ARTSonepass: Getting North Texas Arts and Culture in an App

Launching in North Texas, ARTSonepass is an web app and AI-driven recommendation engine with a calendar of events across a number of categories—performing and visual arts, history, and science and nature.

ARTSOnePass

Looking for a one-stop shop for North Texas arts and culture event news? If so, the ARTSonepass is for you.

The new web app offers users an online arts platform that includes a calendar of events across a number of categories, such as performing and visual arts, history, and science and nature. Because the app was created on Progressive Web App (PWA) architecture, it can be used on any mobile or desktop device without the need for a download.

Founder/CEO Sharad Elhence

Founder and CEO Sharad Elhence

Sharad Elhence created ARTSonepass after traveling globally for his work as a Dallas-based management consultant. As he traveled, the ARTSonepass founder and CEO enjoyed looking at art and sampling the culture of the cities he visited for both business and pleasure. He told Dallas Innovates the decision to launch ARTSonepass was equal parts passion for the arts and for problem-solving.

After retiring from management consulting, Elhence was looking for a new challenge and kept returning to the arts and culture world and how it faced a major problem in declining audiences.

“It was shocking to see the consistent trend across all major U.S. cities, that while the population has grown, the attendance level in arts organizations has declined,” Elhence said. “The arts organizations are trying to fight that trend with their own individual marketing initiatives, but with limited success. ARTSonepass brings an industry platform to amplify the reach and effectiveness of their marketing efforts for residents as well as visitors in North Texas.” 

The web app has three primary goals that address each of its end users consumers, arts organizations, and corporations:

  1. Making arts and culture easily accessible for consumers.
  2. Helping arts and culture organizations attract more visitors.
  3. Enabling corporations to support arts and culture institutions.

 

Elhence said ARTSonepass is launching in North Texas with its 68-acre Dallas Arts District and the Fort Worth Cultural District’s six world-class museums, and after becoming established in the area, the company has its eyes on becoming a nationwide service.

A peek under the hood

The technology driving the ARTSonepass app is an important part of the user experience.

It began with the choice to use PWA for the app’s architecture, rather than developing in native iOS or Android. Elhence said going with PWA meant ARTSonepass was going to be able to go to market faster and with a lower total development cost. On the consumer side, it meant the app could provide a fast and consistent experience across smartphones, tablets, and laptops on both iOS and Android deviceswithout the need to actually download anything from the app store.

Going deeper into the ARTSonepass code, artificial intelligence (AI) is also a major part of the design, Elhence said.

“When we take in event information from various arts organizations, we use AI (natural language processing) to classify that event and tag it to one or more arts categories so it’s easily searchable by our users,” he explained. “AI is the backbone of our recommendation engine we use to suggest relevant events to our users. Our philosophy in the app is to ‘ask less and observe more.’  AI helps us observe and learn the user preferences based on events they browse and click to buy tickets.”

A number of North Texas arts groups were included in the ARTSonepass launch, such as: Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Theater Center, Indian Classical Music Circle, DFW Sammons Center for the Arts, Teatro Dallas, Undermain Theater, Voices of Change, and the Women Texas Film Festival.

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