It’s the weekend here at Siena Primo; the sun is shining and all is quiet on campus—except for THA of course. With so much to accomplish and only ten days to do it, we can’t slow down a bit. More than half of our scholars took the ACT test on Saturday morning, which meant it was all hands on deck for the THA staff, driving our test-takers to sites all over the county. The lucky few who did not take the ACT were able to sleep in a little later with no official business on the schedule until the afternoon.
From there, most of the weekend revolved around Lynn Ashton’s Derby Museum project. With our schedule for Monday already set, the scholars need to be finished with everything Sunday night in order to rehearse their presentation tomorrow morning. I’m pleased to report that with the exception of some quick refinements left for the morning, we’re in great shape.
As Marytha alluded to in her Day Three post, getting 20 people to agree on a course of action is no small feat; getting them to all work together on said course of action is more difficult still. Not to mention, we’ve only known each other for a week. As such, this project (along with the LCVB project given each January) is something of THA legend, whispered about in hushed tones by our alumni in such a way that says, “You won’t understand until you’ve done it, and once you’ve done it, then you’re in the club,” as I imagine climbers who’ve made it to the top of Mount Everest look at each other. When a couple of our 2007 scholars popped in on one of our project discussions, they offered such advice as, “The project makes everyone cry eventually, so it’s OK if you do,” and “Don’t worry-you’ll like each other again when the project is over.”
All that said, the class of 2013 grabbed this thing by the horns and worked seamlessly together all weekend long. They had their disagreements in the beginning—an important part of the process and how their best, most creative ideas came about—but once they hit a point in which disagreements led to inaction, they changed course and made it work, with very, very little help from us.
That’s not to say they didn’t have an assist here and there. Early Saturday afternoon, Kate Kane from the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau dropped by campus to give a talk on public speaking in preparation for Monday’s presentation. Kate works just a few offices down from the mighty THA office, housed in the LCVB , and she’s been a great advocate and friend of the program over the last couple of years. We think she’s great; fun to watch our scholars discover the same and we’re already talking of ways to bring her back in the fall.
If it sounds like it was all project, all the time, don’t let me fool you here: while we spent most of our time working on our exhibit this weekend, we did manage to work in a trip to Actors Theatre Saturday night to see Theatre 502’s production of Futura, along with a preshow talk with two of the company’s Artistic Directors: Mike Brooks and Amy Attaway. The scholars had great, insightful questions per usual, and learned a lot about startup arts groups and how they inform the landscape of Louisville’s Art scene and how that impacts local attractions. In my other life as one of the Founding Producing Artistic Directors of Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble, I’ve known Mike and Amy for years, and as with Kate, it’s always special when these worlds can collide and I can see all the people I like so well like each other too. And that’s another lesson for them (and something we can always stand to be reminded): you surround yourself with enough good people and good things are bound to happen—another way in which we’re very fortunate here at THA.
Tomorrow is presentation rehearsal followed by lunch with friends of THA at the incomparable Brown Hotel. After that, we do the real presentation for Lynn Ashton, who will be dropping by campus at 3:30. We’ll be ready.