Letter: The business of community events
Putting on public events is easier said than done. That feel-good rush of sharing talent and good times with a community soon loses its youthful blush and gives way to an angry shade of gray. It’s an interesting phenomenon that eventually creeps its way into passionate places.
Take the example of my good friend Bryan. He moved down-valley with his wife and soon had a family on the way. He loved Carbondale but, most importantly, he had to make money to support his family. He didn’t have time to volunteer or involve his clients in community as ways to market themselves. (He is in marketing).
Slowly, the Carbondale way bit him in the foot and he started observing the vibrancy that community events attracted and saw the value to involving himself, and his clients, in these events. This kind of marketing is a win-win situation and Bryan and his clients dove in deep. They went to meetings, volunteered their time, donated product and money and supported the community in ways they were asked. And it worked. Their businesses grew, Carbondale events grew as well.
Then a funny thing happened. Some people decided that all this visibility for these few businesses was not good, or they didn’t like the sponsorship banners at events or the noise or the choice of music or … you get the picture. You think you are doing something good and Its the classic ”I feel I am trying to help so why are all these folks angry at me”? feeling.
I have experienced this with Summer of Music concerts, James Surls has been on that end most recently and now my buddy Bryan. What concerns me in this most recent situation is the perception that a Crystal River Spas or Sopris Liquor and Wine banner is a negative thing. These are our local businesses who are investing in our community, as well as in their futures. These are businesses that we want to be successful. Even better, these are businesses that are willing to invest in community events. Yes, invest.
All these events take money to pull off, especially if the price tag is “free to the public.” The Town of Carbondale is a generous and wonderful partner in many of these events, but i can’t cover all the costs. This leads to the necessity for sponsorship and donations in covering the rest. Thank goodness we have businesses like the Village Smithy, Mi Casita, Pour House, Crystal River Spas, Sopris Liquor and Wine, Bonfire and The Agency, which put their money where their mouth is, not to mention hours of unpaid work to grow great events that attract folks and business to Carbondale.
Now we want to eat them alive for showing off their logo or banner during these events as if it is an affront. We promote “Buy Local” and believe in local business, so where is the disconnect? More importantly, where is our gratitude? Carbondale is a lovely melting pot of creativity, business, arts, nonprofits and humanity. Our strength is in our collaborations and respect for each other. Lets keep it that way.
Amy Kimberly, executive director
Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities
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