Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thrice-canceled confab moves to July

Writers’ Conference same weekend as Wine Auction


By JENNIFER LIEBRUM
Express Staff Writer

    The Beaver Creek Fire that wreaked havoc in the Wood River Valley, including the cancellation of the 2013 Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, has prompted organizers of the conference to move the event up in the calendar, from August to July. The fire was the third major fire-related problem for the event since 2007.
    Sun Valley Co. offered July 18-21, “as the best time for the resort to accommodate us and our varied needs for the pavilion space, lodging and meeting rooms,” said Robin Eidsmo, executive director. She noted that the program traditionally takes 14 to 16 months to plan.
    On Aug. 29, the conference board realized that the Sun Valley Center for the Art’s Wine Auction and associated activities were scheduled during part of that same weekend, although not in the same location.
    “We immediately reached out to the Center to discuss the situation. We had a cordial discussion about re-scheduling certain of our events so as to minimize conflicts,” Eidsmo said. “We also discussed ways in which our two organizations might work together to create new opportunities. It was only after this discussion that we began to notify our constituents of our new dates.”
    The Sun Valley Center for the Arts has asked the conference to reconsider.
    “We believe there are alternatives that would not put our patrons and friends of both organizations in a position where they may have to choose one over the other, as your current plan does,” stated the Center’s Board President Tod Hamachek. “The Center’s Wine Auction is entering its 34th year. The event provides approximately half of our annual revenue, and makes possible the work that The Center does for this community throughout the year.”
    Eidsmo gave no indication that another change was being considered.        
    “The Writers’ Conference has previously shared time and space with other nonprofits in the valley and we have worked together to best accommodate each other’s events.  It has always been our intent to work out any issues that may arise with the Center and we will continue to reach out to them in the hope of minimizing problems and maximizing success for both organizations.”  
Jennifer Liebrum: jliebrum@mtexpress.com




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