Julie Fooshee - Sunday, May 26th, 2019
I could joke and say this post is long overdue but that makes me cringe because while true, it took so much to get to this point and I am so proud of the results that the wait was worth it.
Traditionally we collect the yearly annual report data from our members in the fall/winter of the year we are reporting on so around November of last year, many of you were eagerly looking to us and asking where the annual report was so that you could upload your data before retiring onto holiday vacation. When we said it would be a little longer you patiently waited, and when another month came and went you were still patient but growing curious about what exactly we had in store.
There were some ideas being thrown around about what it was the annual report achieved, what the goals of the annual report were, who we produced it for, what the intended audience was, and while in the SFA office we had answers, it became apparent that we needed to reach out and ask our member base what they thought! Thanks to a working group convened in the winter of 2019, we came out of that with new ideas about what it was the Annual Report should be about and what it should seek to convey and with that we sat down with our designer Gretchen McClure and set out to completely redesign our Annual Report.
We wanted to make sure that some things came forward in the report: the data, the member festivals, the photos, and the story. While we can’t tell the story of every festival in such a small amount of space, we want anyone who picks up this booklet to get a feel for what these events are and what they mean to many disparate communities around the US and Canada, and how they impact the many publics that take part in them. We updated the design and colors to be more friendly and even made the report smaller and more portable so that more people would be keen to pick it up and carry it off at conference meetings. The hope is that this will help spread the messages of our member festivals and the work of the SFA to a wider audience than ever before.
To everyone that took time to submit data to the report, thank you so much! This network couldn’t be what it is without you and every day I’m reminded of the work that you all do in strange and mysterious ways and the fact that within our small office, we never know what’s going on out there all the time. Just the other day I onboarded a new member festival who cheerfully told me that two member festivals had already spoken to them about how to get started and referred them to us. Ultimately that’s one of the biggest goals of the SFA – the relationships – and you’re building those all the time.
If you haven’t already – download a copy of the 2018 Annual Report and see the network at work, and how your festival plays a key role in the work we all do. You’re the rockstars, we’re just your tour support.