Monday, May 18, 2015

The Perfect First Day

Dear Fellow Summer Fellows, 

I would say it was the perfect day, but to be more accurate I should say it was the perfect evening. Usually I’m going to work on Wednesdays but we decided to start me a week early on a Friday because they were having an open mic night with a headliner musician. My initial thoughts actually turned toward comfort, because if there’s one thing UArts as trained me for, it’s open mic nights. I knew this was going to be a good first showcase of my abilities as an event coordinator because the set up was exactly like an event I would plan for the school year. The difference is that this event was on a community scale and that’s exactly what I want from this fellowship, a connection to the community. I arrived around 6 and I finally met Ms. Val who greeted me with such a warm embrace. I immediately felt at home. I met another intern whose name is Sydney and she goes to Howard University for Public Relations. She also wants to be an event coordinator and I found her humor and outgoingness charming. I met some other volunteers and board members, including Ms. Francis who I will talk about later. Mostly I helped wherever I was needed, setting up the outdoor area, tending to the food, or greeting musicians. I tried to make myself as available and versatile as possible, including putting my name on the list of performers. I met some of Philly’s most colorful dressers and personalities, many of who work in someway with Art Sanctuary. Everyone treated me as one of the family and asks lots of questions or gave me lot of encouragement before I went to read my poem. I especially connected with Ms. Francis who is a volunteer at Art Sanctuary. She is a lovely, older woman who works with a youth group of young women form 12-18, where she helps them with life skills through volunteering, college visits, or workshops. We had many great conversations about life and poetry and when I read my poem she recorded it and then gave me a big hug afterwards. All of my grandparents have passed away, and I never got to really know my African-American grandmother on my dad’s side, so meeting women like Ms. Francis really fills a void in my heart. I’m not sure how these things happen to me but I ended up closing the show and reading my poem after the headliner! People responded so positively to my poem and I felt really empowered. I helped clean up and because it was 10, Ms. Val called me an Uber, and paid for it out of her own pocket. This was such a fantastic start to my summer and this fellowship and I cannot wait to see how the rest of the summer unfolds.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great event, Maggie! I'm glad found ways to contribute to the event's success and also participate in the open mic! It sounds like you're already connecting with the Arts Sanctuary community in meaningful ways. Thanks for sharing!