As promised earlier in the semester, the Arts Initiative launched its new website today. Along with the updated website comes a new arts page on the University's main website, with the Arts Initiative "literally at the center," Executive Director of the Arts Initiative and Miller Theatre Melissa Smey said. The new site's development is keeping with Smey's goal of updating the site and addressing student concern about the outdated site expressed in the "Save the Arts Initiative" petition. The petition circulated last November, garnering more than 1,300 signatures, and was overwhelmingly supported by student governing boards and councils. The new advisory board---consisting of 16 students---which was created in response to the petition, gave feedback on the new design before the launch, according to Smey. The new website preserves the branding of the old one while increasing the functionality. The new events calendar introduces filter options, so those looking to purchase tickets through the TIC can choose on- or off-campus events and specify where in the city they're looking for off-campus tickets.more It also allows for three ways to highlight events, according to Lauren Pearson, the Arts Initiative's Associate Director of Programming Administration. Pearson was appointed in January, partially in response to the petition, and partially to fill and expand the role of her predecessor, Chad Miller, who was the Associate Director of Faculty and Student Outreach. The homepage features up to four promoted events, and other pages feature a sidebar of highlighted events. Finally, the updated calendar will highlight up to 20 events that users can scroll through. In addition to highlighting the Arts Initiative's core programs---including Museum Meetups, which allows students to receive guided tours of certain museums, and Creative Conversations, which brings prominent figures in the New York arts world to campus---the new site also introduces a photo ops section, which will feature student photography of events. These photos will also be featured on the University's page. It also introduces a new forms page, which allows students and outside arts representatives to promote and/or sell tickets to their events more easily, offering a more "concierge service" for those wishing to be featured on the site, as Smey put it. Smey and Pearson emphasize that this is a beta launch and would like feedback from students.
Regie Mauricio / Spec