No Tall Tales To Tell

You wouldn’t think fishermen needed help telling a story, but according to Non-Profit Quarterly, the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance is looking for just that.

They are getting help from the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod in securing the services of a digital storyteller to serve as part time artist-in-residence for a year. (Deadline to submit is June 30)

According to the Non-Profit Quarterly,

This is a unique opportunity for an enterprising photojournalist/videographer seeking to tell the story of a normally hard-to-reach profession. The Fishermen’s Alliance goal for the artist-in-residence is to give the general public a better understanding of organization’s value to Cape Cod.

Presently, the Fishermen’s Alliance YouTube channel has 25 subscribers. The 20 or so videos have a modest number of views. Their tagline is, “Small Boats. Big Ideas.” That message is not apparent in their existing videos. However, their plan to engage an artist-in-residence is certainly a big idea. One would not expect this kind of initiative to be launched by a relatively small-membership organization of commercial fishermen. Any nonprofit would do well to watch what the Fishermen’s Alliance artist-in-residence begins to produce online and take careful notes.


…Perhaps the biggest challenge for any nonprofit is strategic: How to create content that people want to consume, and how to create engaging videos that get shared. The Fishermen’s Alliance artist-in-residence will need a solid understanding of metrics and how they point the way for continual improvement. Yes, there is the still photography part of the job, but the cornerstone of any nonprofit’s content marketing efforts today needs to be video. From 360-degree videos (for the ambitious) to Facebook Live, all nonprofits need to respond to their audience’s shorter attention span by making content interactive and visual.

This can be valuable advice for non-profit organizations as something they need to strive for. But for arts organizations, the story may illuminate new opportunities. Can your organization or artists with whom you work offer similar services to non-profits and businesses in your community to help them attain similar goals.


Post title a riff on Love and Rockets’ “No New Tale To Tell”

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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