It was a great relief to find the 'previously thought lost' NEA Marquee in a remote cupboard at NEA the day before 'The Source' event at the Benalla Botanical Gardens on March 23rd! It's last recorded use.--Violet Town Market in late 2016 when Mervyn, Irina and Meralyn set up at the Violet Town market.
The Source event was imminent, we'd lost our Events Manager somewhere along the way - we had to act! Valerie Clements, the Gallery Shop team leader, developed a workable concept for our presence at the market after discussion with Bev and others. Our (still rather large) stock of T-Shirts would be the focus, on sale at reduced prices, along with lots of information about NEA to share with visitors and a selection of stock that would cope with market conditions. Rodney Horsfall was enthused about taking a second of three NEA sites for a 'Cigar Box Guitars' display and demonstration - what a relief!. Then Rodney realised the market was on a Sunday - he was already committed on the Saturday concerned! Always helpful, he arranged a selection of his guitars to display among our 'merch'. Bev located details about set up times and other matters. The unsinkable Deb Dodd kicked into gear, packing her car with trestles the night before, while Valerie and Bev packed their cars with 'merch' from NEA early on Saturday morning,
We all 'bumped in' to set up the NEA marquee just as it started to drizzle, to be followed by intermittent light rain. The marquee was taken out of the pack, the framework erected, but - there was no roof! Deb returned to NEA to open the shop--sending a text not long after to let us know the roof had been found! Roof finally in place, T-shirts, NEA pamphlets, Gallery Gig fliers, cards and merchandise were arranged on the tables. Sadly Rodney's cigar box guitars had to be returned to the car - we were concerned about the impact of the moist conditions on their well being.
A 'gentle' day of chatting to people; sharing information about NEA and spruiking 'NEA T-Shirts' followed. Valerie, Bill and Bev took the occasional sojourn to see other stalls and buy a 'good coffee' from the Red Road Cafe where Lauren and Sam had a busy day. NEA friends Schloss Ol' Toys and Collectables and 'woodies' David Hall and Chris Seeley were located nearby.
NEA had supported 'The Source' event from its beginnings, always planning to participate in the Makers Market and to hold 'The Source' exhibition in NEA's Exhibition Gallery to celebrate and surround it, Darrel de Fazio's energy and enthusiasm for the event was and remains clearly obvious - we wish him well as he develops 'The Source' concept into the future.
Getting back to 'marquees' and markets - NEA definitely has the wherewithal of a small marquee and trestle tables needed to participate in markets. It was most enjoyable connecting with community members interested in stepping into the NEA zone, if only for a few minutes. Markets and 'marquees' are also a great way of re connecting with members of the NEA family, past and present! It was a quite wonderful to have children come up to us and say 'we come to NEA for Table Top games' or 'my mother's friends Kylie and Tim belong to NEA'!
(And... just in case you're interested and before I forget ... we sold six T-shirts and one card!)
"An occasional BLog.'
NEA's Marquee at the Violet Town market in late 2016 -
Meralyn is standing in the shadow towards the back of the tent.
Regular updates on news of interest to NEA artisans, friends and community members and on key events in the NEA calendar. This blog complements NEA on Facebook.
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