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Community calendar launches with help from local agencies

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by Molly Lautamo

Modern Tribe, Cruzio, and Design by Cosmic all help with the project

The City of Santa Cruz has announced the launch of CruzCal, a new community calendar that will help drive economic and cultural development. Find CruzCal at http://CruzCal.org.

Wouldn’t life be simpler if you could visit just one website to find out about all the cultural events taking place in Santa Cruz?

CruzCal could be it.

The events calendar was identified by the arts non-profit sector as an area in need of improvement and with the potential to make a real difference in the community. They envisioned a calendar that would radically reduce staff time spent posting events on multiple calendars with different formats.

The City of Santa Cruz Economic Development Department hired local digital agency Modern Tribe to test the waters. A tip from Santa Cruz Tech Beat Founder Sara Isenberg to J. Guevara, Economic Development Manager, led the team to Calagator, an open source software that syndicates information from different calendars into one place and makes it easy to rebroadcast events on social media platforms and to other calendars. Cruzio got on board and donated the server and local design agency Design by Cosmic created a unique brand and color-scheme for the site.

Compatible with Google calendar, iCal, and Atom formats, users can download individual events or a customized event feed right into their personal calendar. Twitter and Facebook share buttons encourage calendar users to share events with their followers, effectively providing free promotion for the arts.

To streamline the process of importing and exporting events, Modern Tribe extended their Events Calendar Pro plugin for WordPress to integrate with CruzCal. This is a huge time-saver for the local arts non-profit organizations, freeing valuable staff time to focus on the arts, rather than data entry.

“CruzCal has the flexibility to save time and money with a single data-entry interface, increase the reach of events to audiences and community partners, while retaining the value of individual organizations’ websites and generating more economic activity,” says J. Guevara.

The project was funded by money allocated for arts promotion from the City’s Economic Development Department but anyone can post events on the site. The original site, Calagator, is focused on Portland’s tech community and CruzCal can be a valuable resource for the tech sector as well. “CruzCal is for anything cultural with an emphasis on the arts,” says Guevara, “The entire community should adopt it as a hub.”

The City’s Economic Development Department hopes that CruzCal will help community members enjoy their city to the fullest, showcase the unique culture Santa Cruz has to offer, and ultimately, help the city grow.

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Molly Lautamo is a content strategist and writer at mollylautamo.com

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