Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The time has come, the walrus said.

Well, here it is. The last week.

It's time to pass my work on to everyone else. There's still two months until ArtsFest, and I have to leave everything halfway finished. I don't like that feeling. But, it's gotta be done.

The grant was turned in for AST with a week to spare. Whew. Now, we'll just have to wait and see the result.

I was planning on returning to DC with a new job, resulting from my internship last spring. As it turns out, that's not going to happen. The budget was cut an enourmous amount because Fenty (the DC mayor) had to cut the organization's earmark (a six digit figure). When you work in the arts, this kind of thing happens all the time. Arts are always cut first. But somehow, you never think it will happen to you. But it will, and it did. And it hurts, even though you know it's an inevitable, unavoidable, awful thing.

But, my summer internship has left me with a little encouragement. The city of Conway is growing by leaps and bounds, and so is the arts scene. My office has been in the city's Planning and Development office. Every day I go in to work, employees comes up to me with some story about a creative community seminar they've attended, or pictures of public art they've taken on vacation. They discuss wanting to implement what they've seen and heard. They want more murals downtown, affordable artist studios above downtown businesses, and public art in parks around town. I know, without a doubt, that Conway WILL find the money for these things because city officials understand the value of having arts play a major role in the heart of the city.

"The arts are an even better barometer of what is happening in our world than the stock market or the debates in congress."
-Hendrik Willem Van Loon, The Arts

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's the home stretch!

My internships are about to be finished. I feel like I just started! Maybe that's because the more we work on ArtsFest, the more I realize needs to be done. Isn't it funny how that happens? Planning for this year happened very early, so things should be on task. I'm sure they are, and maybe I'm just feeling anxious because I only have a week and a half left.

Before I return to DC, I have to put the info about ArtsFest on online calendars hosted by local tv/radio stations, magazines, and newspapers. Maybe that's why I'm so worried about these last few weeks. Publicity.

Publicity is such a huge part of planning any event. You can book the best acts, serve the best food, etc.,but if no one knows about the event. . .it's a flop. I feel like the events that we have planned this year are bigger and better than years past, but we have GOT to get on the ball with publicizing them. We're on the right track now, but I'll be nervous about when I leave for DC and I'm not here to work on it.

I think that's the most frustrating thing about summer internships. You do all this work, then POOF, you leave. For me, I think it's even worse, because I won't get to see the finished product. I have to leave in a week and a half, yet the festival isn't until October 7-10.