I was so honored to be able to partner with Stella Artois at this year's Sundance Film Festival held in the beautiful resort town of Park City, Utah. While a certain part of me was terrified that I would encounter a celebrity while engraving and in my not-so-hip celeb ignorance have to ask their name, the rest of me was completely thrilled to be able to be a part of this exciting event and support an amazing cause (more on that in a bit).
Having partnered with Stella Artois for the last several years for a number of Seattle chalice engraving events, this was the first time I had the opportunity to travel with them and certainly the highest volume of chalices I have ever engraved over a three day period. During Sundance, the town of Park City completely transforms as various different buildings get reworked into party venues, company lounges, and panel discussion platforms. My home for the event was "Cafe Artois" (pictured above) was all of these things. The building was wrapped in a very special facade to promote the Stella Artois partnership with Water.org.
During the day, entrance to Cafe Artois was complimentary as was the ever flowing Belgian draft beer and delicious artesian baked goods. While guests enjoyed the lounge, free wifi, and panel discussions they also had the opportunity to purchase one of the special edition Water.org chalices. For each $15 chalice purchased, proceeds were sent to support providing clean water for an individual in a developing country for 5 years. The designs for this year's special edition chalices were designed by local women designers in India, Mexico, and the Philippines. What an honor it was to engrave these special special chalices that were not only fantastic festival keepsakes, but supported such a beautiful relief effort.
I'll admit that I lost count of how many chalices we engraved, but suffice to say it kept me quite busy for the three days I was at the festival. And unfortunately I was working so quickly that I did not get the chance to take photos of many of the finished engravings.
When not engraving, I took in the other forms of fun and entertainment about town as well. I couldn't pass up a red carpet cameo - which was rather fun, though I hope my next will involve an evening gown and oscar nomination. I also stole a few opportunities to catch some of the life of the festival walking the streets during meal breaks.
I learned from one of my cab drivers that there is an instagram account dedicated to the "People of Sundance." It's not unlike the People of Walmart photos you see circulating the internet, so you can imagine my delight when I saw a number of people dressed in such a way that I was not disappointed. I don't blame these gentlemen for needing to wear leggings with their skirts, it was coooold out!! I also did my part to help plow the roads with my engraving kit to keep the roads safe for festival goers.
Perhaps one of the highlights of the trip for me was having the opportunity to overhear the festival panels that took place inside Cafe Artois....including one with John Legend. I'm not a star-struck gal for the most part, but I make exceptions for anyone who can sing like like! And it took "All of Me" to not pull out my camera when he was preparing for the panel three feet away from my work station in the Chalice Shop.
Anyone who knows me knows I don't handle cold very well. It seems I am perpetually cold, so imagine my delight when I found the best kept secret in Park City: A HEATED BENCH. Crossing my fingers that these become standard issue in all cold or semi-cold climate towns.
Overall, it was a wonderful event and I thoroughly enjoyed creating memorable festival keepsakes for festival goers on behalf of Stella Artois and Water.org. If you would like to be a part of the Water.org initiative, check out www.buyaladyadrink.com and you can get a Chalice as well!