About This Course in Digital Engagement

In 2014, the Wyncote Foundation commissioned Like, Link, Share: How cultural institutions are embracing digital technology, a landmark study of 40 legacy institutions who were nominated by peers as field leaders in digital technology. The report and website featured innovative projects, organization profiles, and summary themes. The report is widely shared and has led to invitations for speaking engagements, blogs, presentations, and consulting projects.

These activities give us a chance to discuss the report’s findings with arts leaders, grantmakers, and artists, many of whom express a need for tools for smaller organizations and individual creatives who lack both the resources of major institutions and a framework for getting started in digital engagement. In response to this demand, Wyncote commissioned Wanderway as a free, online course to help people initiate a digital engagement plan, make progress, and learn.

We believe that communities and individuals can benefit as cultural organizations, artists, and creative small businesses cultivate their presence on social platforms, develop new relationships, and work toward an enriched inner and civic life. Now more than ever, creative voices and perspectives are needed in these forums.

Partners The Heads and Hearts Behind Wanderway

Commissioned by:
Wyncote-logo
And created as a collaboration among Beck Tench, Sarah Lutman, & Jessica Fiala:

With help from the many organizations and individuals:
partners

About the Makers

Wanderway was created collaboratively by Sarah Lutman, Beck Tench, and Jessica Fiala and substantially revised in early 2018 with the help of Anika Fajardo. We were inspired by the many examples of interesting and surprising digital engagement we see every day as we interact personally and professionally with cultural organizations and the great people who work inside them as artists, staff, and volunteers.

Beck Tench is an independent educator, illustrator, storyteller, and technologist. She collaborates with organizations and individuals to create projects that amplify the authentic and necessary human elements of living and working in the world. Her role in the project is to bring her experience as an educator, a “practicer,” and as a coach for other people’s technology adoption to the content, design, and feeling of the Wanderway course.

Sarah Lutman is the principal of Lutman & Associates, a consulting and project development enterprise that collaborates with philanthropic, cultural, and public media organizations nationally.  She had the idea of creating this course, built its structure, and collaborated on its content development with Beck and Jessica, providing editorial direction and project management.

Jessica Fiala is a research associate at Lutman & Associates and a company member with Ragamala Dance, based in Minneapolis. Jessica collaborated on the design and content of Wanderway, completed the interviews that are part of the course, and helped identify ideas and examples that have made the course richer and more interesting.

Anika Fajardo is an Associate at Lutman & Associates and a writer, editor, teacher, and former academic librarian. Anika worked with the team in 2018 to edit and refresh the course content to make Wanderway both more efficient and user-friendly.

About the Wyncote Foundation

This course in digital strategy and engagement was commissioned by the Philadelphia-based Wyncote Foundation and its Vice Chair, David Haas. Wyncote Foundation’s public media and journalism grantmaking works to strengthen and grow a vibrant, meaningful public media ecosystem as a key element of the larger public sphere that enriches civic life, including parks, libraries, community colleges, land-grant universities, arts and cultural institutions, and a free press.

Wyncote supports public service media that furthers cultural and creative expression, stimulates civic engagement and discourse, and accountability journalism that provides essential information and analysis that are vital to informed communities in a democratic society.

Wyncote views “public media” as a larger ecosystem that includes legacy Corporation for Public Broadcasting-funded work as well as enterprises producing and distributing public interest, educational and other mission-driven media. For background, see the Center for Media and Social Impact’s publication Public Media 2.0.

Acknowledgements

First and foremost, thanks to David Haas, Feather Houstoun, and Rachel Edelman of the Wyncote Foundation for their interest in this subject matter, their support of this project, and for their deep understanding of the role and potential for media in service to a civil and humane society.

We were deeply inspired by the organizations and individuals who participated in the development of this project, whether as interviewees, as resource curators, or as other kinds of informants (including friends). For example, to develop the course, we drew on a group of 25 people who helped crowdsource our ideas and make them stronger. Other collaborators helped review the course in its beta version and gave us feedback that has strengthened the work. The organizations we’ve highlighted in our examples and interviews have been a constant source of inspiration and ideas. Their candor and their willingness to share not only their work, but the feelings behind the work, have made this project especially rewarding.

Artists and creative individuals fill our world with their passion, joy, and wonder. Through this course, we hope you connect with kindred spirits and fellow travelers, and that you’re able to join with them to spread your own good work around your community and the world.

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