Rexburg Cultural Arts Department – Nathan Martherus

Project Purpose

The primary purpose of my project with the Rexburg Cultural Arts Department was to get out the word of activities in Rexburg. We are all aware of the idea that ‘there is nothing to do in Rexburg’, but Jed Platt and his team have the goal of tearing down that misconception and getting out the word that there are activities and there is culture in Rexburg.

The Project

My project mainly consisted of advertising upcoming events being held by the department. We began experimentation of social media advertising, put flyers out at different apartment complexes where we had permission, as well as helping out at an event or two. Here are some photos of events that took place this semester and some of the advertising that went along with them.

Files Gone Wild is an on-going project in Rexburg that any student, family, or business is invited to take part in! A number of filing cabinets were headed for the dump. But a filing cabinet holds so much opportunity for creativity! Paint it, break it, disassemble it and weld it, anything and everything is on the table for these cabinets that would be going to the dump anyway – so why not use it as a date night, an art project, or free advertising! Once your art piece is done, let the Arts Department know and they will display it before it’s eventually judged and a winner is announced!

Challenges Encountered in completing the project.

A major hiccup for the Arts Department in Rexburg is that advertising on campus is not allowed. Unfortunately, however, campus is how most students learn about activities, get date ideas, and know what is happening in Rexburg! This, in turn, means that students almost exclusively hear about school related events – that they don’t want to go to for any number of reasons. The next place that students spend the majority of their time is online.

Social media advertising is what I believe the optimal form of advertising off-campus local events and what my proposed solution to the problem was. Concerts, art shows, and even monthly free movies are all happening in Rexburg but getting the word out feels almost impossible for the department.

Project Processes

the primary processes that we followed in the Arts Department were somewhat informal but effective. I would go to the office almost every week and meet with Jed, my mentor, supervisor, and boss. We’d discuss what has been done so far, what events are coming up along with what plans are already in place for advertising the event. Then we’d brainstorm ideas together. Often times we would discuss social media advertising. I taught Jed how he could boost a post on Facebook and instagram, as well as creating dedicated advertisements. Then I’d get a task about what I can be doing for that week. Anything from advertising research to spreading flyers to attending and assisting at events.

Experience Overview

My experience was good! I hope that that Jed and the rest of the Arts Department feels that I was an asset to them and that I was able to meet or exceed their expectations. It was occasionally difficult to manage my own time and be sure I the hours required for the project. But ultimately it all got done and I am so glad I learned about the Cultural Arts department and all that they do in the community. My only regret was that I didn’t learn about all of the activities earlier in my time here at Rexburg.

What insights or takeaways you have gained from the project.

Working in a professional team is always a great experience. I loved working with people with different backgrounds and in a different field than I ever have before. In the past I’ve worked with IT professionals on IT related projects, but never in an Art related field. It was so different and so wonderful to see how differently a different industry operates. I also realized how hard advertising can really be. Most organizations or businesses are not Apple, Amazon, or Google. Advertising is a serious challenge for many – and a problem I dealt with first hand over the last few months.