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Welcome to the first posting on The Gettysburg Festival’s blog page! We invite you to mark this page and check back often, as members of the Festival team take turns offering insights into Festival happenings from their unique perspectives. It is a “behind-the-scenes” work in progress, and you never know who will stop by to write the next post!

By: Karen Hendricks, Festival PR/Marketing Director

The *new* Gettysburg Festival offices, 113 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg.

The *new* Gettysburg Festival offices, 113 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg.

We begin this blog at a time of new beginnings for the Festival. After a year and a half, Festival offices have moved out of the Gettysburg Railroad Station and into a new location that is more spacious and more accessible to the public. And we didn’t have to look far, to find this great new space—it is literally “on the other side of the tracks” from the Railroad Station. Our official address is 113 Carlisle Street, so we still have great proximity to top Festival venues–the Festival Main Stage at Gettysburg College, the Majestic Theater and Lincoln Square. We are also located right across the street from the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Carlisle Street location—a wonderful resource for visitors to Gettysburg.

Unpacking is SO much fun!

Unpacking is SO much fun!

We leave some happy memories on the second floor offices of the Gettysburg Railroad Station. What an honor it was, to work in such an historic place—the station whose most famous traveler was President Abraham Lincoln, arriving in Gettysburg in November, 1863 to deliver the now-famous Gettysburg Address. The second floor of the station housed railroad offices and storage space at that time. Gettysburg Festival staff moved in shortly after renovations were completed, in the summer of 2007. The large, open space probably provided the best scenario for us as a staff, as we embarked upon the vision of a cultural festival in Gettysburg. The lack of interior walls or cubby spaces allowed us to share ideas, compare notes, easily pass paperwork between our desks, and transfer calls to each other without needing an intercom system. We truly learned how to function as a well-oiled team.

But our second-floor penthouse was stretched to the limits during the first Festival in June of 2008, and our volunteers can attest to this fact! Imagine boxes upon boxes containing Festival merchandise, T-shirts, posters, programs, and welcome packets, scattered throughout a functioning workspace also containing four desks, a conference area, copier workstation, oh and the path to the coffee pot/coffee cabinet had to be kept clear at all times. On any given day during the Festival, six Festival staff members could be found working at “ground zero,” with the aid of two diligent Festival interns Chloe and Leslie, and a fleet of fabulous volunteers—say five to ten at all times, with another fleet downstairs, manning a Festival Headquarters information booth. And the visitors never stopped flowing through our doors. Actually, rather than doors, we had a winding staircase that measured a pre-Civil War era 24 inches in width, at its narrowest spot. Dozens of visitors admired our “charming” offices—from our Festival Artistic Directors to the dozens of technical staff, performers and artists who stopped by, some of them on their very first visit to Gettysburg. One of our local newspapers captured this organized chaos perfectly, in an article archived here:

http://www.eveningsun.com/entertainment/ci_9646682

Following the Festival, one of our first missions was to find a space able to grow with the Festival. The Festival’s new “house” fits the bill. There is plenty of office space, a conference room, plus it offers greater visibility and a welcoming presence in downtown Gettysburg.

We’re cooking up plans for a fun open house celebration, to officially christen our new location–date TBA soon! Also keep an eye out for new Gettysburg Festival signage, which will be hoisted into place any day now. And keep an eye on our large display window fronting Carlisle Street—a window into the Festival’s happenings.

Festival Office Window Display

Festival Office Window Display

So, what are we up to, now that we have this great new office space to call home? If only these walls could talk! Our new conference room would have some juicy info, on our proposed, upcoming 2009 Festival lineup. The Festival’s artistic directors have been hard at work since July, planning their dream lineups. Last week, we hosted a comprehensive Festival programming meeting, where all 2009 programming ideas were presented, discussed, and dove-tailed into a “master matrix” of all ten days’ worth of programming. What a fabulous afternoon! All of the Festival artistic directors came, along with the Festival Programming Committee formed by our Festival Trustees, plus Festival staff–about 15 of us in all. For now, I can only say that great things are in store for the 2009 Festival! For example, we explored fun ways to tie the great jazz lineup presented by Buzz Jones, into the Festival’s expanding culinary programming.

 To “whet your appetite,” the 2009 Festival will offer a mouth-water palette of culinary events from which to choose, many of them paired with world-class cultural art events. Stay tuned! Great things are in store and will be announced soon.
 

2009 Culinary Delights

2009 Culinary Delights

With that in mind, I also want to mention that our artistic directors and Festival staff are very cognizant of the current state of the economy. The 2009 Festival will follow a similar model to the 2008 Festival, in that more than half of our events will be free and open to the public. We are working very hard, crunching the numbers, to offer our ticketed events at the lowest rates possible. I don’t think there’s a better “cultural bargain” out there! But I’d love to hear your thoughts on that subject. I invite you to “blog” along with me and write about your 2008 Festival experience(s). Which events did you attend in 2008? What was a standout memory for you personally? Did you attend our “Prelude & Portraits” weekend in October of 2007? What are your suggestions for future Festival programming? We welcome your thoughts, comments, suggestions and memories.

Exciting plans are being finalized for The 2nd Annual Gettysburg Festival and we’ll be thrilled to begin sharing them soon. In the meantime, “save the dates:” June 18-28, 2009 and we’ll look forward to Celebrating America’s Cultural Arts together!

Office Manager Bev Grazulewicz, coordinates a project with Festival volunteers Phyllis Netherland, Frances Rowell and Phyllis Hale, in our new, spacious conference room.

Office Manager Bev Grazulewicz, coordinates a project with Festival volunteers Phyllis Netherland, Frances Rowell and Phyllis Hale, in our new, spacious conference room.

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