This short holiday sure went by fast! Many of you probably have the same problem - I am juggling about 5 projects and deadlines - on top of the usual work and family happenings.
You may remember this summer I was invited to meet Pres Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, as a result of our longterm eQuilter charity efforts. This was due to a new friend who I met in May on the flight to the SAQA conference in Washington DC. This new friend is also on the board of the Colorado Ballet, and today Sophie and I were invited to a special open house in their new headquarters in the arts district on Santa Fe in Denver.
I have recently been more involved with fundraising efforts for various arts organizations, which has been a fascinating and educational journey. By volunteering to help organizations raise money, I've been learning about some of the secret inner workings of fundraising. Definitely worth the time I have donated - I highly recommend pursuing an experience such as this! I find that any type of arts organization has issues and needs that are parallel to other creative groups' issues and needs. In other words whatever you learn will come in handy with other groups that you may join in the future.
Anyway, touring the new building for the ballet was impressive and inspiring. We took the tour of the 100 yr old huge building that was gutted and refitted for the ballet company. On the ground floor we saw room after room full of young dancers in classes. Then we went up to the large airy light-filled rehearsal spaces where the principal dancers for upcoming productions were practicing the fine details of upcoming Midsummer Night's Dream. Then we went into a room filled with about 40-50 young women rehearsing for the corps segment of the upcoming performance. I can imagine how Degas felt when he first saw his dancers in the glowing footlights, and the pastel cloud-like tutus. I just kept thinking about the art inspiration that would come from these images that are now in my head. Wonderful!
We finished with a tour of the huge costume department in the basement of the building. We stopped in the sewing and fitting section, stocked with Bernina machines of course, then walked down the center aisle with row after row of hundreds and ultimately thousands of costumes. These costumes are rented out to other ballet companies when not in use, and each costume has to be custom fit to the current dancer occupying that role. You can just imagine how excited I was to see the long rows of costume history all around me.
Our love of sewing and fabric brings us so much joy - we can appreciate parallel expressions of textile creativity all around us when we keep our eyes open. Today's textile and costume tour was an unexpected perk, in my pursuit of the visual and performance arts.