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Re: Iris Shows

In a message dated 97-02-04 15:44:52 EST, Celia wrote:

<< Whatever other innovations y'all apply to your flower show set-ups, I hope
 you are thinking of them as opportunities for public education and
 outreach. Please consider printed placards that explain for strangers what
 judges look for in each category that's on display. De-mystify the
 exhibits. Put general guidelines in writing, either on the wall or on each

 The strangers you hope will pass through your show and become interested in
 growing iris have grown up in a uniform-expectations, chainstore consumer
 culture. They're habituated to reading the setup; they don't expect to have
 to make new friends before they can understand what's being *shown* by your
 show. If your setup is mute, they'll go away thinking only Gnostics need

 Very interesting point, Celia.  And this is why it's also important to have
iris folks "working" the show who will take the initiative in approaching
people who are too used to the "chainstore comsumer culture" to even ask a

I have found that making some friendly, general remarks to folks, especially
the ones who look and look, will often get them asking questions and start a
dialogue.  WE need to make the first move, though, in most cases.

In my own case, years ago, I looked and looked and looked....and went away
entranced, but also unapproached by anyone.  The "iris folks" were all
engaged in conversation among themselves--which I  know is enjoyable--but it
doesn't bring in many new members! 

This is NOT meant as a criticism of anyone, but just an observation.  AIS and
local clubs alike need committed new folks who will participate coming in all
the time in order to thrive.  And a show can be a very fertile planting
ground for the cultivation of new iris addicts!

Off the soapbox
Dorothy Fingerhood
Newfield, NY

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