Phoenix Art Museum Becomes First Major Art Museum in the U.S. to Launch Fully Bilingual Website
New Website Designed to Increase Access Through Enhanced Visitor Information, Interactive Map, and Supplemental Multimedia
Phoenix Art Museum announces the relaunch of its website, www.phxart.org. The redesigned and expanded site is the first in the Museum’s history to be fully bilingual in English and Spanish and offers unprecedented access for visitors to explore the Museum’s exhibitions and collections of fashion design, photography, and American and Western American, Asian, Latin American, European, modern, and contemporary art. The new site also features extensive information and multimedia on exhibitions and education programs, an interactive map and historical timeline, and tools for guests to filter exhibitions and events based on their interests. The redesign and launch of the Museum’s website were made possible through the profound generosity of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, with additional funding provided by The Steele Foundation.
“We are incredibly proud to announce the historic unveiling of the first bilingual website in the 60-year history of Phoenix Art Museum,” said Mark Koenig, the Museum’s Interim Sybil Harrington Director and Chief Financial Officer. “This initiative began under the vision and leadership of the Museum’s previous director, Amada Cruz, who spearheaded the expansion of the Museum’s bilingual program. In the past few years, the Museum has introduced gallery didactics in both English and Spanish and a bilingual Museum visitor guide. Now, the new website further enhances our ability to reach wider audiences and increase access to the arts. We are also excited to announce that later this year, we will roll out bilingual wayfinding signage throughout the Museum.”
“With nearly 31% of the Phoenix population speaking Spanish at home, we wanted to develop a new website that would ensure this segment of our community could access all the Museum has to offer,” said Nikki DeLeon Martin, the Museum’s Chief Marketing and External Affairs Officer. “The new site features customized translation and interpretation on every page, as opposed to automated translation, and includes a more user-friendly layout, contemporary design, increased interactivity, and a greater depth of information that will help guests more easily plan their visits, discover new exhibitions and programs, and explore our collections. We hope that the new site serves to open more doors for all people, signaling to our broadest community, ‘You are welcome here.’”
New general features of phxart.org presented in both English and Spanish include:
• Overviews of the Museum’s eight collection areas, with access to images and descriptions of select artworks. Additional object records will be posted on an ongoing basis as more works of art are acquired into the Museum’s permanent collection and as the Museum expands its library of images for each artwork.
• A new dynamic, elegant, and user-friendly design that features responsive layout for both desktops and hand-held devices, improved functionality and navigation, and a cohesive brand identity.
• Supplemental multimedia content such as exhibition videos that deepen visitor engagement with artworks on view in the Museum’s galleries.
• A “Membership” section with specialized content for the Museum’s Circles of Support and Museum Members, including information on new Monthly Membership Subscriptions, beginning at just $6 per month.
• An interactive map that can be used to locate galleries, installations, special exhibitions, and facilities across the Museum. Pop-ups link to an overview page featuring a description of the exhibition on view, along with select images and related content on exhibition-inspired public programs and events.
• An interactive timeline detailing the Museum’s 60-year history and featuring exclusive archival imagery.
• Tools that allow visitors to filter exhibitions and events based on their personal interests and desired Museum experience.
The Museum’s website originally launched in 1998 and, beginning in 2010, was made possible for more than a decade through the generosity of Cyberitas Technologies, an Arizona-based firm who designed and maintained the previous iterations of the Museum’s site. In 2018, the Museum selected Kitchen Sink Studios following an RFP process as its partner in creating the new site. Kitchen Sink Studios, based in Central Phoenix, is a full-service creative agency led by partners Nick Hower and Kory Kapfer, whose past clients have included Fox Restaurant Concepts, Arizona Opera, Marriott International, and Western Alliance Bank. Together, Kitchen Sink Studios and Phoenix Art Museum worked on the production of the new site for nearly two years, with the support of Más Bilingual Marketing. At the Museum, the project was managed by Michael Bartley, Assistant Director, Web and Creative Services.
“While we are excited to launch the new site and provide an increased level of access for both first-time and returning Museum visitors, this site will always be a work-in-progress, as it continues to grow and evolve to meet the needs of our community,” said Bartley, whose role was also made possible through the support of Piper Trust. “We look forward to finding new ways to meet our visitors where they are.”
Piper Trust awarded the Museum a $993,000 grant in August 2017 that was designed to empower the Museum to deepen and expand its audiences through the design and implementation of a new website. The grant also enabled the Museum to enrich the visitor experience through the implementation of new technologies for frontline visitor services teams and to grow the Museum’s relationship with its constituents through additional support for the management and optimization of donor and Membership data services. The grant was augmented with support from The Steele Foundation, which provided additional funding for the development of creative media and translation services tied to the new website, as well as a fully bilingual wayfinding program that will be implemented in summer 2020. The grant from Piper Trust was one of the most transformative gifts in the Museum’s history, providing a vital infusion of support to upgrade and enhance enterprise-wide systems that have a deep impact on the ways in which visitors from all over the world can interact with the Museum.
“The website is a virtual front door to our community’s art museum, and by offering information to prospective and returning visitors—now in English and Spanish—the Museum can better ensure everyone feels welcome,” said Ellen Solowey, senior program officer at Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. “Additional technology-related investments connect those who enter the actual front door with Museum services that are both visible and behind the scenes. Piper Trust is honored to support this reimagined portal to the arts that sparks curiosity, supports learning, and promotes creativity.”
PhxArt.org is available to visitors 24-hours a day, seven days per week. For questions about the new web, or additional information, contact the Museum’s Communications Office at 602.307.2003 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Phoenix Art Museum
Since 1959, Phoenix Art Museum has provided millions of guests with access to world-class art and experiences in an effort to ignite imaginations, create meaningful connections, and serve as a brave space for all people who wish to experience the transformative power of art. Located in Phoenix’s Central Corridor, the Museum is a vibrant destination for the visual arts and the largest art museum in the southwestern United States. Each year, more than 300,000 guests engage with critically acclaimed national and international exhibitions and the Museum’s collection of more than 20,000 works of American and Western American, Asian, European, Latin American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. The Museum also presents a comprehensive film program, live performances, and educational programs designed for visitors of all ages, along with vibrant photography exhibitions made possible through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. To learn more about Phoenix Art Museum, visit phxart.org, or call 602.257.1880.