It Takes a Village: The Sundance Production Team
Most of the publicity about the upcoming Sundance benefit describes it as being a “two-day event,” which this year falls on Saturday, September 1, and Sunday, September 2. However, it would be just as easy to say that Sundance is a six-month event.
For me, Sundance began this year on Saturday, April 28 with the first meeting of the Sundance Production Team. This group of 27 individuals handles various parts of the well-oiled machine that is the Sundance benefit.
From the start, it is clear to see that coffee is what keeps this machine running smoothly. Team meetings take place early on Saturday mornings. While some team members grumble about having to leave the comfort of their beds, their moods quickly brighten when the meeting gets underway. Sundance Chair Murray Archibald does his best to help the group move through the ambitious agenda set for each meeting.
Over the course of the one-hour meeting, the team hears updates on box office issues, outreach on the beach, the silent auction, décor and tech, graphic design, food and beverages to be served at the event, and publicity. The specific topics of conversation run the gamut from the large (the solicitation of corporate sponsors for the event) to the small (the logistics for cutting the hundreds of little black boards for the auction item descriptions).
And there are a whole lot of other topics in-between. With an event as complex as Sundance, every detail is important. That is why the Production Team will meet every couple of weeks throughout the summer, working hard to end their meetings before they have to start paying the parking meters on a Saturday morning.
There are two important things that happen at each meeting that are NOT on the agenda. The first is problem-solving. The team always looks for ways to improve the event. For example, the Auction: we are always looking for ways to streamline the process where nearly 500 auction items are solicited from the community, displayed at the event, and must go home auction night with the correct winning bidder. How can we make check-out go more smoothly? Even though only several members of the team are specifically responsible for the Auction, everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas and suggestions.
And that leads us to the second thing that happens at the Production Team meetings: Laughter.
Serving on the team is a lot of work, but it is also a lot of fun. That’s why some members of the team have been doing this work for more than twenty years now.
The Production Team for Sundance 2018 includes (in alphabetical order): Event Chair Murray Archibald, Sondra Arkin, Chris Beagle, Cathin Bishop, Jane Blue, Pat Catanzariti, Shelley Couch, Rob Dick, Bob Dobbs, Ward Ellinger, Michael Fetchko, Allen Jarmon, Adam Linder, Mickie McManamon, Joe Mirabella, Jack Morrison, Event Co-Chair Natalie Moss, Monica Parr, Keith Petrack, Mark Pipkin, Glen Pruitt, Mark Purpura, May Beth Ramsey, Sal Seeley, Laura Simon, Sandra Skidmore, and Karl Zoric. If you happen to run into them at a local coffee shop, why not offer to buy them an espresso? They just might need the caffeine.
There are plenty of ways to be involved with Sundance without going to Production Team meetings. Come, of course. Or volunteer to work on one of the many teams that make Sundance a success. Learn more about that at the Volunteers Opportunity Meeting scheduled for Saturday, July 28, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks! ▼
Sundance Needs You. Sign Up Today!
Be included for as little as $100 (Individual Host), $200 (Couple) or $300 (Gold Host). Sponsors ($1,000) get logo visibility and access to the dance lounge. Your commitment permits 100% of the money from ticket sales and auction items to go to programs and support the work CAMP Rehoboth does everyday. Just go on the website or stop by the office. The deadline is July 15. Be part of the village.▼
Glen Pruitt, CAMP Rehoboth Board Member, currently does quality assurance work for non-profit organizations and government agencies.