Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cemeteries Hold Parties to Die For

Couldn't help but mention this article from the Wall Street Journal. "To Attract Future Customers, Cemeteries Hold Parties to Die For." I always thought cemeteries would be fabulous venues for Murder Mystery events and Scavenger Hunts. But this article puts a broader spin on the Cemetery Venue. 

In a marketing move that has drawn some criticism, graveyards across the nation are opening their grounds to concerts and clowns, barbecues and dance performances. The goal: to nurture warm feelings about the cemetery, in hopes that folks who come to cheer sky-divers today will return in more somber tomorrows.

A few cemeteries have been doing such outreach for years. Hollywood Forever in Los Angeles draws thousands to summertime films projected on mausoleum walls. Michigan Memorial Park in Flat Rock, Mich., has long invited disabled children to fishing derbies held at a serene pond amid the headstones. Davis Cemetery in Davis, CA,  plans poetry workshops, bird walks and art shows. Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, NE, hosts a Shakespeare festival and rents its quaint chapel for weddings. In Wheat Ridge, CO, Olinger Crown Hill Cemetery staged a Memorial Day party with fireworks and sky divers.

Still, "there's always a tension between mourners…and picnickers," says Jeff Richman, a historian at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, N.Y. In the 1850s, the cemetery had its own police force to keep the two groups apart.  One must be respectful.

One of my favorite cemeteries is Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, CA. So many famous San Francisco Bay Area folks buried there. Besides walking tours, this cemetery holds a flower show every year, as well as having one of the best outdoor tulip displays. The Julia Morgan Chapel (Morgan is buried at Mountain View) is a breath-taking example of her architecture. Halloween eve brings neighbor children and families together for a spooky evening of readings and fun in this fabulous venue! And, the Fourth Annual Pumpkin Festival will be held this year on October 30 with a fun-filled pumpkin patch meadow, games and treats.

Love to hear if you've ever used a cemetery for a teambuilding  or special event.

Read the  WSJ Article HERE.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Corporate Art in the Park: TeamBuilding event

Last week a small team from Genentech participated in an Art in the Park teambuilding event. They were in Golden Gate Park for the Impressionist exhibit at the DeYoung Museum.

After viewing the exhibit, this group put on their smocks and berets and began to work on a Quilt/Mural that represented their workgroup. The theme of their artwork was decided as a team, and each person was responsible for a specific team function or acronym. The creative energy was everywhere as the group jumped into the project. When each individual masterpiece was finished, the entire worked together to arrange their work on the big canvas.

TeamBuilding Unlimited's Marvelous Mural/Quilt Art Project is a variation on our Flags Flying team Event. Although we did this particular event in the Park, it can be done at the office, meeting or special venue. Participants work in teams to "design" a piece of a Mural or Quilt that when assembled represents their group, products, company or another theme.

Deciding on the theme of the quilt or mural is part of the challenge. TeamBuilding Unlimited works with the teams on color palette and technique --but the best part is the creativity of your participants.

TeamBuilding Unlimited guides the team's creativity, provides the materials, and facilitates the event. The "quilt or mural" is then assembled by your teams and can be displayed back at the workplace or donated to shelters, hospitals or other sites.

This team building event involves creativity, leadership, strategic thinking, sequenced planning and communication. Quilt/Mural Making is about Process, as much as art. Facilitators work with the teams to encourage them to think BIG.

The final product is a visual documentation of your team's understanding and awareness of the theme they have selected and the process through which they went.

Variations: Can be done with mixed media including found objects (recycle, reuse).

Goal: Separate parts that add up to one vision! The Big Picture!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bears that Care: Charitable Team Building for Your Holiday Party

Now's the time to plan your Holiday Charity Challenge Party. I can't imagine a better type of event than something that gives you pleasure while you work together and pleasure when you donate your work.

Bears that Care is one of those events. Teams work together to put together bears and other animals, design and execute t-shirts for the animals, make cards for the recipients and package each in a beautiful red gift box. Lots of children with lots of smiles.

Plan your Company Holiday Party now to include Bears that Care or Trikes for Tots or another fun Charity Challenge!

TeamBuilding Unlimited brings everything you'll need. We can even provide charity contacts in your area. Philanthropic TeamBuilding for your Holiday Party--or any other time of the year!

Other Holiday Party ideas.