Thursday, July 30, 2009

Episode Seven

No big news this week. I've been working at a youth camp while still trying to keep up with internship activities, so I am EXHAUSTED. The staff only gets about 5 hours of sleep each night, then the next day I have to do camp activities in addition to making phone calls and sending emails about ArtsFest. To make matters worse, it's been raining all week, which just puts me in a bad mood altogether.

Right now, I'm trying to do some pricing for our marketing materials. Who knew flyers, yard signs, stickers could be so expensive? We have a VERY tiny marketing budget. We've been given a grant to help bring several of our bigger acts to Conway, and that means that we're required to do a LOT of marketing to adhere to the grant guidelines. I don't know how we're going to do it all with our budget.

Our grant application for AST is on its last draft, finally. It's due very soon, and we have to make sure to turn it in early, just in case something goes wrong. When you submit grant applications electronically, it's smart to send it early because 90% of the time, your internet poops out on the due date or something else goes wrong. I don't know if I'll have any more projects from AST this summer. But maybe that will be alright, because ArtsFest seems to be taking way more of my internship hours that I had thought!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Running. . .out. . .of. . .time. . .

Wow, so I'm realizing that I have less than a month left at my internships (3 weeks to be exact) and I still have a LOT to do.

For the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, we have a grant due in 2 weeks that I'm really concerned about. We still have a lot to work on (i.e., the budget, programming, etc) that needs to be determined by then, and even when that's finished, we have to get signatures on all the documents. I really hope everything gets done. Artists aren't exactly known for being timely. . .

For ArtsFest, I'm still working on securing vendors and downtown merchants to participate in the Art and Music Walk. The Walk is going to stretch for a mile downtown, but there are a lot of gaps where we'll need to find musicians or refreshments to keep people going.

That's a HUGE difference about Arkansas and DC. People in DC are used to walking as an acceptable form of transportation-- Arkansans are not. It's difficult to get most Arkansans to walk or bike even short distances. Granted, things are much farther apart in Conway, Arkansas, but still. We're just not comfortable with the idea of walking a mile when it's quicker to use a car. This will be a big challenge for us, because we're trying to strategically place entertainment in "dull" spots along the route to distract participants from realizing how far they're walking.

Anyway, here's a group that we're bringing in, and I'm really excited about them! They're a dance company that does site-specific choreography. How cool?!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I now call this meeting to order. . .

My supervisor for CAFTA is out of town this week, so I've been going to meetings without her these past few days. I even had to lead our general ArtsFest planning committee yesterday, which felt very strange. About 95% of the committee members are older than me, so I didn't know how they would react to me leading the meeting.

CAFTA has no paid staff, only board members and community volunteers, so I don't know how they pull off ArtsFest every year! This week alone, I've been to two meetings, and I have two more tonight. Keep in mind, ArtsFest isn't until October. I think they need a full-time staff person to work on ArtsFest, or even part-time! The work is shared by several hard-working volunteers, and just a few really dedicated board members.

Tonight I have a meeting with a bicycling organization here in Conway about planning an architectural scavenger hunt on bicycles during the festival. How cool is that? There are a lot of gorgeous historic homes around downtown Conway, and it would be nice to incorporate some of the beautiful architecture into ArtsFest.

Conway is trying to grow their downtown area, and it's already had great success with another festival called Toad Suck Daze (you may have heard Rep. Vic Snyder talk about it on Colbert).

There's also the Silver Moon Cinema, which shows outdoor movies downtown.

Off to more meetings!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Painting Pachyderm

Not a lot to update on, but one thing that I'm REALLY excited about is that we've secured bringing a really cool work of art down from Pittsburgh for our ArtsFest. And. . . it's a 40 ft. tall Painting Elephant. Yeah, that's right. 40. FEET. TALL. Yowza.

Our internet at City Hall is really sketchy today, and the power keeps going off and on. Maybe the Mayor forgot to pay the electric bill. . .