PARADE PAST AND PRESENT
by Kirby Lindsay
On a dark evening in December, with Winter Solstice looming, members of the Fremont Arts Council (FAC) still dwelt on various aspects of their annual Summer Solstice Parade – held in June. With plenty on the agenda for the last Committee Of the Whole (COW) meeting, parade preparation colored a few discussions, and served as centerpiece to a bit of show-n-tell.
Awarded and Rewarded
As, hopefully, the final chapter to a tumultuous time in local history, the members of the FAC 2009 Interim Board of Directors – Leslie Zenz, Jessica Randall, Barb Luecke, Maque daVis, Eli Bowen, David Ruggiero, and Jerry Smith plus pro-tem members Michael Falcone and Rachel Sprague – received the annual Fremont Chamber of Commerce 2009 Hammering Man award.
Laura Baumwell, a former FAC board member and Rodman Miller, a 2010 FAC board member and a Fremont Chamber Board member, accepted the award on behalf of the Interim Board at the Chamber award presentation on December 2. Miller presented the award at the COW, according to Falcone, in acknowledgment of their ‘hammering through the 2009 Parade season.’
When these dedicated and determined volunteers agreed, early in January, to step in to save the FAC, they first faced whether a 2009 Solstice Parade were possible. Fortunately for all, they decided cancelling the legendary parade was not an option.
Don’t Let ‘Em Fool You
For many years, FAC members have retreated early in the year for a few days to start preliminary planning on the parade, and other organizational matters. At the COW, they discussed the dates for the retreat, and the possibility of making it a Board of Directors only event.
Certainly, the newly empanelled Board does need time in which to switch from a crisis model to a planning model of management, but the closed retreat idea met resistance. Instead someone suggested a compromise, to make one day (or evening) of the weekend Directors only.
Don’t let the serious matters up for discussion fool you. This retreat will feature many productive discussions and generate solid plans. However, it will also include so much fun, fellowship and folderol that all hard work accomplished often feels accidental. Oh, and the food…!
Attendees to this COW also saw a special screening of the trailer for a documentary film made by Board member Michael Falcone (see a portion at www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQZskOH6LWI). He filmed FAC functions, workshops and meetings from May 2008 to the Solstice Parade of 2009. Falcone hopes to capture what the FAC is all about. During parade preparation, he filmed practices of some ensemble groups, interviews with their members, and members of the FAC, as well as Fremont historian Roger Wheeler. He incorporated archived photos from the FAC, material from MOHAI and the University of Washington photo collection. He also filmed a Luminata event, and interviewed some participants.
The trailer, also screened at the Blue November Film Festival in the Greenwood neighborhood, contains an incredible wealth of visual FAC history. The parade, a long-standing, incredibly popular event, entertains thousands and thousands of people each year, and Falcone has showcased the hard work, passion and fun that nearly a thousand volunteers put into making it happen – just in the trailer.
To learn more about the 2010 parade, the retreat, and the documentary, consider attending the next FAC COW meeting, on January 12 at the Powerhouse (3940 Fremont Avenue North). Always open to the public, remember this is Fremont, so the meeting starts at 7:10 sharp-ish.
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.