The communications team creates everything from digital materials, such as blog and social media posts, to print materials, such as ticket brochures, brochures about their community engagement programs, and the annual report, which showcases what the institution has accomplished and how it’s evolved over the past year. The team often uses photos, documents, and audiovisual media from the institution’s past to bring their stories to life.
Marci crafts the story and content direction while leaning on Joe to provide the best visuals from NWS’s archive. Because the team so often uses historical assets to enrich their storytelling, Marci and Joe made the accessibility of their decades-old archive a top priority.
“I want to make sure that we breathe new life into where we’ve been and who’s helped us get here. That means presenting our collection to the public as often as possible. It can be really compelling for multiple uses throughout the institution,” says Joe.
Previously, NWS was storing their digital content on shared drives, which made it difficult to find and access assets quickly — especially for Marci, the only remote employee at NWS. Marci and Joe created a wishlist of functionality they wanted for their DAM. For Joe, it was especially important to have a solution modern enough to support NWS’s future growth.
“A lot of similar organizations have taken more outdated DAMs with less functionality and retrofitted them to work, but I didn’t want that,” says Joe. “I knew that we should have a system in place that we could grow into, not the other way around.”
“When Joe brought Canto to me, we both immediately thought that this would check all the right boxes in terms of what we were looking for,” says Marci. “Then, it was just a matter of showing that Canto was going to benefit multiple teams and be worth the investment.”
New World Symphony has uploaded over 72,000 assets into Canto.
“It was love at first upload,” says Joe, who is excited to upload even more of the organization’s historical assets so that they’re accessible for everyone on the team to use.
Both Marci and Joe are thrilled to have a centralized library where the team can easily pull any asset they need and collaborate in real time. All of the content they create leverages assets stored in Canto.
In line with the team’s goals of making their archive super accessible, Joe set up NWS’s Canto library with a simple folder structure anyone on the team can easily navigate. This structure also keeps their extensive archive organized as Joe uploads more content.
“I set things up by season, which is how we run things internally, and divided the folders between our audiovisual collection, general photography collection, photography by season, and printed materials by season. Within those folders, we have a variety of sub-folders for recurring projects,” says Joe.
Aligning a distributed team, enabling meaningful collaboration
Marci loves that Canto’s cloud-based platform helps her team stay in sync. She works remotely, so it’s invaluable to always have full access to the entire content library.
Canto has really been a game changer for us. It diminishes the cons of not being in the building and takes away the distance. We’re all looking at the same assets at the same time.
“Having to access a shared drive on a server that was half a country away — that lag time was really hard on my work. I would have to lean on team members who were onsite and ask them, ‘Hey, can you find me this photo? I think it’d be a good fit, but I just can’t quickly load these high-res assets from this far away,’” says Marci.
“Canto has really been a game changer for us. It diminishes the cons of not being in the building and takes away the distance. We’re all looking at the same assets at the same time.”
With the team on the same page and connected via their assets, it’s easy for Marci and Joe to collaborate. Canto’s workspace feature also helps them keep assets for different ongoing projects organized and on-hand.
“Joe and I use Canto workspaces a lot for various blog posts or stories that I’m writing. We’re able to easily access all the assets for a project in real time and go through them together,” says Marci. “It’s really helpful when we’re working on multiple projects, and I can just go to one place for a specific project and everything I need is there.”
“Canto has been really great for not only internally viewing what assets we have, but also for sharing those assets with people outside of our institution. Everyone can open the same link and view the same assets.”
Bringing history into the spotlight with facial recognition
Canto’s facial recognition makes it easy to bring the symphony’s history to life in media coverage, surfacing images of specific people in seconds. When NWS co-founder Michael Tilson Thomas was honored at the Kennedy Center, media outlets featured photos of him from throughout his career with the symphony. They also needed archival photos of NWS alumni who participated in the ceremony. Using facial recognition, Marci and Joe sourced the perfect images in record time.
“We had to dig deep into our archives in a way that we haven’t really done before,” says Marci. “With Canto’s facial recognition, finding the right assets is just a matter of running a search. We can get these projects done much more quickly.”
Customer success that cares
As the team eagerly explores all that Canto has to offer, their dedicated customer success team is on hand to help them troubleshoot any issues or dive deeper into the platform’s functionality.
“Anytime I had a question, it was answered. There’s something so refreshing about having a customer support team that’s obviously very passionate about their own product. It reflects the passion that we put into what we create here at NWS,” says Joe.