Before jumping for joy and calling across the hall for director Kathy Foley to come into my office to read the message with me, I thought I better open it and see if the message was what I hoped it would be – or if it was an ad solicitation come-on.
The message from freelance writer Ann Landi said what I prayed with all my heart that it would say:
“Hi, Marcia: The Wall Street Journal would like me to cover the “Birds in Art” competition and exhibition at the Woodson. I’m wondering if the best time to visit would be your Artrageous Weekend, or if it will be quieter and easier to tour the museum and show at a slightly later date. Please drop me a line or give a call when you can.”
I calmly (I think!) asked Kathy to come to my office. When she saw the subject line, she whooped. When she read the message, we both whooped and then did a little “happy dance” – a must in an adrenaline-fueled situation like this!
I contacted Ann (above left with artists Wes Hyde and Jan Stommes) pronto and we both got working on the details for her to have a successful trip to Wausau for the Birds in Art opening weekend. She ended up spending two full days with the artists, attending all their events, and getting a firsthand look at the exhibition. I guess that made Ann an “embedded” reporter.
Ann’s article, “Birds of a Feather, Together,” appeared on Thursday, October 1, which set off another round of whoops in staff offices. The aftermath has been phenomenal. We still can’t believe how many people – folks from the Wausau area and from across the US and around the world – saw the article and e-mailed us their congratulations.
I can’t adequately describe what a tremendously satisfying feeling it is to have the Woodson Art Museum, Birds in Art, the artists who make it possible, and Wausau in the spotlight of such a prestigious international publication.
To make sure I never forget the joy of it all, I’m never deleting Ann’s message from my inbox. It’s simply too exhilarating to sneak a peek at it every so often!