The Kindness of Strangers
In addition to the crew of committee members and supportive friends, the Center has been the recipient of some anonymous kindness in preparation for the festival.
One of the last checklist items before the festival opens on Thursday was a series of posters and banners to decorate the Italian Academy itself. Printing oversize posters can be expensive. A large poster can be about $200. So I was pretty nervous when I went to my local shop and gave them a flash drive with about 15 posters--some of them to be mounted to foam core.
Natalie, the woman who helped me behind the counter gave me an estimate of $1,500 but said, "I think I can get you a better price if I send it out for a bid." She said she'd have them call me in a hour. 60 minutes later, I had a phone call asking about our organization, what the event was for, how often I printed posters, and so forth. That person said, "I'll have Natalie call you."
"And then Natalie did call with the news that the company had decided to knock off 2/3 of the estimate! For nonprofit arts organizations, saving $1,000 is a big deal. I thanked her and thanked her again, and then I went over to the store with a box of Dunkin' Donuts...because sometimes "thanks" is not enough.