September 2, 2010

Today has been all about meeting people and talking, talking, talking about the Durham Family Theatre. That’s one of the jobs of starting an organization. You can only do so much through emails and press releases; then you need to put your feet to the pavement and build relationships.

I started out the day answering emails at the coffee shop, which meant setting up two meetings for next week – one with the woman head of the Durham Convention and Visitor’s center and the other with our fabulous summer arts camp manager from the Durham Arts Council. She is taking a course in arts administration this fall and will use the start-up of the Durham Family Theatre for her case study. That means we get to learn from her as much as she learns from us about structuring an arts organization. Fabulous!

With 50 newsletter fliers in hand I drove to the Hayti Center, a beautiful historic community center where the Durham Blues Festival takes place annually. The ladies there are very kind and welcoming. They put out a stack of my fliers and invited me back any time.

From there I went grocery shopping at Whole Foods and ran into a mom from the summer arts camp. Her name was on my list of people to email this week, so seeing her today was perfect timing. I gave her a DFT newsletter and we’re going to get together soon; her daughter was a wonderful acting student over the summer and I very much want her input on the theatre.

I left more fliers all up and down Ninth Street and then drove home. Getting out of my car, I met up with a woman who was out walking her dog. She lives just around the corner from me and her daughter is very involved in theatre. She said, “I’ve been seeing your name everywhere on the web. You’re starting a theatre.” So I gave her a flier and while we were talking about DFT a woman from Paperhand Puppet Intervention rode up on her bicycle. Both women are going to help me spread the news about classes to home school families. And Martha from the puppet theatre gave me two complementary tickets to see their show this weekend.

I’m glad to be home again, doing work on my computer with the feeling of being part of a growing community of support for the Durham Family Theatre.

Warmly, Jenny

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