I am posting this here so I can have my say in my own space where very few people will either read or care. As per usual with Lucy's Blog anyone who dares to not follow the usual gushing crowd is now being attacked and told we should be ashamed of ourselves for not thinking everything Lucy and her Yarndale cronies do is WOW and WONDERFUL!
Well here's a thing, I am NOT feeling ashamed of myself for commenting in a perfectly reasonable and polite manner, the fact that I might not be entirely happy with the recent Yarndale community project situation.
Last year, I waded into the debate on Lucy's behalf along with many others because I felt that a lot of people were being a lot unfair and I was prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to the Yarndale organisers and I hoped they learned from what happened. When this year's community art project was announced very clearly as a "charity project" I thought that the lessons had all been learned.
Q :: What will happen to the flowers after Yarndale? A :: All donated flowers will become the property of Sheila Metcalfe. After Yarndale, Sheila has made a heartfelt pledge to create a huge collection of brooches, corsages and floral wreaths which will be raffled/sold, with all proceeds going directly to Alzheime’rs Society. Yarndale is very proud to support the ongoing charity work that Sheila is doing and we wish her every success. We will of course keep you updated with news about this creative charity project, both before and after the Big Display at Yarndale.
It would seem I may have been a tad mistaken...
In a recent blog post, where in her usual style Lucy enthuses about the flower display, and I agree it was a fabulous display, she happens to mention that the above promise will not be kept, and that the flowers will remain as an art installation, presumably to be trotted out again at next year's Yarndale. Now a lot of money was made for the Alzheimers' Society at the festival this year, which is truly splendid and I don't actually mind the idea of keeping the exhibit together, provided it is actually used for charity and NOT as just another piece of art for Yarndale. Sadly, this has not been made clear yet and that is where I take issue.
Last year's lessons, on clarity of decision making and communication have NOT been learned and that is what is irritating me.
First of all it would have been nice if the decision to not break up the exhibit and sell the flowers could have been communicated when it was made, obviously at the Yarndale event itself. A Facebook post, a tweet, a short blog announcement on the site, anything would have done. I don't need a gushing blog post that now looks as if it has been composed to hide the change of plans. Cynical of me I know but remember last year!
I know Lucy and the Yarndale team like to proclaim that they are just a bunch of crochet ladies who are complete amateurs at all this, but look at the evidence... This was Yarndale's third year, they take a dividend from the profits of a limited company with a board of directors and this is not the first time around for some of them. The image is useful marketing and may be a fun promotional tool, but it is not necessarily truthful any more. They made a promise to people making flowers and then went back on it and instead of being honest and up front about it at the time, chose instead to bury the change in a blog post full of emotive words and pictures designed to get people to 'not mind' that they may have been a little bit taken for a ride. Now, what was a wonderful idea to help a really good cause, that affects a lot of people, looks more like cynical manipulation to get yet another big art installation for their festival.
I'm sure the intentions were all excellent and I'm sure the money raised all went to the charity, but a bit more professionalism in dealing with the many contributors would be nice, with clear communications not just gushing emotional enthusiasm.