How Wildly Creative is putting Jackson’s art community on the map

JACKSON, Wyo. — In 2019, Jackson Hole was named the number one small arts community in the nation by SMU Data Arts. For locals who have come to know and love Jackson’s art scene, the news was hardly a surprise. But the victory was hard-won.

Jackson’s creative community is finally getting the recognition it deserves — thanks, in part, to Wildly Creative. Now in its third year (second as a public presence), Wildly Creative is a campaign that communicates the stories of Jackson’s arts community. From the well-established galleries to the up-and-coming struggling artist, no story is too small for Wildly Creative.

“We’ve touched hundreds of local creatives through this campaign,” said Anne Bradley, director of marketing for Center for the Arts. The Center is one of two managing organizations overseeing Wildly Creative along with Center of Wonder.

The word “campaign” is essential, Bradley said. Wildly Creative is not an organization, nor does it represent or favor any single organization. Instead, it is a platform for artists of all disciplines and arts organizations of all sizes.

“We’re looking for sort of a Switzerland approach,” Bradley said. “Neutral, thought-out, well-branded.”

Wildly Creative advocates for the arts much in the same way an arts council would. The campaign provides marketing and storytelling tools, plus visibility on social media channels through Instagram takeovers.

“We’re empowering folks to better tell their stories,” Bradley said. “Teaching folks how to do a lot with a little. You don’t have to have the budget to hire some big agency — there are tools that are accessible.”

Among Wildly Creative’s offerings, the workshops have been really well received, Bradley said. They cover topics like social media marketing, photography, and business. Photo: New Thought Digital Agency // Katie Cooney

Since its inception, more than 50 artists and organizations have “taken over” Wildly Creative’s social channels, and hundreds of artists have been featured in some capacity. Wildly Creative has also hosted four community workshops designed to teach creatives basic marketing tools: social media, photography, business.

“We’re really focused on marketing and ad tools that are accessible, approachable, but less familiar to small or individual artists,” Bradley said.

That Jackson Hole is an arts mecca comes as no surprise to anyone who has been awestruck by its majestic scenery or felt at peace in its wide-open spaces. “Wherever you have extremes, there is also inspiration to be had,” Bradley said. “There’s literally inspiration everywhere you turn.”

But that doesn’t mean being an artist is easy. Especially as a budding artist, Jackson’s extremes can also wear you down. “It’s easy to lose sight as a struggling artist if you’re working three jobs,” Bradley said.

That’s why Wildly Creative gives an equal platform to artists at every stage of their career. Art is now an integral ingredient of Jackson life — indeed, visitors and residents alike frequently cite access to the arts among reasons they chose to come. The campaign is twofold, then. It solidifies Jackson’s standing as a cultural destination. It also exposes curious new audiences to artists hoping to be seen. Sometimes, all it takes is just a little boost to jumpstart a career. A reminder that the work you’re doing matters to someone.

“[Wildly Creative] is doing a really great job of representing the community as a cross-section,” Bradley said. “It’s really showing the full breadth of small artists, collaboratives, creative spaces, and how people are making it work — all the way up to galleries on the square.”

Want to get involved? The easiest way to start is by using the hashtag #wildlycreativejh. “Our team monitors it regularly,” Bradley said.

Instagram takeovers are more of a commitment, but Wildly Creative, backed by creative agency New Thought Digital, provides all the resources you might need.

Finally, workshops are open to anyone interested. The next workshop is scheduled for the spring — stay tuned for more details.

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