Friends Friday: Kristen Edmundson

Friday, May 15, 2020

Welcome to Friends Friday! While we are all trying to “flatten the curve” we wanted to highlight different Friends of Convos. In case you’re not aware, Friends of Convos is an influential group of arts supporters who bring world-class performances to our community! Each year, they help bring performances to our community and subsidize tickets for seniors, Purdue students, and P-12 students.
Learn More: https://www.purdue.edu/convocations/friends/

This week we’re highlighting Friend of Convos and Friends Advisory Board member Kristen Edmundson!

Introduce Yourself!
I am a townie and swore I’d never move back to West Lafayette after high school, but I have loved living here the past seven years!  My parents used a gift of tickets to a Convos show (Vijay Iyer Jazz Trio) and free babysitting to secretly help my husband and I realize that Lafayette has a lot to offer in the arts scene. We were struck by what amazing shows were in the season line up – especially in great smaller venues like Loeb Playhouse.  Looking at the diversity of experiences that Convos had to offer challenged my assumptions about the sleepy town of my youth. 

How has your experience in our community been impacted by Convos? 
Well, besides serving as a recruiting tool for my family, I’ve been impressed with the curricular connections between Convocations and local K-12 schools and Purdue University.  As a corporate sponsor (I work at Purdue Federal Credit Union), we value education initiatives.  Convocations also highlights diversity in its choice of artists – which both reflects the diversity of area residents and the community’s mission to educate in all that we do.

How did you become a Friend? 
Being new to town, I had heard about shows through my daughter’s school and through TV ads, but initially I did not even know there was this cool Convocations guide that comes out every summer that helps us plan out all the shows for the rest of the year.  The first summer that I discovered the guide (which I marked up like a Sears Catalog), I realized I could order tickets earlier for best seating if I became a Friend.  Only later did I realize how important it is to support the mission of Convos.  I was working at Purdue Federal for a year when I was asked to serve on the Advisory Board as a corporate giving member. 

What was your favorite show this season (or past) and why?
So, this is a trick question, right?  It seems like whatever was the last show I saw was my favorite!  This may sound strange, but part of being a Friend of Convos is taking joy in the shows that I had to miss.  Sometimes I have a conflict or have to give away my tickets – but I enjoy reading about the show, watching the videos and links that Convos posts to promote shows, and I have been exposed to a few artists that I’ve learned to love even for shows that I missed.  But one of our favorite attended shows was Harpeth Rising.  Sadly they are no longer together, but their songs (which we would never have discovered but for Convos) have been part of the background of my family’s life since our first show. 

What’s your favorite Broadway musical?
My favorite Broadway musical is The Secret Garden. I played in a lot of pit orchestras when I was younger and that one has an amazing score.  My daughter and I are the dorks who always walk down to the pit at Elliott Hall of Music shows to see what the instrumentation is that day.

If you are interested in learning more about the K-12 initiatives that Kristen mentioned, check out this Convos Cultural Update.

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