I can remember many years ago being approached by someone who asked me what I knew about planning and running an Art Festival. It may seem like a strange question, until you realize that I was participating in a consumer show and my booth was selling art. It was a simple question, but it was the beginning of a life long journey into the world of planning and managing events. Being naive, I thought all we needed was a great idea and the rest would follow. How wrong I was! My partner in crime (the fellow who had approached me at the show) and I started off pitching the idea to the local community services manager. He was all for it and thought that the mayor would like it too. Then he asked 2 big questions! Who’s going to pay for it and who’s going to organize and run it? Fortunately, my partner was a Lions Club member and he thought his organization might be interested in participating. They were, but they had A LOT of questions. They were hard but necessary questions. It took a long while to answer these questions to the clubs satisfaction, but finally they, along with their Lioness Club, agreed that they would take on the project.
Their agreement was not only for money, but more importantly; their membership was COMMITTED to making the Festival a success. Over the last 17 years this commitment has never wavered and as a result, the Festival remains one of the top art festivals in the country and has allowed the clubs to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars back into their community.
(To be continued in Part Three)