Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Return of the Festival Guide

I’m a day late with this entry…sorry, ‘bout that. This week’s just been kinda crazy, ALREADY.

Let me say that the one thing I appreciate about this internship, and about the Arts sector in general, is the flexibility one can have with scheduling. It’s a gross generalization, but as long as you’re a good person who gets the work done, most of the organizations I’ve been involved with tend to be fairly understanding with other conflicts and commitments, as long as they’re not excessive and are communicated in a timely fashion.

Yesterday I wasn’t at Fort Fringe at all, although I did start off the morning checking my Capital Fringe email address to take care of whatever I could before my other obligations that day.

So here’s the past 36 hours, in a nutshell:

I started off the day with the 3rd of 3 all-day Small Grant Panels for FY2009 at the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. I had serendipitously met someone who worked at the commission at an event with the DC Advocates for the Arts and was subsequently invited to sit on the panel. We reviewed over 60 applications during the course of the day.

Then I had to book it over to the French Embassy for an organization's Fundraiser. I’d actually taught middle and high school Jazz classes at this organization during the ’07-’08 school season, but a classmate of mine at AU currently has an internship at CityDance, and asked me to be a table captain. In addition to some other classmates and a friend, I invited my mom. It was a fun event, and an interesting case study from an Arts Management lens in cultivating donors.

Then today, I managed to make it in to Fort Fringe to continue proofing the guide and the index, which I was in charge of compiling, as we’re sending the Copy to print tomorrow at noon. I had to cross reference and check the spread sheet, with the guide, with the master board set up in one room, wall to wall, of the 10 or so venues, over the course of 3 weeks, with more than 100 artists and companies, performing 2 to 6 times each…


Then I had to take a break to run to a Performing Arts Department meeting at the high school I teach dance at, the National Cathedral School , to wrap up this year and talk about the ’09-’10 school year.

Stopped by the Fort after that, to continue proofing for a hot second, before I had to head over to the National Portrait Gallery for a scavenger hunt before the one summer class I’m taking, Performing Arts Programming, which was being held at the Gallery. Our teacher, Tia Harris (who currently teaches at Duke Ellington School of the Arts as well) used to work there, and brought us in the space to meet and hear from a guest speaker and colleague of hers whom she’s kept in touch with, Jewell Robinson, a truly fascinating, inspiring, and passionate woman.

Then I headed back to Fort Fringe (around 9pm) to do what I could to catch up with email and further proofing before calling it a night. Still not finished, but will take care of it in the morning.

I can’t lie, I’ll be glad when this gets sent to print. Creating the index, and making sure the dates and times are right hasn’t been the worst of dealing with the guide, however. I’d say the hardest part was when our image deadline came around, and all of the artists had to have their Web, Guide, and optional PR image in. There were certain specifications for width and height, resolution, and format. While most were on point, there were some that were…technologically challenged.

If anything, it was definitely a learning opportunity for me and hopefully for the artists I attempted to help coach in fixing their images, identifying what was not to the specifications, and electronically holding their hand via email until they sent an image that was the right size, or at least close enough.

I realize I’m rambling a bit, and realize this was a bit off the topic of my internship, until the end, but those were the couple of surprises I hinted at, at the end of last week’s entry. Although, the Small Grants Panel wasn’t completely unrelated; one of the applicants was actually a guy working on a production that’s going to be in the Capital Fringe Festival this summer…small world, right?

Anyway, that’s it for now.

Until next week,


Next Week: Sense of community and festival at Capital Fringe, plus a midmonth bulletin