If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
(If – Rudyard Kipling)
10 weeks ago I met Erica for the first time to discuss an idea about putting art in empty shops. We have worked non stop since then.
We have been busy meeting storytellers, artists, journalists, landlords, developers, businesses, designers, promoters, producers. All have been generous with their time and advice. We are physically following the trails of networks as they travel and loop around. It is quite something. Almost every meeting has resulted in another list of names and numbers to follow up, another list of jobs to do, and things to learn.
But we are running out of time. And we are running out of steam.
The other night we sat in my car, pale faced. We knew we had to take control.
So we did.
We have booked a planning meeting with those who have a key stake in the event, or represent an organization that does, and those who have been persistent and clear in their enthusiasm and support. We hope that some of these people will make up the core of the planning group.
Once they are in place we can engage those who are key to the success of this event – the artists and performers, the ushers and the stewards, the shifters and movers, painters and the sweeper-uppers. To harness the power of a community you need to strike a balance between consultation and decision making. We have to take a lead.
So what are the lessons we are learning?
The fear will pass.
People will help.
We have made the dates public. The Castle Quay weekender is happening on the 19th and 20th March. That’s 10 weeks away.