Big Strategies & Real Tactics to Connect Artists, Audience, and Place

Artists and arts organizations:

You know your brand is more than your logo and want to learn how to leverage it for optimum visibility and results.

You know there’s a bigger audience out there and need fresh ideas to reach and nurture potential patrons.

And you have almost no money and need high-impact/low-cost marketing tactics to achieve these objectives.

City planners and tourism officials:

You know smart planning and design revitalizes communities and want to know how you can leverage the arts to transform them into destinations.

You know the arts bring vibrancy to our communities and need time-tested strategies to activate and leverage arts assets.

And you know residents and visitors crave authentic experiences, and want to learn how to best engage the arts community to create and promote these opportunities.

You need to register for the October 12 workshop presented by the California Desert Arts Council and the Americans for the Arts’ National Arts Marketing Project and hosted by UCR Palm Desert campus.

The program, Big Strategies and Real Tactics for Connecting Artists, Audience, and Place, features arts marketing experts Ben Stone and Joseph Yoshitomi, who offer instruction on practical application of branding and audience development tactics as well as a primer on creative placemaking to engage the arts and culture community in planning and development so that our communities reflect and celebrate local culture, heritage, and values, creating pride in place and stimulating visitation and commerce.

“This is an important opportunity for the arts community, public officials, and the powerful tourism sector to come together and raise their game individually and as a destination,” says Christi Salamone, CEO of CDAC. “During our community listening sessions last year, we heard loud and clear that the arts community wants and needs professional development. Programs like this collaboration with Americans for the Arts’ National Arts Marketing Project align with CDAC’s mission to unify, empower, and promote the arts community.”


Joseph Yoshitomi (left) and Ben Stone


Stone and Yoshitomi have tailored their Oct. 12 curriculum for arts leaders and marketers, as well as visual and performing artists, working in the Coachella Valley and High Desert communities. They will show you how to take best practices from across the country and collaborate with neighboring arts organizations to improve your own marketing and help raise the visibility of the entire region’s arts and culture offerings.

Their objective is to help you quickly develop smart strategies and applicable tactics to better reach and nurture new and returning audiences.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Articulate your distinctive artistic offerings to different constituencies, especially prospective patrons.
  • Develop a marketing plan for your budget.
  • Ask the right questions and take the right actions to achieve maximum exposure/engagement for minimum cost.
  • Leverage the collective power of arts and cultural tourism marketing to transform communities and attract the engagement of residents and visitors.

Stone, director of arts and culture at Smart Growth America in Washington, D.C., leads efforts to help communities across the country better integrate arts, culture, and creative placemaking into neighborhood revitalization, equitable development, and transportation planning efforts. Previously, while executive director of Station North Arts and Entertainment District, he helped transform the blighted area of Baltimore into a fun and funky place that supports artists and attracts visitors and residents. Some of the outcomes include building bridges between diverse neighbors, increasing participation in everything from voting to volunteering, and helping neighbors get to know and trust one another.

Yoshitomi, principal at Straightforward Management & Consulting in Culver City, Calif., is former vice president of marketing strategy for, a media and technology company connecting performing arts enthusiasts with theaters around the country. He offers more than 15 years of arts administration and marketing experience, including positions at Geffen Playhouse and Geffen’s Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, where he sold the highest per-seat and per-ticket income productions and season grosses, and cut hundreds of thousands of dollars from the annual marketing budget to be applied to more art on the stage.

The duo will start the workshop with a primer on your organization’s mission and follow that thread through to a communications strategy and a marketing plan that includes low-cost, high-impact digital advertising and tactics to attract and retain patrons.

The workshop offers an opportunity to network with artists and administrators and collaboratively develop skills to align your offerings with cultural tourism outreach, expanding your event-based success year-round. You’ll learn about successful cultural tourism and creative placemaking case studies, management structures, and collaborative programing to build momentum, solidarity, and partnerships.

You’ll also gain a more sophisticated understanding of the residual impact cultural tourism marketing has on your own branding, audience development, and marketing.

Registration is $75 per person and includes lunch.