As some of you may have noticed, our box office was closed Wednesday for staff training and improvement. At LOH, we believe that it is important that we seek to improve ourselves so we can improve the experience of every patron and artist who walks through our doors. From buying a ticket, donating and supporting the organization, seeing a show, and walking onto our stage we strive to make LOH the best place to be. You might be curious as to what training and improvement looks like for LOH. We believe that it’s important to be transparent and share what we believe to be critical work for the success of our organization.

A huge shoutout to The Lyme Inn which sponsors LOH and provides a great venue for our retreats including rooms for us to stay in so we can make the most of our hours in self-learning instead of commuting. We started Wednesday morning with a conversation to better understand our organization as a whole and cross-communicate between our teams to successfully work towards the same goals and monumental moments in LOH’s 100th year.

After our organizational huddle, we talked about the differences between preventative vs palliative care and how our organization can find increasingly better ways to support the folks that it employs. We understand that art is healing for our community. At their best, the arts combat isolation, foster empathy, and inspire self-expression. Additionally, a flourishing artistic community not only enriches the quality of life but also yields tangible benefits for local businesses by enhancing their capacity to attract and retain talented employees. By partnering with experts across several fields, LOH contributes to a variety of community-building initiatives, such as helping destigmatize mental health and addiction or providing resources for individuals seeking stronger community connections.

That being said, to continue to build on these initiatives and foster this unique arts-forward community, we must first take care of ourselves. By increasing preventative care systems within our organization employees — like myself — are aided in avoiding burnout, stress, and pressure.

Although our work at LOH might not be — literally — saving lives, as a team of perfectionists, we place pressure on ourselves to continually improve the experience for our patrons. Although our team has tripled in size since Joe’s era as executive director started 7 years ago, so have the initiatives and milestones that we strive for as an organization.

At this time, it was already feeling like a day full of many things to think about and consider. To help clear our brains and give ourselves a reset we took a brief break for lunch and a stroll over to Stella’s Italian Kitchen and Cafe saw us all well-fed and ready to jump back in.

After lunch, we talked about our personalities. Before the retreat, we were tasked with taking the “16 Personalities” test which is based on the Meyers-Briggs system. It was interesting to learn about how our answers help to define possible personality categories for us and how our personalities interact and process information, decision-making, and leadership. This moment in the retreat felt insightful, I saw incredible truth reflected in sections of my personality profile and it helped me to better understand myself and the ways I might process and react to my coworker’s communication, how I might set unrealistic goals for myself, and the strength and weaknesses that come with always wanting to strive to be the best I can.

After our work came to a close on Wednesday, still chatting about our personalities, we carpooled into Hanover to enjoy a team dinner at Sawtooth Kitchen. We enjoyed a great meal, another amazing Corporate Partner who helped support our organization this week, getting to relax and take in each other’s company increasing our team spirit and bonding.

The next morning, we jumped right into breakfast before some returned to the office while a breakout team remained to continue working on important topics of the day before.

Having invested the time for self-improvement, we have a better understanding of the ways we work together and our abilities in bringing the best performances to the Upper Valley region.