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LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT US:
Citizens for the Arts, Rhode Island is a statewide arts advocacy organization. We build coalition around the arts, educate advocates, and lobby at the State House. We are a membership organization, and rely on members to fund our activities, as well as be active participants. We have been a grassroots and somewhat limited organization for 10 years. This year we hired our first full time staff person, broadened our advocacy mission, launched a multi-year policy agenda geared towards Sustaining the Arts in RI - and have started a real movement.
Rebranding and creating a new identity is timely, and we hope will increase awareness of our group and membership.
This is how we define 'arts': individual artists of all mediums, non-profit and for-profit arts organizations, and creative businesses, such as architects, graphic designers, product designers, and the info-tech/digital media community.
Our main policy agenda items in the coming years:
1. Add a cabinet level position that will shop out the creative, innovative, entrepreneurial sector in RI; attract creative businesses to our state that will serve as job opps for graduates of Brown, RISD, Johnson & Wales, etc.
2. Tackle the education system and ensure arts in education happens in every public school. That all RI children have access to nurture 100% of their mind; engage the creative process; opportunity to think outside the box.
We have changed our name - slightly - from 'RI Citizens for the Arts' to 'Citizens for the Arts, RI'. Our goal is to strengthen the 'citizens' idea. There are also many state agencies in RI that begin with 'RI' and we get confused with the arts agency 'RI Council for the Arts'.
HERE IS WHAT WE NEED:
New brand identity, beginning with logo design. It will primarily be used in letterhead, envelopes, membership envelopes/brochure, website and stickers - bumper stickers, window stickers, "I am a member of" type stickers... but we look to this to be more branding an identity others want to know what it is (and go find out more info) and also want to be part of it (I want to be part of that cause and become a member).
The logo will obviously also go in these types of places: Facebook, Twitter (think small), the tab of the web page, etc.
We may eventually want to add to clothing, bags, other props that members receive.
OUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS:
Low hanging fruit: artists, arts organizations, individuals who are supportive/believe in the arts. All ages, diversity, race, etc.
Other: businesses that benefit from arts activities, design/media professionals that are more the 'creative small business' category.
Decision makers: less for membership, more for general recognition that there is a group of people that are political and active around the arts in RI.
Again, we want people to feel this is a movement they want to be part of. Citizens for the Arts is the place to go to add your voice. Citizens for the Arts is the place to go for arts advocacy. Citizens for the Arts is the organization protecting the arts community as a whole; working to strengthen how the outside world and decision makers see the arts; working to break down the barriers and shift old restricted thinking that the arts are a nicety; etc.
Feel: We need Citizens for the Arts to protect our economy, the future of our children's education and our quality of life in RI. I will become a member.
WE LIKE THESE DESIGNS:
I tend to like clean, crisp, wordmark logos, with strength in color and typography. Color: deep primary colors more than mixed pastel colors. Century Gothic more than Times New Roman.
Some logos I like:
mfa.org - i like the general constructs, though do not like font choice and position
nefa.org - like that it conveys foundation, wonder about its ability to stand the test of time
xerox - wordmark update
cnet - same
Do not like:
Simple and tight.
Lead them to want to learn more...
WE ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE (or we don't want to see) THIS IN OUR DESIGN:
The design must be transferable and stay in tact in multiple locations - b/w copy, website printing, etc. We have a design now that does not do this, and it is disappointing.
We don't want to capture 'arts' as 'artsy fartsy' or 'folk'.
We do want to capture arts as 'progressive', 'essential', 'foundation to all aspects of life', 'great cross-sector friends that strengthens joint efforts', 'a voice needed at the table with policy makers, health insurance folks, planning officials, etc'.
Remember: We are not corporate, but we can hang with them.
With politicians: We can be sexy to them, but in that smirking "I have something over on you" friendly way.
You can consider 'CFA' as our acronym, but it must work well and Rhode Island needs to be in there somewhere.
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