Today, in my role as interim executive director of Cantus, I’ll be popping the bubbly, making New Year’s resolutions, and toasting the work of my talented colleagues. All business people work with two calendars, the January through December timeframe, and their organization’s fiscal year calendar which tends to follow the cycle of their industry. Nonprofit employees, particularly the development team, look at the fiscal year end with dread – “will we raise enough money?”, excitement – “it’s over, we did it!” and perhaps of bit of Sisyphus’ agony, “do we really have to start pushing that rock back up the hill tomorrow?”
The writers, musicians, dancers, painters, and performers at arts organizations receive most of the public adulation. That’s why at the Loft I started a tradition of a Fiscal New Year’s Party, to celebrate the administrative staff.
For 30 years I’ve witnessed young nonprofit administrators tackle their jobs with passion, creativity, and an extraordinary amount of hard work. These people, often artists themselves, have chosen less lucrative careers in order to make our world safe for art-making, viewing, engaging, and enjoying.
So, today, as Cantus celebrates the start of a new fiscal year, allow me to make the the first toast.
“To Carly, Jeff, and Joey, (and all my dear administrative staff members who came before you), you change lives one stuffed envelop, solicitation letter, and reconciled ledger at a time. Let’s raise our glass, recognize you, and sing…
‘And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o' thine!
And we'll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.'”
Jocelyn Hale is serving as interim executive director of Cantus until December, 2016.