Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Weeks 7-10: The Overcast of a Fundraising Event

After another delightful two week vacation, I'm back to finish the final stretch of my internship at Banting House. I'm experiencing several emotions at the moment, but at the front of my mind is how I am going to reflect upon this entire summer and make myself sound accomplished for my 15-20 page final paper. There are several projects that I set out to accomplish that I have not finished, some that were never even started - but at the same time, there are some projects that grew very organically as I grew into the position. So that's all okay, I suppose.

Even this blog was not kept up the way I had intended. Let me explain the reason why I have not updated in over a month:

Banting and Friends II.

This fundraising event turned our office absolutely upside down - in a brilliant and exciting sort of way that really turned out to be worth it in the end. It was an experience unlike any other that I've had before in a professional setting. Two months ago, I had no idea...how would one even go about planning a special event of this magnitude? How many details are there to consider? How much money can we spend? How will it all physically come together? How in the world do we get people to come?

To someone who's a rookie in this sort of work, the past month was chaotic and overwhelming - but I learned SO much! It was especially helpful to experience how the office really worked as a team to pull everything together. I got to see the role of the advisory committee - the process of problem-solving and coming to a consensus and how important it is for members of the community to be involved. Once more, I got to see the curator of a small museum wear many many hats, as he was responsible for everything from tent assembly to opening remarks.

The two day event was such a success. It felt really good to know that we had created something from nothing and to watch people enjoy something that we had worked so hard for. The artists who were showcasing their work were wonderfully talented people. The chefs from Braise Food and Wine put out a delicious spread and were so much fun. All of our generous sponsors - the event just flowed so naturally and we couldn't have done it without these people.

Of course, our Saturday public event was cut a bit short due to the blackest clouds I've ever seen and lightning and some of that wet stuff from the sky. That day, I had a lesson in improvising and coordinating a plan in a matter of seconds. It's not that we hadn't considered bad weather - we just planned on good weather! Everything that we had constructed over the course of two days was taken down in about...ten minutes. We moved the artwork into the museum galleries and finished out the day! Magic.

It was really awesome to see that event take shape and to see people from the community come out and support their local artists and local heritage. It's reassuring to know that the work I'm doing is really appreciated by the public. These next two weeks, I'll definitely put the focus back on my projects that I had outlined in my workplan - but if there's one thing I've learned, that's not how the real world works. Things come up and interrupt your plan - that must be embraced.

Not to mention - September is Doors Open season, October is the 90th anniversary of insulin, and November is Diabetes Awareness month! Never a dull moment...

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