Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rug Show 2012 - Behind The Scenes I

by John Aldrich

Planning for the rug show is an enormous task and begins as soon as the previous show is over. Throughout the year the rug show chair people meet frequently and work tirelessly to see that the next show will be a success. There are also a number of meetings for all potential volunteers so they can learn what's planned for the upcoming event and see where they might fit in.

One of the earliest events for all volunteers is Craft Day held in June. This is when the ornaments are created for the Elders' Winter Assistance Program. The sale of these ornaments at the show provides needed food and firewood to help see the Elders through the winter.

Just prior to the show we hold a rug training event at which John Burrow presents information that will be useful to volunteers working the rug sales areas. John provides an overview of Navajo weaving as well as a glimpse of some of the rugs that will be at the show.

Although the show didn't officially open to the public until November 2nd, we went to work on October 31st to hang the rugs and otherwise prepare for the show. When we arrived for setup the Snowpark Lodge at Deer Valley was already bedecked with a banner for the show.

Some 50 to 60 volunteers worked at various jobs preparing the lodge for the show. This is one of the groups helping to hang rugs.

While another group worked to set up the large area devoted to crafts.

We were honored to have three international visitors this year, two from France and one from South Africa, and they helped Gina Zimmerer decorate the tree with the Christmas ornaments.

This is what the first room looked like by the end of the day.

The rugs woven in connection with this year's theme, Weaving The Night Sky, appear on the far wall while the table in the foreground is devoted to hand woven rugs.

The principal activity that takes place on Thursday and Friday before the show opens is a series of programs for school children. However, there are a number of other events that take place as well. Thursday afternoon is typically the time for some lighthearted entertainment. Every year a game with a different theme takes place and provides smiles as well as prizes for the Elders.

This year Elders were chosen by an escort and became "movie stars" for the afternoon. Here is Helen Rose Lewis who is escorted by Jay Tavare. She will get to keep the outfit as well as the bag of prizes.

And here, Mary Lou Gleason walks the runway in her new attire.

Janet Dalton is the organizer of this event and poses here with some of her celebrities.

Thursday evening, the Elders and their families along with many ANE volunteers attend a dinner at the Grub Steak Restaurant. The venue and the meal are generously donated by Hans Fuegi, the owner.

The occasion serves as an opportunity to honor many of the people who have supported ANE throughout the year and helped to make the rug show a success. The committee of chair people for the rug show, Carla Sydenham, Gina Zimmerer, Robin Field-Williams, Kate Stephens, and Wendy Sanborn, each received a rug woven especially for them by Gloria Hardy.

The Ward family was among the other volunteers who were honored. Dave is ANE's treasurer and the family plays a huge, but unseen, roll in the show. They work in the "back room" processing sales from the show and seeing that each of the Elders gets compensated for what they have sold. They are typically up until the wee hours so that Elders will have their checks the next morning.

Also honored were our international guests. They pose here with Jay Tavare who spearheads the Spirit Volunteer program of which they are a part. Dominique Samy and Sandrine Lahaye traveled from France (Dominique for the second year in a row), while Tracey Parker came all the way from South Africa.

At the end of the evening, sisters Vina and Elvira Horseherder relax as they sport the new hats that they acquired in the afternoon.

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