This week was crazy after the Building 6 opening has been filled with mainly ticketing at the box office. This has been really good for me as the repetition has helped me cement my knowledge with Tessitura and be able to process multiple kinds of vouchers, guest passes, and memberships. Aside from ticketing, the summer interns have arrived and on Friday we started official orientation. A lot of it has been repeated information for me, however, it was a nice refresher course and I definitely got pieces of information I missed the first time around.
One notable situation that came out of this week is that a couple of Solid Ground registration packets were returned for having an incorrect address. To remedy this, I contacted the constituent to confirm their address. If the gave me a new address, I resent their packet to the new address. In one case, the address was 100% correct yet for some reason it kept being returned to MoCA. In this case, I emailed them and let them know their packet would be waiting at will call.
Other than the in-depth orientation, this week has been very quiet Solid Sound wise as I acclimate to being a full-time intern.
This week was one of the craziest and busiest weeks I have seen at MoCA yet. With Building 6 opening on May 28th and the CAKE performance that same night, everyone was in a frenzy to make sure the weekend went off without a hitch, Personally, I spent the first part of the week learning the ticketing program and actually putting it into practice. I found time after customer service training and was even given an exclusively selling shift in order to get familiar with the program and learn how to talk to patrons and sell them their tickets. This definitely helped for Sunday when I would be in the box office selling CAKE and museum tickets on that incredibly busy day. There were obviously things I did not know how to do but everyone I asked for help from was always extremely calm and helpful and patient with me despite how crazy everything was.
I also started my tour guide/info desk training this week. I got a complete route tour of the museum in order to see how the brochures should be delivered to each exhibit. I was also given a handout with a basic list of responsibilities and tasks required for an info desk shift. Because of another task I was given this week, I was already relatively familiar with the basement where the brochures were kept.
Earlier in the week, I was sent to count the brochures for each artist and file them on the shelves neatly. I also had to consolidate the brochures behind the info desk and archive some to make room for new brochures at the desk as well as the new system being implemented for patrons to find information on the artists.
MoCA now has an app that includes a map, information, art history, and history of MoCA specifically. I was lucky enough to be able to test drive the app and report back any glitches or possible improvements. Because of that experience, when explaining to patrons how to use the app, I have first hand knowledge and will be able to speak more intelligently on it.
This was my first full-time week at MASS MoCA. This week was pretty much set on compiling the mailing list, assembling their registration packets, and mailing them out. The trickiest part of this was creating the labels for the envelopes. There is a template that Meghan Gleason can send you that is supposed to correlate with the label paper we order, however, the printer is a little skewed and the labels do not print correctly. Usually the top half of the labels will print correctly and the bottom half will slant. My best advice is to only print half a sheet worth of labels and then flip the page to print another half. This worked the best and gave me properly formatted labels after trying hundreds of other ways.
After the registration packets were mailed out, I sent an email to everyone on the mailing list informing them that they would receive their packets shortly and their other materials would be available for pick up at the campground registration tent.
This week it is also important to start compiling the list of supplies needed at the campground so that Keifer can order them.
The rest of the week was spent taking tours of the new building 6 before it opens. This was really helpful as it gave me a brief overview that will help me when it is all reiterated during my tour guide training. I’m very excited to start learning about the museum’s art more completely and be able to translate this information to MoCA’s guests.
This week was also spent preparing for the CAKE concert and going over our schedule’s/responsibilities day of.
This week is not only finals week, but also a busy week at MoCA as well. My first two shifts this week consisted of training in the tessitura ticketing system. There’s so much to cover as well as things to remember so although at first it seemed overwhelming, I’m confident with more hands-on training and practice I will be able to catch on quickly.
After the ticket training, Jacob and I spent Wednesday painting the signs for our campgrounds. We picked out a deep green and it took us about an hour to coat them all once. Later this week, we will be distressing them with sandpaper and a black paint wash to age them. In about two weeks, the vinyl lettering will be ready and we can transfer it onto the signs.
