User Guide

What to Expect from ArtsGourmet

ArtsGourmet is designed to help the public find arts events of interest in an accessible location and on a convenient date.  As such the site is set up to encourage discovery by offering tools to facilitate searching events in categories, at locations, and during time slots. The ability to discover events in a particular geographical area is a key feature of ArtsGourmet.  By simplifying the setup of search parameters ArtsGourmet makes the search into an enjoyable process of discovery.

Users should always regard ArtsGourmet as a referral site rather than an advertising site and confirm all event details on the "more information" URL pertaining to that event. 

The Four Principal Search Areas

The main menu contains four links to areas of the site containing preformatted searches.  They are organized as follows

  • GENERAL - are the main general groupings of entertainment which are stored in the ArtsGourmet database.  Each General Category is comprised of several Specific Categories.  Clicking on a link in this area returns a list of upcoming events in all the Specific Categories listed as contained in the General Category.
  • SPECIFIC - are the specific designations (usually of genres) of arts events.  All events on ArtsGourmet are assigned to a single Specific Category. Clicking on a link in this area returns a list of upcoming events in the specific Category.
  • TIMES - are group of links which are set up to perform the search of a General Category during time periods up to two months in the future. Also in this area are event calendars which focus only on each General Category.
  • RECURRING - is an area reserved for events that recur on a weekly or monthly basis. Those Recurring events which are open to audience participation are contained in the Open Mic events area.  In addition to the upcoming events links, each of the Recurring and Open Mic areas contain links to specific calendars.

The Right Sidebar

On all pages in the above searching areas, the right sidebar contains a restricted search form and a mini-calendar.  Both are set up specific to the category of event under investigation.

  • SIDEBAR SEARCH - restricted to the General Categories or Specific Category being investigated on the associated main page.  Only the Specific Categories pages offer time selection in the sidebar search.  The primary function of the sidebar search is to assist with the geographical location of events.
  • SIDEBAR MINI-CALENDAR - also restricted to the category under investigation. 

General Search

  In each of the menu areas SPECIFIC, TIMES, and RECURRING, there is a link SEARCH ALL to the ArtsGourmet page containing a general search form.  This form contains the following fields.

  • Search - insert any key word to search the database for events containing that word in their event description
  • From Date - the earliest date of interest in an event
  • To Date - the last date of interest in an event
  • Select Category - the category of interest.  It is usually the specific event category but it also may be the broader event TYPE group of categories.
  • Address, City, Postcode - only city and state, OR Zip code is required to perform a Google geographical search but a specific address may be used if desired.
  • Within 5 Miles - the 5-to-50 mile radius of the area of interest.  If a more distant location is of interest simply change the address to a city close to the event location.

Search Strategy

ArtsGourmet is set up to generally encourage a broader search at first in the GENERAL area followed by somewhat more specific searches in the SPECIFIC and TIMES areas.  The RECURRING area is a special case of interest to those intending on a more frequent attendance.  If the number of events is overwhelmingly large, the SIDEBAR SEARCH can narrow it down by removing events that aren't in the area of interest.