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After nearly a year of development and several weeks of testing during a soft rollout, GreensboroArtsHub officially launches today.
The mission of GreensboroArtsHub (at GreensboroArtsHub.com) is to help artists in the greater Greensboro region of North Carolina fulfill their ambitions and to build awareness of local arts. It represents arts in the eleven North Carolina counties of Alamance, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin.
GreensboroArtsHub was created by website designer Roch Smith, Jr. Says Smith, “Last winter, I was looking around at the online presence of local arts and thinking there was a need for some sort of online arts nerve center. Then everything started to shut down because of the pandemic and I thought this kind of hub was more important than ever, especially if it succeeded at giving local artists a free and easy way to network and promote their art. So I built GreensboroArtsHub. I hope I’ve made something that will contribute to the vitality of local arts and help local artists thrive.”
GreensboroArtsHub works around a structure of “listings.” Participants may place free listings by simply filling out an online form. The beauty of GreensboroArtsHub is that no special skills are required to make a polished listing. GreensboroArtsHub prompts users to provide information and then code takes over and composes an informative, interactive and attractive listing and integrates it into a smooth and sophisticated user experience.
There are six types of listings on GreensboroArtsHub: People, Events, Places, Creative Works, Groups and Spaces. Those listing types may be put into any or all categories of Visual Arts, Performing Arts, and Literary Arts.
For example, listing an event will prompt a user to enter an address for the event. Or the user can indicate that the event is virtual and only online.
GreensboroArtsHub then takes this information and incorporates it into a listing for the event that provides users with driving directions, a pre-configured Uber request, and a schedule of public transportation routes to the event from their location. Or, if the event is virtual, it will provide a link to online registration and the online event.
Additionally, a sophisticated explore feature allows users to sort and filter listings to find events that are nearby, at a certain time, for certain ages, online or in-person and by the type and category of event and more. This kind of detailed filtering is available for all listing types enabling visitors to find a musician who offers piano lessons, a watercolor for sale, a gallery accepting submissions or cheap rehearsal space.
Visitors explore listings as screens of multiple compact “Preview Cards” that show important essentials about the listing. Visitors tap a preview card to see the complete details of a listing on a “Listing Page.” Here again, the power of GreensboroArtsHub to compose the listing’s data is impressive. A single listing formats and presents video, music and images for a interactive multi-media experience; presents links to related listings, to ticket or product purchases, and social media accounts; and presents easy to navigate descriptions, and contact information.
GreensboroArstHub creator Roch Smith, Jr. is a long-time resident of Greensboro who graduated from Western Carolina University with a B.F.A. in Theatre. After trying his hand at acting for a few years, Roch moved back to Greensboro. Roch taught himself website design and coding and made them his profession. He has been at it for 25 years, but never lost his fondness for artists. Roch was dabbling with directory websites for a while and imagined such a site might benefit local artists. Upon seeing the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic on the events and venues that are essential to sustaining artists, Roch got serious about putting his skills to work on making something to bolster arts and artists in the area. The outcome is GreensboroArtsHub.