To finish the week, I started to look into the accounts of the guests who purchased plots at Solid Ground to see if they preferred to be mailed their registration packets or if they wanted to pick them up at will call. After using tessitura to search that information, I had to then take all the guests that wanted mailed registration packets and create mailing labels for them. I recommend taking the list of guests and having a master sheet then creating another sheet with just mailers and another with just will call for convenience. Then off the mailer sheet you can start to write up the labels. There is a template for the labels that Meghan Gleason has access to. After the labels are made, print one sheet just to make sure the formatting is correct.
Editing, editing, editing. This is the week when a lot of the materials made start to come back with edits which means I have to carefully comb through my documents and make sure they edited accordingly. This can be tedious but it is important that all the materials have their information agree and that it is written in the most concise and effective way possible. After I get a draft with edits back, I mark which draft it is and then I place it in my binder for safe keeping so I can see my progress evolve from the first draft to the final copy. So far, I have made edits to the information sheet for the registration packets as well as the first email that will be sent to the campers letting them know how they will receive their registration packets. This gets me one step closer to being able to assemble the registration packets and mail them out!
There’s a gap in my weeks from being sick so I did not work on Solid Ground during week 3. However, at the beginning of week 4 I was able to pick up where I left off. I printed off my info sheet (completed as much as I could) and gave it to Keifer for the first round of edits. I also wrote out a draft for the preliminary emails to send out to the Solid Sound attendees. I drafted two separate emails: one for those having their registration packets mailed to them, and one for those picking it up at will-call. I also printed those off to be edited and they will be sent out when the registration packets get sent out. Those who are having their registration packets picked up at will-call will also be emailed the maps, shuttle, info, etc. so they can have a heads up before arriving and know what questions to ask before hand.
The next thing I did was start to finalize the design requests. I needed to figure out what kind of signs I needed and what materials I would need to re-do them for this festival such as what kind of paint and style I want them to be (the wooden signs in building 12). I also needed to write out what I needed the vinyl for the signs to say as well as write out the materials I will need for the day of registration (supplies for check in/out). The next thing I did was create a sheet of info cards that remind attendees to bring a photo ID as well as reminding them of what is prohibited from the campground. The flip side of that sheet contains contact information for me, the campground facilitator, NAPD, and MoCA. These will be sent out at registration as well as at will-call.
During this shift, I was also able to take a tour of the building and get more acquainted with the exhibits that will be on display when Solid Sound guests arrive. This way, I will have a working knowledge to answer their questions with.
Everything for the festival is starting to come together more and more each week. Since I’m so close to having all of the registration materials at least drafted out, I’m getting excited for the weekend of Solid Sound!
Starting on week 2, the first thing we did was begin our first draft of the information sheet that is to be included in the registration packet. Luckily, after years of interns making these sheets, there is a rather complete template available that requires minor tweaking to accommodate any time/date/rule changes for the current year. Be sure to look at the drafts from previous years and see what kind of edits were made on their drafts so you can avoid making the same mistakes and cut your edit time in half.
Next, I made a list of design requests and needed materials. This includes extra documents such as a shuttle map, map of North Adams (including places to eat and shop), parking permit designs and vinyl for the wooden signs that we will be renovating and reusing for this year’s campground.
At this point, I also started keeping a log of everything I did each week so that I can write it up for my blog (final project) or put into the binder so I would have a step-by-step account of what was done, when, and how to avoid mishaps in the future.
As I work through my to-do list, I realize just how many moving parts are implemented into everything. Although it seems like a lot to do when I look at the list in its entirety, breaking it up and having Keifer touch base at the beginning of my shift to give me a basic idea of what I should be working on/what should be complete helps keep me focused and motivated. I’m sure soon enough I will get into a rhythm and know exactly what needs to be done and be able to just dive in.