|7/16/2013 1:03:00 PM|
Hats off to Ann Richardson. After 11 years as the executive director of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, Ann is passing the torch to Jeanette Pilak.
Under Ann Richardson's leadership, the quilt show has become an internationally recognized cultural event, while never outgrowing its small-town charm. That is no mean feat. Growing an event like the quilt show organically while maintaining its integrity is a profound challenge, made even more complex by the need to work around traffic impacts on a major state highway.
There are many constituencies to keep happy - quilters, patrons, sponsors, vendors, and, not least, the downtown merchants who have come to rely upon the massive economic boost the show brings to town.
All this Ann Richardson has done with energy, creativity and an unmistakable passion for her art and her community.
Ann will be the first to tell you that she doesn't do this alone - a strong board of directors and an army of volunteers and cooperative partners in the community are key to the show's success. True enough. But many of the folks who turn out year in and year out to make this magnificent event happen will tell you that a big part of the reason they are involved is the opportunity to work with Ann Richardson.
Perhaps the most appropriate send-off as Ann moves on to new adventures is the words of a colorfully attired quilter who stopped to talk to Ann as the director visited the quilt activity area on her signature cruiser bike:
"Atta Girl! Way to go!"
Andrew Gorayeb wrote:
I have to write to you about this: I am blessed. Blessed to live in this town, blessed to have an amazing wife and wonderful children, blessed to know some of the most talented and dedicated people I have ever met in my entire life - from the city, to the school district, to the fire district, to SPRD, to the hard-working local business owners and all of the amazing volunteers in this town.
It's easy to be cynical about Quilt Show, all the people, the inconvenience of the street closures. I've heard the comments, "...it doesn't really help my business...," "...I'm staying out of town during that thing...," but I have to tell you, it is an amazing event. I got up before the sun on Saturday morning, met up with the best damn public works team in the state and we, along with some great people from ODOT, and volunteers, placed about 400 cones and taped them all to close the highway and redirect traffic. And guess what? It went off without a hitch; no problems, traffic kept moving, everything was just fine.
I walked every block of Sisters during the show, and what did I see? Realtors were busy with people "planning their dream to move to Sisters," businesses were busy, kids were selling water and candy for fundraisers ... all in all, the town was swarming with people and for the most part everyone was doing brisk business.
One other thing, I was counting bodies and there were at least 10,000 people here...
I applaud the entire Quilt Show team, they have this thing down to a well-oiled machine and I can tell you from personal experience, running the lacrosse tournament with Bill Rexford and a bunch of volunteers, that a well-oiled machine is not an easy thing to make
I guess I just wanted to say, THANK YOU to EVERYONE that made the Quilt Show happen, you probably don't get enough public accolades, good for you, you do a lot for Sisters.
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