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Fairfield Arts & Convention Center measures the year in love

Jonathan Larson, in his iconic rock musical “RENT,” famously asked us how we measure a year of time in our lives.

In the 525,600 minutes (and a bit) since COVID-19 devastated the global arts and gatherings community, how do we at Fairfield Arts & Convention Center measure the impact this year has had?

We could measure it in cups of coffee we brewed at home, or in the number of hours we spent collaborating on Zoom.

We could measure it in the number of staff members we furloughed, or, later, in the number of new faces we gained as we began to reopen.

We could attempt to quantify new perspectives, or inspiration, or determination. We could count the new ideas we tried (and then discarded).

Or, we could count the ones that stuck and ended up re-energizing our work.

But as we look ahead toward 2021 feeling stronger, more resilient, and more confident in our success than ever, what stands out the most to me is the truth about how we got here.

Our success, both current and future, is a direct result of the people along the way who gave their time, their resources, their influence, and their energy toward ensuring that the mission of Fairfield Arts & Convention Center would continue to be carried out long after the COVID-19 crisis retreats to memory.

Our donors, community partners, and the friends who are so close to us we call them family, have been the backbone of our work all along, and they have created a Center that thrives. They have made bringing people together to create their next favorite memories something that will continue to spread joy across Southeast Iowa for years and years to come.

So. How do we measure this year of innovation, resilience, creativity and determination?

I’m taking Mr. Larson’s advice on this one. I’m measuring in love.