Organize - The Word
with Heather René Dunaway

Written by: Heather Dunaway
May 2024

Wow, what a weekend to forget sunscreen and to drink enough water.


I had a lot of fun though. Thank you to everyone who came out for the 5th Street Mural Project Festival! I got a lot of joy out of watching everyone come together to celebrate such a big art project. I’m so glad to have been part of it in some capacity. Maybe I’ll submit a proposal to the next one.


“Well, Heather, what’s the word?”


Right, right, the word. ORGANIZE.


I did a lot of it with the 5th Street Mural Project. Once the Arts Council got all the applications and the Public Art Advisory Panel did their thing, we were hitting the ground running over here. Spring, post-masters, means lots of arts happenings in Augusta. So, our whole office was a little razz-ma-tazz this April.


Keeping on top of it all means staying organized. If you don’t set a plan, with a schedule of personal deadlines, you’re gonna fall on yah face. Trust me, been there.


I talk about staying organized in a lot of words. Planning a show? Organize things. Filing taxes? Organize those receipts. But what does that mean for big, cross department events?

woman giving a speech to a crowd
Photo of Gloria Hamilton at the Ribbon Cutting ceremony of the 5th Street Mural Project by Heather Dunaway

Number 1: Form a plan and make a binder. What all needs to get done? Who do you need to talk to? Getting acquainted with the event and all its lil’ parts is going to make the next part easier. Having a binder where everything is at your fingertips is essential. I’m a binder girlie. You might be a digital folder girlie. Do you, boo.


Number 2: Get yourself a planner or big calendar and map out your week-to-week. I tend to plan things out AT LEAST 6 weeks in advance. Obviously, bigger events need a bigger chunk of your time. For perspective, we start planning Arts in the Heart the day after Arts in the Heart ends. Heck, even 6 months before that.


Number 3: Recruit help. If you don’t have helpers, you don’t have a chance in Georgia-103-degree-July-hell. Whether its paid staff, volunteers, friends or family. You aren’t an island. You’re gonna need help. Otherwise, you will be pulled in too many directions.


Number 4: Send out reminders and updates to those other departments regularly and frequently. If one person asks a question, chances are the group is wondering the same thing but hasn’t said anything (yet). So, include that answer in a FAQ sheet or update email. 


Number 5: Send out your press release at 6 weeks and then again at 2 weeks. Ask to hop on talk shows, news stories, pod casts, anywhere you can talk up your big event. Create that Facebook event and share it in all the groups. Personally invite friends. Create a buzz.


I hope this helps you get some perspetive on creating some big, fun events for me to go to. My evil master plan. I want to have fun at your party. 


That’s the wordy word,