Event planning can be draining, even when it’s a fun endeavor. It’s a roller coaster as you go up the ride to the event, then come down again hard and fast on the other end. It’s not for everyone, and at times I thought I would be better off with a more stable creative outlet. But there’s something to be said about events and the energy that goes along with them.
At the gallery, this was no different. When we switched to a monthly exhibition schedule soon after our move to the new building, it was an ambitious undertaking that tripled the workload for an incredibly small volunteer team that consisted of me, primarily, with rotating volunteer support. We switched to monthly exhibitions for a variety of reasons. We wanted a consistent day of the month that people could remember for exhibitions. Rather than having our art openings on the first Thursday of the month along with the arts district, we hosted our opening receptions on First Fridays.
While we loved and wanted to support the district, Fridays had proven to be a better night for our audience and better for when we had artists traveling in from out of town. We remained open for First Thursdays in support but hosted the larger receptions and artist gatherings on the Fridays. We wanted to have a monthly opening so we could sustain some of that momentum that would happen monthly.
This had other benefits as well. For me personally, having the consistent schedule took the edge off the peaks and valleys that came with event planning. Some of the festival planners and community organizers I work with now talk about coming down off an event high. With openings to plan and coordinate on a monthly basis, there was always an event to ride up as another event was closing out. We’d leapfrog from show to show, a continual buzz of energy and excitement. But while events are exciting, there is the law of diminishing returns. With each peak the level could subside, but that allowed us the gift of experience to make sure each revolution was well executed.
This post is adapted from It’s Never Going To Work: A Tale of Art and Nonprofits in the Minneapolis Community with illustrations by Athena Currier. Post graphics by Jamie Schumacher. ©2018 Jamie Schumacher.
It’s Never Going To Work is a light-hearted, illustrated book that offers real-life insights on founding a community space and nonprofit. It provides tools, tips, resources, and camaraderie to community organizers and anybody attempting something new.