A Day in the Life of the NC Dance Festival…

April 23, 2012 § 1 Comment

by Anne Morris, Program Director

Well, more like a week.  During the Festival season, so many different kinds of activities happen from one day to the next, that I thought a week would give a better idea of what it takes to produce the NC Dance Festival in Greensboro.

In April 2011, I joined the Dance Project as Program Director, primarily responsible for coordinating the NC Dance Festival.  As I soon found out, Program Director at a small non-profit organization really means many jobs all wrapped up into one.  I am: Director of Development, Director of Public Relations and Publicity, Outreach Coordinator, Artist Services manager, Grant writer, Receptionist, Social media advisor, and Blogger.  All of that in only 20 hours a week!

Many elements go into preparing for a production such as the NC Dance Festival, many of them many months in advance.  Approving the poster design, for instance, printing posters and postcards, and bulk mailing the postcards to our mailing list.  Writing a press release and sending it to local media, posting the performance on local event calendars, and arranging for advertising in print and radio.

Here is what my week looked like leading up to the Greensboro performance, held at Aycock Auditorium on the UNCG campus this past November, 2011.  (This is a representative account…all these things happened, but perhaps not on these days and times!)

Monday

8:45am: Visited two dance classes at UNCG to talk up the Festival to the students.  Many of them are first-year students or non-majors, so they might not know what the Festival is.

9:30am: Dropped off our huge, 20 foot NC Dance Festival banner at Aycock.  It’ll be hung across the pillars in front of the theater.  What a hassle this year, getting the dates changed from last year!  But now it’s ready to be hung.

10:00am: Back to the office at the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center.  

Time to post on the blog about the local artists performing this weekend–Gary Taylor and Karla Coghill.

11:00am: Took a last look at the program information before it goes to the printers.  Any last typos?  Have we credited all our funders with the right language?  I’m certain I’ll find at least one mistake once it’s printed.

11:30am: Off to the printers!  Is everyone as nervous as I am when they drop off a project to be printed?

Noon: Posted the free Saturday master class announcement on all the local event calendars.  For some reason, each site has a different password.  Why have I never written them down somewhere?

1:00pm: Plugged in my video camera to charge, so I’ll be ready for tomorrow morning’s outreach performance.

Tuesday

7:45am: Early morning outreach performance at a local high school…although it doesn’t quite feel local, after driving through farmland for 20 minutes outside of the city!

Three Festival artists will perform for the students this morning.  First, they run through their dances on stage, setting some minimal lights with our Technical Director.

9:00am: Helped to usher the students into the auditorium, set up my video camera to collect footage, for outreach documentation.

9:30am: Facilitated a Q&A session with the performing artists.  The artists talked a bit about their dances, where they draw inspiration, how important researching your topic can be, and how they started dancing in the first place.  The students seemed interested in hearing from them, though a little shy about asking questions!  Made sure the dance teacher at the school had enough posters, and encouraged the students to come to the performance this weekend.

10:00am: Back at the office.  Answered emails from the performing artists about tech times and performance order, comp tickets, and directions to the theater.

1:45pm: Visited 3 more dance classes at UNCG to advertise the Festival.  Getting tired of saying the same thing over and over!

4:00pm: Was interviewed on Greensboro Community Television.  My Greensboro TV debut–exciting!  I sat down with Jay Lambeth, the Executive Director of GCTV and host of Greensboro Glimpses, to talk about the Festival line-up, and what audiences could expect to see at the performance.  Once we got started, I was barely nervous at all!

Tune in next week to hear about the rest of the performance week!

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