During my first two years at Whitman, I found myself immersed in a thriving community of creators and passionate thinkers. Despite the many friends and mentors who contributed toward my decision to major in Art, there remained a distance between myself and my surroundings. Walla Walla can be a jarring transition; I was transplanted from Boise, Idaho, my home in west about 200 miles from Walla Walla, to a smaller but no less vibrant city.
ArtWalla has brought me closer to the arts community in Walla Walla, and, consequently, the town where Whitman students find themselves living. When I joined as a Working Artist member, I was excited to meet other member artists and participate in events that instill a spirit of cooperation. The opportunity to expand my relationship with ArtWalla as Marketing and Promotions Intern meant that I could further become a part of my surroundings rather than remain a guest.
Each Week, I meet with Tricia Harding, my supervisor and the Treasurer on ArtWalla’s Board of Directors. Together, we have been creating a cohesive brand and improving our membership outreach.
First, I developed email templates that we send to members upon their subscription, renewal date, and so on. The size of the board and staff means that ArtWalla has to focus its communications and automate most of the nuts and bolts that keep a non-profit running. To that end, I developed a system of colors and typefaces that represent ArtWalla’s efforts in the community, appropriately communicating our brand to the audience.
Graphic emails are mostly a matter of coding. But the language of the letters embedded in the email is also a crucial component. How do you convince a member to renew their membership? What language is most effective for deriving the desired response? We found that keeping it brief and direct while reminding members of the tangible benefits associated with their subscription was the most effective recipe. After I drafted these letters and built email layouts, I recreated them in HTML. The goal of this project was to keep the templates responsive across all platforms; an email has to look just as good on a phone as it does on a desktop client.
My second project was more challenging. ArtWalla’s website works great, but it’s been a while since we’ve updated our design. I am creating a new look and feel that evokes a fresh organization while not ignoring its deep roots. Be sure to check out artwalla.com in the near future!
Along the way, I also built a member survey that we will send out to lapsed as well as current subscribers. The goal of this survey is to gather feedback: we want to know what people really think about our membership system. Should we diversify our benefits? What events are most popular among the membership base? These questions and more are part of our ongoing mission of making ArtWalla an agile and relevant organization in the community.
I’m happy to say that my position at ArtWalla will not end with my internship. The Board hired me as Marketing and Communications Director for the coming year, so I will continue to enrich the digital side of our local arts organization.
Experiences like Peter Eberle’s are made possible by the Whitman Internship Grant, which provides funding for students to participate in unpaid internships at both for-profit and non-profit organizations. To learn how you could secure a Whitman Internship Grant or host a Whitman intern at your organization, click here or contact Assistant Director for Internship Programs Mitzy Rodriguez