It’s the second week of the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. During these next five days, we’re taking a peek into the lives of Festival Staff members, profiling men and women whose positions are not visible to the public but are invaluable to the Festival’s operations and success.
For today’s “Day in the Life,” production manager Cristina Díaz-Carrera speaks about her first year in the position of Festival Production Manager.
Q: What are some of the responsibilities of the production manager?
A: Well, things are different before and during the Festival. Prior to the Festival, I spent a lot of time facilitating conversations between the different programs. Now that the Festival is in full swing, I do a lot more trouble-shooting and keeping things running as smoothly as possible. Through it all, I’m there to help solve problems. I think another important element of the production manager position is keeping up morale across the Festival staff and participants. I try to be positive and helpful, and keep in mind that we all have similar goals here. Collaboration is crucial.
Q. How long have you been the Festival production manager?
A: This is actually my first year [laughs], but I’ve been a Program Coordinator for four different Festival programs.
Q: How do you approach a typical day during the Festival?
A: A big part of my job, especially during the Festival, is making sure different protocol is followed. I try to approach this task in a fun and energetic way. You want people to follow guidelines, but you also need to be flexible. Because there are many unexpected changes during the Festival, you have to be willing to roll with the punches. I try to approach each day with generosity, and I try to keep the balance between establishing guidelines, and being flexible and open to change.
Hannah Crepps is a Web Production and Social Media intern with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. She graduated in May from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M. and hopes to pursue her interests in cultural heritage policy and international diplomacy.