April 11-14, 2007
San Francisco, California

Sessions: Abstract

Dallas Museum of Art Presents The Arts Network   go to paper

Homer Gutierrez, Dallas Museum of Art, USA
Jessica Heimberg, Dallas Museum of Art, USA

As part of our ongoing mission to collect, present, and interpret works of art to our community, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) has developed an integrated business and infrastructure model designed to address content creation, content storage, and content presentation that is both sustainable and expandable. We think the DMA is quite innovative, if not unique among museums, in adopting an organizational strategy that takes a matrix based, holistic approach to digital asset management.

Our concept – The Arts Network – a television-style network system provides both a program development process and a robust, extensible program delivery system. The network is comprised of four distinct channels. These channels were created using the results of a study of Museum visitors, which grouped users according to their experience at the museum and their participation in museum programming, a concept we refer to as "Levels of Engagement with Art" (LOEASM).

The program development process begins with a central repository Content Management System (CMS) that is accessible by all staff members. All digital content converted, collected, created, acquired, recorded, and developed is entered by contributors into the CMS where it is cataloged and indexed using a mix of local notes and industry-standard metadata, primarily Dublin-Core and Categories for the Description of Works of Art (CDWA). CMS gives staff and program creators access to a searchable resource containing documents, images, video, movies, transcripts, and other relevant digital assets needed for program development.

The program delivery system is an in-house and Web-based network enabling DMA visitors, both at the Museum and online, to access programs and information, formatted to fit their particular interests, through four Arts Network channels. From a Webcast of an Arts & Letters Live program to the background on a specific painting, from downloading a personalized tour to the e-notification of the start time of a lecture, all that a visitor, potential visitor, or distance learner would like to know, can be conveniently accessed. All information collected in the CMS can be channeled through the DMA’s Web site, wireless devices in the galleries, cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), iPods and other emerging technologies.

IT technical guidelines will assist in ensuring consistency and interoperability among the software applications, components, and services that comprise the CMS infrastructure. These technical guidelines focus on providing a secure platform that ensures common infrastructure services for next-generation systems and applications within the CMS architecture. The DMA has adopted a modified version of Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) as the standard application development environment for our infrastructure framework. J2EE uses a multi-tiered distributed application model in which application logic is divided into components according to function. We will adhere to basic three-layer target architecture: presentation, application, and data.

We believe that such a system will support an ongoing engagement with all our current constituents and help grow our audience for years to come. The Arts Network has the potential to bring the DMA’s expansive and increasingly important collection of works of art to the larger audience it deserves – and to do so with scholarly integrity and sophisticated technology.

This presentation will show the approach taken to make the transition from "siloed", disparate databases to a decentralized, standards-based, media-rich content management system that will grow along with the Museum’s needs. Some of the items covered will include enterprise architecture planning, metadata standards, and cost analysis. We will also discuss impact to culture, business – both internal and external – and changes in methodology and governance. An overview of achievements and lessons learned will also be shared to assist those taking on a similar challenge.

Session: Content Management [Design]

Keywords: Dallas Museum of Art, case study, content management, CMS