Culture 2 Go

United Arts asks you to express yourself generously; Jonpaul Douglass gets Neighborly at OMA

Phone it in: United Arts of Central Florida launched a new, mobile-friendly fundraising and awareness campaign June 1, dubbed “The Art of Giving.” Running through June 17, the campaign combines a QR code, a streamlined advertising series (tag line: “Express Yourself: Give Generously”) and a grass-roots volunteer and social-media sharing strategy. In other words, for the next 10 days local arts lovers can expect to see United Arts staff and volunteers all over their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, and at farmers markets, food-truck pods and other fun outdoor events, reminding everyone that the arts matter.

Enabling wireless donations has been an extremely successful strategy for organizations from President Obama's 2008 campaign to the American Red Cross, which capitalized on SMS technology that allowed donors to text dollars to relief funds for Haiti in 2010 and Japan in 2011. While the Art of Giving campaign won't allow you to give via text, scanning the QR code with your smartphone leads to a mobile-optimized version of the UA donor form.

Emma Kruch, United Arts communications manager, hopes the new campaign will “spur a new generation of cultural philanthropists in Central Florida.”

“We are making a special effort to reach out to demographics that might not already give to the arts – mainly those who don't have large sums to give – like college students, for example,” Kruch says. “It may be a long shot, but offering a chance to win an iPad for a donation of $15 or more, to an organization that supports something as cool as local arts and culture, sounds like something I would have jumped at as a college student.”

Love thy neighbor:You have just under a month to see Jonpaul Douglass' photo series Neighbor at Orlando Museum of Art before it closes July 1.

Douglass got his start making skate videos and went on to get a film degree at UCF, and a certain cinematic feel lingers in his photography – both in the dramatic, almost artificial lighting, which lends an atmosphere of heightened or manipulated reality, and in the tantalizing sense of a narrative just out of reach, as though each photograph were merely one frame of a story.

His series Neighbor (which is strongly reminiscent of the work of Gregory Crewdson, whose “Untitled: House in the Road” is part of the museum's permanent collection) is on display in the side gallery around the corner from the gift shop, as part of OMA's bimonthly “New Work” exhibitions. The best part: Admission is free.

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