24 Months|105 Weeks|17250 Hours is a blog by Julianne Brienza, CEO/Founder of Capital Fringe based in Washington, DC. Posting running through August 2020 will explore the varied aspects of defining the organizational evolution and structure of a annual Fringe festival to a year round organization through photos and narrative.    

Sequencing

Sequencing

power.jpg

In each of the varied and disparate areas to be drafted to launch, drafted for further contemplation, pressing go on, added support to or engagement, and so on. . . at present I have been struggling with the sequencing of it all. I have always been “busy” or been classified as “doing too much."  Let’s be real who wants to be known for doing too little?! However, I take back anytime I have ever communicated that I was busy. I was ill-informed and uneducated about the bounds that busy can ascend to. Earlier this week, I felt serious anxiety about upping my pace of work and engaging folks in proper ways to add support to the varied and disparate items in and at play. On one particularly hurried anxious filled day, in my yoga class that evening my teacher Elena read a quote mid-class. After class, I asked to snap a photo of the quote. You can see it in the image above from her notebook. Then, that night I had a conversation with my board chair about the sequencing of our strategic plan, hiring the project manager and so on. He imparted various priorities to certain items but what he was saying was don’t let the pressure control you.  

In the past, I have approached work often with something to prove. This phase for Fringe and for me, is quite different. I have proven enough and Fringe artists and audiences have proven a lot over the past fourteen years too. Right now, I think I need to chill a bit. Surrender to flow. Realize that what I am trying to accomplish is not going to go according to any plan that I can be informed enough draft up and stick to in the next nine months. Not grip the wheel too tightly. This is where my power is and the power of the physical space that is being created.

Since 2012, I have worked on and engaged others to create and contemplate over various business plans for when the post renovation. Slotting multiple program lines of expense and revenue here and there, adjusting based on what is happening in the community but never getting to the point where it was a reality. Well, we get to make this all a reality now!! I don't want to be in the position to create our new program plan in a vacuum with no community input. However, I cannot do this work alone. Nor can the employees in place at Fringe have work added to already full days.  

Over the past few years at various art events or social situations I have always run into the same woman over and over. During our most recent exchanges, I would always ask her, “So, what do you do for work exactly.” Each time she would mention various things that always outlined supporting artists to create work. This past Friday, we were able to sit and talk about the assistance needed in getting community input through a series of town hall community meetings and focus groups for each of the communities we either now serve or will: theatre, dance, music, visual art, and culinary arts. Thankfully, the meeting went well, and Dawne Langford is down for taking part in creating our program plan. We will be getting it together over the next two and half months and engaging with those we serve January – March 2019. I am really looking forward to this work. Also, to what we uncover as needs and how they match up or alter what we have drafted.

 

 Reading  The Cycle:  A Practical Approach to Managing Arts Organizations by Michael M. Kaiser. This book was included with our three ring binder for the AIM program. (Photo by Lee Cromwell)

Reading The Cycle: A Practical Approach to Managing Arts Organizations by Michael M. Kaiser. This book was included with our three ring binder for the AIM program. (Photo by Lee Cromwell)

Back to sequencing, Fringe is part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies (AIM) citywide capacity building funding initiative. Part of the required work for this capacity grant is to outline a new program initiative over the next five years. The timing of this capacity grant is so right on for the real-time work that has to be generated in the course of our evolution. It is a happy accident. But for me, when opportunities that are meant to be truly transformative land at the perfect time, it adds such affirmation to goals and objectives. When you don’t have to grip so tightly, you can surrender and find the power in the process.

 

Toughening Part 2

Toughening Part 2

Toughening Part 1

Toughening Part 1