Dominic with Yogurt the cat

Primary role:

As the Alliance’s web producer, Dominic Matar makes everyone’s life easier by building or improving our online tools and making sure everything works. He determines the Alliance’s needs, defines project scopes and works closely with a small team of fantastic programmers to bring them to life. He’s also pretty handy when a computer crashes!

Secret fact:

Outside of the Alliance, Dominic’s life is all about songwriting and soundtracks. He is currently at work on his fourth album called Carloman, which he describes as “pre-baroque indie pop”. Dominic also composes for commercials, documentaries and whatever else comes his way, and is working on his first feature-length soundtrack.
Listen to one of Dominic’s tracks, The Traveler, here.


The most motivating part of being a web producer is the challenge of conceptualizing new solutions for a variety of users and taking a sequence of manual actions and streamlining them into an online tool. My work starts with the students and teachers. I ask myself: how do I organize a registration site that addresses all of the variations among site users? Remember we have 29 categories of art and writing and many have their own unique needs. Next in line are the Affiliates: what kinds of tools can help them keep track of every submission? Submissions and submission materials have to be individually accounted for not only by Affiliates, but by our national office as well. Our tools have to be user-friendly and highly efficient, considering the number of submissions (185,000 for the 2011 Awards season!). I take all of these factors into consideration in coming up with solutions that will hopefully make using our online resources easy and simple for everyone involved.

I also manage the transitions into and out of the Awards seasons and work closely with each department at the Alliance to determine their needs and optimize the efficiency of cross-departmental information. Exhibitions, publications, archives, programs and development all need access to the same data but for very different purposes. It can be challenging to find the right solutions for so many needs, but it’s extremely rewarding demonstrating new tools to the users and seeing them at work.

Perhaps the most consistently enjoyable aspect of working at the Alliance is interacting with the dedicated individuals—staff and Affiliates alike—who believe deeply in the program’s mission. The most exciting moments on the job are definitely the beginning and the end of the Awards seasons – seeing the very first works being uploaded in September, and the first glimpses of the winning works in March.

Prior to joining the Alliance, I was a report writer and alumni site manager for Columbia Business School, in a band called Die Romantik, and a freelance composer. Working at the Alliance is particularly gratifying because I’m always inspired and impressed with the incredible talent of the Award winners.
Listen to a track from Die Romantik here.

Advice to Artists & Writers:

There is no “start date” – the time is always now!

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