And just like that…

Posted: July 18, 2009 in Kennedy Center, Training
Tags: , , ,

…it’s over!

 4th July - Fellows (smaller)

The classes have ended, the luncheon is finished, the Thank You gifts distributed, the debriefing session over, the last-minute shopping completed, and I find myself sitting quietly in my hotel room contemplating my return to SA.  It’s over.  Much, much faster than last year; much, much faster than I would have liked; and if it wasn’t for how great the programme has been, I would feel cheated.  The 2009 Fellowship has been more challenging than last-year’s programme largely because it has pushed us to be far more independent.  Last year was all about sessions.  We met with every staff member (it felt like) in the Kennedy Center.  Literally!  We were large human sponges sucking up the info that was being thrown at us from all sides, and most of us went home feeing totally overwhelmed.  This year, we had very few formal sessions, almost too few, and we were expected to be a lot more proactive and independent in our work.  I guess I wasn’t expecting this and so it was challenging.  In many ways, this year was about finding ways to apply what we had learnt last year, and as Michael says: the theory is the easy part.  Applying it is where it gets tough.

There are so many things I want to do when I get back.  One of the most important things is to make time for reflection.  To set time aside that can’t be used for meetings and admin and and and…all the things that have to be done on a day-to-day basis to keep the organisation running but that keep you from dreaming new dreams, planning new plans and generally inspiring you to keep going.  You can get so tied up in the daily grind that you lose track of what it is you are trying to do.  You know, head in the reeds and all that.  There’s so much to do when I get back.  Exciting and difficult.  And I want to do everything I can to not fall back into bad habits (obsessively checking my email, procrastinating on the jobs that need doing but that I don’t want to do etc) and really use this time away, this sabbatical, as a chance to click into a new gear.  More.  Focus.  Clearer.  Sharper.  Keener.  And I want to see the difference in FTH:K…am I impatient?  You think?!

And dang, I hope the weather is good to me when I arrive!  To go from hot, humid, lovely summer 8 pm sunsets to freezing cold (relative to the Russian Fellow), rainy Cape Town might just kill me! 

Anyway, the rest of this blog is dedicated to the wonderful Fellows, new and old, that have enriched my DC experience more than they know.  Today, I began getting scared to come back next year, knowing that this time 2010, there will be no “next time”.  The goodbyes will be final.  Kinda like the beginning of the end.  And then, not only will we no longer come back to the KC for this Fellowship, saying goodbye to our unlikely summer family, but we will also be on our own, standing alone, bravely leading our arts industries to new and better places.  And if that ain’t a scary, emotional thought, then I don’t know what is!  Although, that may be a little dramatic.  I don’t think our group of Fellows will ever be “alone”.  We are Kennedy Center Fellows and that means we share common goals, common methodologies and a network that has the potential to be the difference in Arts Management internationally. 

So, to my fellow Fellows, THANK YOU. I love you all.

The Three Musketeers Attentive disciples Denisse & Pavlina with Embassy representative Fation with his Embassy's representative Fation with his Embassy's representative 2 Yvonne with her Embassy's representatives Fation with ISF sponsors Federico & Natalie with Embassy representative Federico, Denisse & friend of the Fellows Fellows enjoy themselves too much too often! George with Big Tom Jiyeon, Patrick, Yvonne & Joyce     Papa Michael Patrick Lukas & Eva  Mohamed insists  My surrogate familyMama Caitlin Joyce with her Embassy's representativeMore discussionsNada with her Embassy's representative Nada with her Embassy's representative 2 Noora, Nada, Reem & the evening's generous sponsor   Patrick & Lucas Patrick, Caitline, Yvonne & TamerKheri & Reem Pavlina & Angela have a chat Pavlina, Denisse & Noora Reem with a friend of the Fellows South African - Palestinian sisters Tamer gives George some pointers Tanya doing what she does best The Czech contingency  Wendy with her Embassy's representative

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