By Jen Diehl, Event Planning Chair
One of my favorite life lessons re-visited me this summer at, what was to me, the most appropriate time. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” In other words, it’s best to have a certain opportunity. If you abandon your certain opportunity for “two in the bush”, there is no guarantee you will seize them and therefore, you could end up with nothing.
It was my summer internship that led me to thinking about this proverb. I am currently a public relations intern at the Manayunk Development Corporation in Philadelphia, Pa. For those of you who are not from the Philadelphia area, Manayunk is a section of Northwest Philadelphia amongst the banks of the Schuylkill River. Having been through a major facelift over the past twenty years, Manayunk is now home to a booming commercial district filled with top-notch restaurants, bars, boutiques, and art galleries.
I bet you didn’t know that Manayunk is a Native American term that literally translates to, “Where we go to drink”. Although Manayunk has, for years, had the reputation of a drinking town, it has transformed into a cultural destination. The majority of residents are college-age, post-grads, or young professionals. Youth, combined with rich history and culture, makes Manayunk a unique area of Philadelphia with its booming commercial district. All of the above inspired the Manayunk Development Corporation toward their latest tagline: “If you haven’t seen us lately, you haven’t seen us”.
This is where I come in. As an intern at the Manayunk Development Corporation, I am hands-on with the rest of the staff in planning major events and promoting the commercial district of Manayunk. I have the pleasure of working with and learning from Caitlin Maloney, University of Delaware alumnus, and Alicia Dietzmann, Penn State alumnus. In working with both Caitlin and Alicia, I have been getting experience in public relations, advertising, marketing and social media. Something else I have the opportunity of exploring this summer is the ever-important event planning!
This summer marked the 24th Annual Manayunk Arts Festival. The Manayunk Arts Festival is held every summer and brings in crowds of more than 100,000 visitors along with more than 300 vendors.
If you are familiar with the geography of Manayunk, these numbers will mean a lot more. Manayunk is set on an extremely steep hill. Yes, steeper than the walk up to Pattee. The ability to navigate on the narrow one-way roads and parallel park is a must.
Planning an event of this magnitude in an area such as this is no easy feat, but my superiors pulled it off flawlessly! In planning the event I was given the tasks of scheduling the volunteers, updating web and social media posts, planning the artist VIP party and managing other logistical tasks.
For each arts festival, a piece of art is selected to be the poster for that year’s festivities. The image above, “Bird in the Hand”, was this year’s poster. “Bird in the Hand”, by Phill Singer, is based off the proverb I previously mentioned. I connected with this piece of work because I think the proverb it represents, coincidentally, applies to me at this point in my life.
As a rising senior, I have come to find that it’s not about what you could have, but what you currently have and how you can use it to achieve better. We all need to be conscious of the present: what we have and what we know NOW. How can you achieve “two in the bush,” if you don’t utilize your current possibilities to the fullest?
Living in Manayunk and having this opportunity with the Manayunk Development Corporation has been such an amazing learning experience. I cannot wait to share what I’ve learned with PRSSA!
I want to wish all of PRSSA a FANTASTIC summer! Here’s to a fabulous school year. Let’s go get ‘em!