Unstoppable

On Thursday night I was walking home through the pouring rain, listening to Conchita’s album for the umpteenth time this week. The rain was slapping down through the leaves and seeping into my clothes, soaking me completely for the second time that day. Suddenly I broke down. I cried gasping, heaving tears and hoped the rain would cover the sound so the people walking ahead of me didn’t notice. I got home and wrapped myself in Alex, by which time the tears had reduced to hiccupy sobs. “We did it,” I said into his shoulder. “Despite everything, we did it.” 
On Thursday at 3:00pm we launched this year’s NYWF program. And the traffic crashed our website. The This is Not Art website went down too. #nywf15 trended nationally. I’m still not quite able to fully take that in. It’s amazing and overwhelming and I’m so grateful for the audience that NYWF has. For so long, the program has existed only in spreadsheets and our heads and suddenly it’s a living breathing thing that other people are excited about. That was a great feeling last year, but this time around it felt even more important. 
This year has been a really hard year for NYWF. It’s been a hard year for us as individuals, as a team and as a festival. This has never been an easy job but sometimes this year it was very, very hard. Despite that, the program is incredibly ambitious. There are well over 100 artists, many of whom are coming to the festival for the first time. There are events on a scalethe festival hasn’t really done before. Almost every single program deadline has made me skip a breath with panic but every single one we have met. Even when we easily could have stopped, postponed, let things slip, even then we kept going.  
Walking home, I cried so hard out of disbelief and relief. But most of all, I cried out of pride. I can’t quite believe that we have reached this point. I want to say I don’t know how we did it, but we did it by working really fucking hard. We did it on our evenings (often after long work days) and on weekends and during lunch breaks. We did it by supporting each other. By looking after each other, as much as it is possible to do via Facebook and Skype and Google docs.
I am more proud of this team than I can express. I’m on the verge of tears now, writing this on the tram. This team are easily the best part of this job, everything else (wonderful as it is) comes a distant second. I feel so lucky to be working alongside such incredible women. We are strong.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year