Celebrating 2020 (no, really!)

It’s easy to see the worst of the year, but today is our last day in the office until 2021, and rather than recall all the shit, here are a few things that made 2020 great.

In the “before-times,” we celebrated five years for both Lisa Pohlman and Kerri Mirtsching, and Lisa returned to Colorado after a time living and working from Iowa. We hosted an in-person Happy Hour Foundation, and we finally moved into our new offices on 34th and Larimer. We welcomed Garrett Bryant to our team, who, despite starting a week before the shutdown, has continued to have a positive attitude and found his stride with his new remote coworkers.

When the world came to a screeching halt, we took a deep breath and gave ourselves space to wrangle anxiety, find moments of self-care, and continued our mission to do good work — as best as we can from home.

We soon found a rhythm to stay in communication during the week, created a #happy channel in our company Slack, and inserted Friday Light into our calendars, an end-of-week afternoon hangout to socialize, play games, and recognize each other’s good work. We end all staff meetings by making the hug emoji face. 🤗

In partnership with CreativeMornings/Denver, we co-hosted two virtual Happy Hour Foundation events, and our overall financial support to nonprofits continued to rise despite — and because of — the pandemic and the desperate situation that many people are in, especially in food scarcity and in the arts & culture sector.

I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done — all from home. The Museum of Outdoor Arts invested some of its downtime in a brand new website, and St. Louis Shakespeare Festival launched a major overhaul of its brand. We built a microsite for Ashton Kutcher to play video games and raise money for his nonprofit, Thorn, and we developed preliminary key art for Man & Witch, an ’80s-nostalgia movie. We supported arts & culture with CBCA’s Arts through it All campaign, and we took a deep dive into a production archive database for the Alley Theatre.

Personally, I’ve found more time to read, craft, and frankly, nap. I replicated my mom’s famous salsa recipe in the spring and started making font-themed candles in the fall. I am thankful for the excuse to call my family more often and for the flexibility to have safely visited them in Montana twice over the past few months. And I am particularly grateful for the time spent with my little niblings.

So, did this year suck? Yeah. It did. But it made the good things shine brighter, and maybe that’s one of the lessons we were meant to learn this year. That, and wash your hands.