The Murphysboro Community Calendar website will be a coordinated activity of Main Street, Southern Illinois Tourism, Chamber of Commerce, and Oak Street Art along with other participating organizations. Central to the website will be an online events calendar listing all arts and culture events upcoming in Murphysboro, a needed resource that emerged from every visioning session in this process. A lack of a coordinated schedule causes public events to be scheduled simultaneously, leading to a lower attendance to events that would otherwise have a larger audience.
Calendar editing should be accessible to all participating nonprofits, and nonprofits should consult with a web editor to set up an automatic process where events from their online calendar are also entered into the Murphysboro Community Calendar. In addition, the website should include an “event submission” form for individuals and new organizations. These submissions can be reviewed by the Main Street volunteers or Chamber staff and then posted online.
An Online Hub for Arts and Culture
The website should include an “opportunities” page listing the following:
- Local Grants and Funding Opportunities
- Calls for Artists & Auditions
- Tools and Resources
- Available Spaces
In addition, the website should include a directory with contact information for the groups coordinating the website and the organizations posting their events.
In almost every community we work with, we hear similar things: “there are great things happening here, but no one knows about it.” Enter the community calendar. A clear, one-stop community calendar can make or break an event in terms of attendance. Seeing the importance of a community calendar, in 2018, as part of its 1.8 million dollar endowment, the Vermont Digital Economy Project launched a statewide community calendar. A central tenet of placemaking is recognizing the importance of public space to bring together the community; a community calendar provides an equitable platform for all residents to be informed of the goings-on.
To encourage widespread community use, the community calendar presented here is mobile-friendly, as 82% of users access calendars through their phones. Calendars are checked up to 10 times per day by the average person, so exporting the Murphysboro community calendar into their personal calendar (a function of the calendar created here) will ensure that planned events are seen.
There are dozens of veritable options for creating an interactive online community calendar. Murphysboro already has several existing community calendars including:
- Murphysboro Main Street
- Murphysboro Chamber
- City of Murphysboro
- List of all annual events on the city website
- Oak Street Arts
- Unique Shops of Murphysboro (FB)
This community calendar should act as a main calendar, importing scheduled events from the listed existing calendars to serve as a “one stop shop” for Murphysboro residents.
Alchemy has built out a brief example of a community calendar, at right or available here; this calendar requires zero backend technical knowledge, meaning that anyone can maintain and update the calendar just by entering information into various fields and checkboxes.