our final ANO before we moved in 2018, we were able to reveal the piece, titled "Journey," and it was such a powerful experience--to know how many brushstrokes, puppy paw prints, little kid foot prints and even a solid butt print from a wipe-out, were woven into the layers of that piece was heartwarming. It was such a meaningful way to honor and celebrate our time in Old Town, and our community, before we moved to our new location.
AC: Beyond working with Steph, how did you select other artists for P&G?
KS: We tried to vary the artists we worked with, from favorites of our team to team members themselves to intentionally seeking out people we didn't know.
AC: What were some of the ways you promoted your featured artists and why was that important?
KS: As a PR firm, the main way we connect with people is through our social and digital media so it was always fun to highlight our artists in those spaces. It gave people a chance to meet the artists and see their work and let those who couldn’t attend feel like they were a part of the event. It also gave followers an opportunity to see a different side of P&G.
AC: How can artists contact you to inquire about collaborations or projects they are interested in that might be a fit for P&G?
KS: Connect with us on social!
AC: Until people are comfortable attending large events again, what upcoming plans, if any, do you have to engage local artists with your business?
KS: We don't currently have any plans to work with artists but frankly, we should. This conversation has inspired me to think about this! A virtual ANO, perhaps!?!?
AC: How can people find out more about your work, and support you right now in the absence of in-person events?
KS: Our social media and website are the best place to find us. Searching @piperandgold will get people to us on the major social platforms, or they can visit https://www.piperandgold.com/what-we-say.
AC: Any final thoughts?
KS: I’m just still thinking about your question about engaging artists. With arts festivals cancelling and evolving these past few years, now would be a good time to start planning. I'm really looking forward to continuing to find ways to support artists in creating as a career.
AC: Thanks Kate! We appreciate your time!
Side note: We hope you enjoyed this first segment of Arts Night Out Off the Map. If you are a past participant of Arts Night Out and would like to be in the Off the Map blog series, contact Clarice Sheedlo.