What's on Your Phone, Michael Lowder?

Contributor Sarah Murphy speaks with Michael Lowder, the executive Director of Artsplosure, a non-profit in Raleigh, NC that produces Artsplosure – The Raleigh Arts Festival and First Night Raleigh.

Sarah: What are the apps you use every day, and why do you like them?

Michael Lowder: I’m a late adopter.  Although I’ve had an iPad for a while, I’m a relative newcomer to the iPhone. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by tech savvy staffers at Artsplosure who are my guides. My app use parallels my hobbies and interests.

I’m a photographer, and I use iPhoto, of which I’m still learning the nuances. I have yet to upgrade to iOS 8 on the iPhone because it doesn’t support iPhoto, which is versatile and intuitive. I’m still shopping photo-editing apps to replace iPhoto.

I’m a big fan of NPR, and I listen to NPR and/or South Carolina ETV Radio on iTunes Radio to catch Morning Edition or ATC daily. I love the straight feed from DC and how quickly you can hear all the new, daily content. Our local NPR outlet went to the dark side about a decade ago, becoming unlistenable to me, so this is a great feature for which I ‘m truly thankful! I frequently use the NPR News app on my iPad and NPR Music and TabFinder apps on the iPhone. Besides being a news junkie, I’m a music enthusiast and amateur musician, and I strive to stay abreast of new performers and trends and to learn to play new songs.

I use Map My Walk, because I enjoy being active and challenged by knowing my pace time and splits.

[Finally,] I write a lot, so the Merriman-Webster Dictionary/Thesaurus is used frequently. Plus, I’m interested in words and their origins.

SM: Is there an app you think developers should be working on?

ML: A social networking app that could facilitate interaction, information sharing, et al. among fellow art administrators, in particular organizations with operating budgets under $1 million.

SM: Is there an app that surprised you with its usefulness?

ML: Crosby on our staff introduced me to Instagram as a way to share my photography and participate in social media. I follow the major NYC art museums as one way to keep abreast of trends in the larger art world. I consider well-established art museums to be more risking-taking and innovative than most major performing arts institutions. Instagram allows me to keep up with younger friends and family members and what’s going on in Raleigh and my hometown of Greensboro, NC.

SM: If you could recommend one app for every arts manager, what would it be?

ML: So much of what we do or wish to accomplish is intertwined with boarder community, business, and civic issues. I recommend finding a good local news app, especially one that covered state and local government, business, and economic development news.