I’ve attended many events at the Mennonite Heritage Village over the years. Book launches, spring teas, film screenings, vespers… but never a gala.
Why? By the time I attempt to purchase tickets, they’re sold out!
Like a lot of things, this year is different. Packing a crowd into a hall and plying them with food is OUT. Online events are IN. That’s the route the MHV is going with their Gala this year, I’m excited because they won’t run out of tickets. I can finally attend an MHV Gala!
Because I love food so much, I’ve assumed in the past that it’s the food that draws the crowd to the Gala each year. I mean, the MHV’s food is always so delicious and comforting.
This year my understanding is deepening. Something else is going on here.
It’s the story! An opportunity to expand your understanding and connect to this story in your own way.
There are a trillion tangled threads of Mennonitism, and the MHV’s Curators have a fascinating way of untangling them and taking each individual thread and seeing how they work together to create the fabric of this complicated people group.
Seriously. If you ever have a chance to have a Museum Curator tell you about an exhibit in person, jump at the chance! They are wildly busy people, so a Curator-sighting is rare and special. Even more so if they are able to find the time to speak about one of their exhibits. The way their eyes light up and the words rush out, they can convey so much more. It’s a very special opportunity.
And… THAT’S why I’m excited about this year’s Gala! Because we’ll get a behind-the-scenes walk through the new exhibit before it opens — WITH A CURATOR!
Plus you won’t have to fight crowds. You can control the volume. You can lean in nice and close to the screen. You can do all this while eating potato chips and wearing pyjamas. And no one will be able to see or hear you. (This isn’t a Zoom meeting.) It’s an exclusive event and your ticket gets you a seat in the audience. Yes, even from home, you can still be “in the audience”.
Andrew and I have purchased online tickets to other exclusive screenings (meaning, they’re not available “later” — you have to attend at the specific time or you miss it… just like any real life meeting or movie screening) and I really love the experience. It somehow feels more personal in a way, and it’s less embarrassing if I’m suddenly moved to tears.
So, let me tell you about the exhibit itself. This year’s MHV exhibit is about the Mennonite Central Committee (also known as the MCC) because 2020 marks 100 years of the the MCC’s work around the world, providing relief, development, and working for peace.
The story of how the MCC began is astounding. What caused Mennonites of all beliefs — liberal, conservative, everyone — to join together to form a central committee to help others on the other side of the world? What was happening in 1920 that so moved these people to work together in this way?
I don’t know the full story, but I do know that in 1920, Mennonites in the Soviet Union were suffering from famine, violence, and war. They sent heart-wrenching letters to distant relatives in North America. And their response… was to establish the MCC, to get on the ground and get relief to these people.
I’m excited to learn more, this Wednesday evening.
Join me in experiencing the Grand Opening of the MCC 100 Years exhibit at the MHV’s Virtual Spring Gala Fundraiser. June 24, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for this online event are $25 and include special guest speakers, videos, and a sneak peek at the exhibit before it opens to the general public.
You can buy your tickets online at www.mennoniteheritagevillage.com or call the MHV at 204-326-9661.