For several years past, NWDA has been the principal organizer of the Seattle Buddhist Festival/Change Your Mind Day, taking responsibility for reserving the site in Volunteer Park; coordinating with the Seattle Asian Art Museum; inviting speakers, performers and meditation leaders; creating the schedule of events; designing, posting and mailing fliers; contacting the media; renting tents and chairs; supervising the setup and tear down at the location; directing participants and manning the information booth; and more...
At a strategic planning meeting in October, the NWDA board of directors reviewed the organization's various activities and reaffirmed the Association’s commitment to sponsor events important to the Buddhist community in the Northwest. In order to make the best use of its limited resources, the board defined "sponsorship" as consisting of consultation, networking, publicity, and other means of support. NWDA will no longer initiate or organize specific events, but will serve as a platform for members who wish to do so.
As a result of this policy, NWDA will no longer do the primary organizing for Seattle's Buddhist Festival/Change Your Mind Day. Impetus and effort for organizing the festival will become the responsibility of members of the Seattle Mahasangha--as has been the case in Olympia, Portland, and other cities in the Northwest for many years. Those from NWDA who have been active in planning the Festival in the past will gladly contribute ideas and advice as needed. NWDA will also commit to acquiring the necessary permit from the Seattle City Parks Dept. (though that doesn't oblige festival planners to use the same site as in the past), posting information on the NWDA website and in this newsletter, mailing information to NWDA members, and arranging for rental equipment as needed. NWDA will not solicit participants for events, teachings, entertainment, etc. and will not be responsible for creating or directing a schedule for the festival. We look forward to supporting the energy of local sanghas.
Buddhists from the greater Seattle area will have a chance to meet and begin planning the June 2008 Seattle Buddhist Festival at the NWDA Annual Meeting on February 16. Experienced organizers of both Portland and Seattle festivals past will be on hand to answer questions and provide suggestions, if needed. Active Seattle area sanghas, temples, and cultural groups are encouraged to send representatives.
Photo: Jan Van Raay