It seems like only yesterday that we started the task of putting ArtAcadia.org together. With a combination of dedication, technology and passionate perseverance… a platform for Heritage Ambassadors exists. Not only as a comprehensive suite of resources and tools… but also a way to generate residual revenue. Enabling people from all walks of life, anywhere in the world, to preserve their heritage. Join me as I reminisce the past twenty something months and how we envisage taking our past into the future.
I’ve followed the evolution of the restoration industy for several decades. With every year that passes, it becomes more evident that unity is lacking. Many organizations have similar goals and objectives, but with a different outlook on how to achieve success. There is certainly nothing wrong with passionate personality, but ultimately we’re all in this together. Unity is strength. If we are going to succeed as a whole, we should endeavor to do so in the spirit of Ubuntu ~ “I am, because we are!” Bearing that in mind, ArtAcadia.org provides a catalyst for creating synergy and community.
Money makes the world go round, so why do we see so many abandoned historic buildings around the world? The answer is quite simple… there is no money. Restoration is expensive and if finance is not forthcoming from investors, governments and even the owners themselves, there has to be another way. We use the Internet, social media and affiliate marketing to empower Heritage Ambassadors financially. By sharing the income from memberships, anyone can help generate residual revenue.
Easier said than done, it took over a year to get the coding done. Tracking live web taffic and matching everything up to the right affiliates, is only secondary to making sure the commission are allocated correctly. Not to mention the payment processes, using primarily Stripe and PayPal. Only once everything added up, literally, could we open up the site for Beta users. The results were encouraging and we decided to soft-launch at the Salone dell’Arte e del Restauro di Firenze on 17 May 2018.
I must admit that the remainder of 2018 was a bit frustrating. Working with fastidious developers is difficult, considering my artistic brain. I don’t mind an errant stroke of the paint brush, but in the land of information technology, a misplaced comma an/or extra dot, seems to matter quite a lot. Test, test and more testing! Patience is a virtue and I used the time to put together a business plan for the new year.
It seems that I chose well in the developer department. When the prototype turned to production and the bugs took a leave of absence, grateful hugs took their place. I could see that the time and effort spent on the technology, gave strong roots to the ArtAcadia.org tree. As 2018 drew to a close, sometimes not seeing the forest for the trees… I could clearly discern the shape of heritage to come.
As the rocky road of 2018 lead to the new pastures of 2019, a fabulous field of opportunity came into view. Finally we had the means to make a difference. Getting all the technology ducks in a row was the hard part, Not that the rest of the journey would be easy, but certainly easier. They say that luck does not land in your lap, but it depends how you position your lap. The year 2018 was very much about getting ready. As every firework burst in the Torino sky on 1 January 2019, I realized that we are ready!
They say the proof of the pudding lies on the eating… and there was much of that at our first official Heritage Ambassadors meetup on 10 January 2019. Caffe Fiorio in Turin, Italy is a historic venue. It’s where Garibaldi and Cavour met to discuss the reunification of Italy. It’s not a coincidence that we gathered in the very same room that started the movement to bring Italy together. With a strong sense of community and dedication, we look forward to these seeds of synergy being planted around the world.
I’m encouraged that the concept of ArtAcadia.org has been well received. Not easy to explain at first, but once the tutorial is absorbed, affiliates take the ball and run with it. It’s easy to earn while taking our past into the future!
While there is satisfaction to see a dream transformed into reality, I suffer no illusion that the job is done. We’ve only just begun. Bringing everyone together in a concentrated effort to stop the decay. Supporting our artisans, not just with accolades, but actually providing work and payment. Revenue that will not come from government coffers, but rather from the efforts of Heritage Ambassadors around the world. I trust we can count on you!
Living a life rich in heritage… by design!