Coming from Pamplona, I know well the sadness left after the last day of 9 days of intense celebrations. In Pamplona on the last day of festivities the “Pobre de mí que ya se acaban las fiestas de San fermín” (Poor me that the festivities of San Fermín are over) is sung as an expression of sadness and at the same time of hope because there is less time left for the following year’s festivities. This same feeling is what has been dragging on in Albuquerque since the Balloon Fiesta ended last Sunday. But at the same time there is that feeling of joy because the union of Albuquerque and the hot air balloons is felt throughout the year. Laurie Magovern is the Executive Director of the Balloon Museum Foundation with whom we have spoken to get to know her better and of course how they keep the spirit of the festival alive throughout the year.
Laurie is originally from Albuquerque with international experience living in Europe and nationally in Washington and San Diego where she attended the University of San Diego.
We asked Laurie to tell us about a moment she is especially proud of, her answer was;
I am excited by the fundraising events the Balloon Museum Foundation just completed during the Balloon Fiesta season 2021. We presented over 30 unique events at the Balloon Museum in 10 days in addition to running the museum shoppe. We are fortunate to be so close and so tied to the extravaganza that is the Balloon Fiesta and it takes months of planning and coordination with dozens of hardworking partners and even more team members. To be on the other side with success is a relief and gratitude of all of the parts coming together to help the museum and Albuquerque shine.
We are interested in knowing more about leadership capabilities and that is why we asked him about the qualities of a leader to face projects such as running the foundation, Laurie tells us;
As a leader at the Balloon Museum Foundation, it is very helpful to bring people/staff together who are excellent at what they do and then to create an environment where team members feel part of the crew but also have individual strengths and responsibilities.
We also asked her what qualities emerging leaders must have then to find creative solutions to the new challenges that arise in the cultural world;
Listening, flexible thinking, creative problem solving, patience and being both bold and cautious at the same time.
We could not resist asking for a highlight takeaway for the community and the answer is magical as it is the moment in which from the Balloon Fiesta park hundreds of balloons fly over you;
The metaphor of ballooning is fitting for leadership in so many ways. Ballooning is bold, it is scientific yet it is also an art. It takes a dedicated crew both new emerging members and those with experience. Ballooning is not done to ‘travel’ to point A to point B, it is done to seep into the present moment, bring beauty to our lives and to bring people together. There are very few other types of transportation that do so. As leaders how can find more ways to expand what we do to bring beauty and people together no matter the project.
Three projects to highlight that are happening at the Balloon Museum:
- The Balloon Museum Shoppe – it has recently been renovated and re-organized to emphasize the Balloon Museum’s new branding endeavor. In addition, we added an online store.
- The Museum Market – the Balloon Museum Shoppe will present local artists in a pop-up market in time for the holidays on Sunday, November 29.
- And we already have a waiting list for possible groups wanting to visit our events at the Balloon Museum during Balloon Fiesta 2022! We are busy at evaluating and coordinating next year’s efforts.
Many thanks to Laurie Magovern for the time she has dedicated to us and for infecting us with her vision about the world of balloons. I’m left with her ballooning metaphor as a treasure to share.
Authors: Hector Arce Solana, Marketing & Communications Manager & Sila Avcil, Program Manager