Four years. You can earn a college degree in that amount of time. Ironically, after ten shows, it feels strangely similar to doing just that. Project Ethos celebrates its four year anniversary today. I’ve been a part of all 10 shows. From graphic designer, to production assistant to web master and now Production Director, the parallels to a college experience are uncanny. After four years and ten shows, I feel like I have a Masters in all things Ethos. Knowing where we’ve been, where we are and where we want to go, it’s daunting to look back at all ten shows.
On July 27, 2005, a phone call would change everything. My elementary school chum, and Executive Director of Project Ethos, Jason Peskin, called and asked if I could do some graphic design for him. I was only a couple of years removed from college and my free lance design career was less than successful. I jumped at the opportunity. I made the first Project Ethos flyer and now defunct program. But I didn’t understand what Ethos was until I saw the first show on August 27, 2005. I was shocked. How this event came together and drew 850 people to its first show was inspiring. I was hooked.
Fast forward four years and ten shows later, Project Ethos is my life’s passion. When ESPN does a retrospective piece on some major sporting event, they always ask the participants what they’ll remember most. Without exception, the response is always the people that were part of that moment. I can’t help but feel the same way. Our team, the designers, musicians and artists, the staff at all of the venues, the crowds, my friends and family. You are the reason why there is a four year anniversary. I can’t name every designer we’ve ever featured, nor can I recall every painting ever sold. But I can vividly remember the moment when a designer thanked me for playing even the smallest role in their success or when another designer called the production the best he’s ever worked with or the email from the artist that sold his first painting at Ethos or the crowd at our tenth show when Far East Movement blew the roof off of the Avalon.
A moment. I’ve been fortunate to experience four years worth. I know I am not the only one. So many people have been a part of our success and each one deserves to be recognized. I can’t list them all, but if you’re reading this, you know who you are. Creating a completely new thing is the hardest thing you can do. To sustain that momentum for four years is truly daring.
Tonight we celebrate the four year anniversary of Project Ethos at Kress. I hope to see every single person that contributed to Project Ethos over the years tonight. Unfortunately, that won’t happen. So tonight I will raise a glass… To those that dare to dream, to those that stare impossible in the face and say no and to those that continue even though conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t because the word fail does not exist in your vocabulary, thank you for making my dreams a reality.
See you at Project Ethos 11 in October.