I did a lot of website maintenance and creation for The Millay Colony. My first assignment was to get them set up with an Indiegogo campaign, which is a website that anyone can use to raise money for a worthy cause. The Millay Colony wanted to raise $20,000 to send four people on a one-month residency on our campus. We successfully raised the money by offering gifts as simple as our colony bookmark and as extravagant as a poker lesson with Annie Duke. I also helped sell tickets to our annual Ruby Party, which also helped us raise some of the money.
I attended the Ruby Party, and helped with a lot of the set-up. We had artists from past residencies come to volunteer for our “Encounter Booths” where you could do anything from having your palm read to getting a poem written just for you. I worked directly with the artists to make sure they had everything they needed for their encounters. I also worked the door where I checked in people who had already purchased tickets and took donations from those who wanted to help our colony. Before the night was over we had raised the $20,000 goal plus thousands more in donations.
During my time with the Colony I spent a lot of time spreading the word about the application process for our residencies. I sent a lot of emails to local art blogs and galleries to raise awareness about our residency programs and to also try to get people interested in applying to our colony. I sent emails to news and radio stations and even got us a mentioned on WEQX. I made flyers like the one above, and posted them around the Albany area to further spread the word. I also made sure we were on all local events calendars.
There was also basic office work. I would maintain our database of alumni and enter all donation checks. I sent out all the gifts from our Indiegogo campaign and made sure that Caroline and Calliope had everything they needed in the office. I would also do small errands for the residents, and help them with their computer problems.
One night I was there late and got to meet all of the new residents that were going to be with us for the next month. I took the tour of the campus with them, and got to eat dinner with all of the staff and artists. It was really awesome to be able to be surrounded by people who felt so strongly that fallowing your dreams is OK. Someone said in our Indiegogo video that The Millay Colony for the Arts makes her feel like what is she doing is OK, that she is doing what she is supposed to. That night I totally understood everything that woman had said about the Colony.
Being an English Major is a real blessing because I’ll be able to do just about anything I want when I graduate. I have an education that is applicable to so many fields that my possibilities are endless. The Millay Colony for the Arts really showed me that by maintaining a website, updating a data base or just by spreading flyers, I’m using the skills. You can still do all the things you like to do in a professional setting, so yes, The Millay Colony really did make me use my major. After college I really want to work to pursue working at a nonprofit organization. I also like that all the money we raise goes right back into the organization. I always thought that I would have to be either a teacher or a journalist, but there is so much more that we can do with my major.