The Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts

The art of expansion

Since being founded in 2003, the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts has been home to one of Edmonton’s most interesting art collectives, made up entirely of artists with developmental disabilities. When the Nina needed to redesign its website, the organization had two goals in mind: increase the centre’s profile in Edmonton, and increase donations and volunteers.

Showing and telling

When the Nina first got in touch with Kobot, they were working with a site that didn’t convey the powerful experience of actually being in their space. Touring the Nina Haggerty Centre leaves you with a powerful sense of what the Centre does to positively impact the lives of its artists. We found being in that atmosphere was a powerful incentive to support their initiatives, and we needed to find a way to translate to their digital presence.

  • The Challenge Getting the feeling across. The previous website was missing the passion of the artists and creators who work with the Nina, as well as the dedication that these artists bring to creating their work and fostering their artistic community.
  • The Solution Storytelling that is both evocative and clear. We created messaging that made sure audiences knew this was not a social service—that those working with the Nina are professional creators. We worked hard to show how audience support positively impacts the lives of these artists and, in turn, our larger community.
  • The Results A website that inspires users to support the Nina. Through clear messaging backed up with stunning visuals of the artists and their art, the website transports users into the same mindset that visitors to the Centre experience firsthand.

Getting the message across

To tackle the first goal, we developed a site strategy that used plain and direct language to reinforce the centre’s purpose and value to the community. After we developed a messaging strategy, we worked hard to balance text with images, to reinforce that we were dealing with a collective of professional artists, not a social service or art therapy institute.

Rallying Support

In an effort to increase donors and volunteers, we created messaging that emphasized the impact of a user’s support: we told them how many brushes their donation would buy the centre, we told them how many pounds of clay they could provide. Then we created highly-visible callouts and buttons that lead users to a place they can donate directly—something that was missing from the previous site. Finally, we set up an ecosystem that pushed multiple avenues for supporting the centre: If a person couldn’t afford a donation, they could volunteer; if they couldn’t volunteer, and didn’t want to donate, they could buy a piece of original art created by a collective member, and support the centre that way.

Making sales simple

Finally, we rebuilt the Nina’s E-commerce platform and linked it to the main site so that artists with wares for sale in the shop would see their pages fill automatically with available product. This made it much easier for interested audience members to purchase works, and for the Nina to make them available.

Kobot dove deep with our team to help us assess our goals and the direction of our website. The finished project exceeded our expectations and is a promotional tool we are very proud of.

Rona Fraser, Director of Development

The Nina Haggerty Centre website proves Kobot’s ability to craft effective messaging strategies that balance function, aesthetic and content. Further, it proves our ability to develop strategies that help organizations build community support for their work, and earn income.