2021-2022 was another great year for the Linked Digital Future Initiative.

In spite (or because) of the pandemic, we achieved significant progress in the production of open metadata about named entities in the last year. The number of artists in the Artsdata knowledge graph increased by 108%. The number of organizations, by 163%. And more data population activities are underway to increase the amount of data about places by at least as much. Moreover, we are finally looking forward to shifting the focus back to event metadata now that the sector is fully reopened after two years of running closures.

Metatada means “data about the data”. In the performing arts, metadata can provide useful descriptive information about artists, organizations, venues and performances.

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Tanya Tagaq performing, wearing a vivid red dress and a long earring.

Why is Wikimedia Commons a discoverability opportunity for the performing arts?

In a previous post pointing out the essential steps to a productive digital presence for the performing arts, we highlighted as a best practice the sharing of images in the Wikimedia Commons media library, a sister project of Wikipedia and Wikidata, under a free to use Creative Commons licence.

This practice deserves our attention because even if it may seem complex or disorienting, it is above all an extraordinary way to benefit from the positive bias of search engines.

We’ll be looking at Wikimedia Commons from three different angles.

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On November 18th, 2021, CAPACOA’s Director of Research and Development Frédéric Julien and Cultural Strategist, Bridget MacIntosh presented “Your Digital Presence, Let’s Improve it” as part of CAPACOA’s Àndji Màdjitàwin / Reboot / Relance Virtual Conference.

As we designed this presentation, we asked ourselves: “if a performing arts organization could only afford to take one or two steps to enhance their digital presence, what should they do?” We considered the most recent research and development, as well as tried-and-tested methods. We considered the different stakeholders of the performing arts ecosystem and we came up with a short list of calls to action for each one. 

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2021 was another year of ups and downs for the performing arts sector. Mostly downs, in fact. But there was one particular cheerful moment for the growing community of performing arts wikimedians.

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Wylie, M., Sculthorp, M, Gagnon-Turcotte, S., and Chatwin, M. (2021). A promising path to developing data governance in the performing arts sector: Exploring charters and principles for data governance. Open North and Canadian Association for the Performing Arts (CAPACOA).

Authors: Ayesha Zamudio-Vazquez (Open North), Megan Wylie (Open North)

A summary of what we heard from our speakers and you to continue this work on data governance of open linked metadata.

Thank you to all of the participants who joined us on November 8th, 2021 for the webinar: Data Governance in the Performing Arts: Findings and Dialogue. The discussion was so rich that we want to offer you a recap.

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A web page for an event at the National Arts Centre and the structured data describing this event.

Two years ago, Nesta and The Satori Lab published a report encouraging arts organizations to publish open data for their events. As there is no data standard for the performing arts, the report notably recommended the use of Schema.org to make it easier for crawling bots to read and interpret event information Fine. But how does one use Schema.org? Here, in a nutshell, is how to use it.

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Banner with a woman working on a computer.

Open data. What is it? What about privacy? Does our cultural organization have data that we can make “open”?

These and other questions are discussed in “Time for Open Data in Culture.”

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Wylie, M., Sculthorp, M, Gagnon-Turcotte, S., and Chatwin, M. (2021). A promising path to developing data governance in the performing arts sector: Exploring charters and principles for data governance. Open North and Canadian Association for the Performing Arts (CAPACOA).

“Who is able to share what type of data with whom?” and “Who should have authority over which data?”

Since CAPACOA started delving into digital transformation as a means of fostering data re-use in the performing arts, these two questions have kept surfacing. In July 2020, along with Open North, we undertook exploratory activities to seek answers to these and other data governance questions. A year later, we are happy to launch the report “A Promising Path to Developing Data Governance in the Performing Arts Sector”.

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Dancer looking at her reflection on the dance floor.

As part of the Linked Digital Future initiative, CAPACOA has been exploring how Indigenous knowledge can be adequately and respectfully represented over the Web of data. Most recently, we undertook one-on-one consultations with Indigenous artists to understand what work needs to be done to support respectful representation in Wikidata.

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CAPACOA, Culture Creates and other partners have wrapped up Phase 2 of the Linked Digital Future initiative. This post offers an overview of our key activities and lessons learnt, as well as links to full reports.

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