This spring and summer, Kanuga conference organizers and those leading events at Kanuga have worked hard to keep engagement high, either by transitioning to virtual programs or by working with Kanuga to reach out with communications on social media.
Conference leaders for Nuevo, Art & Soul, Christian Formation, the Haden Institute, and Kanuga Empowered Youth (KEY) have all practiced creativity and resourcefulness this spring to bring their messages to the forefront.
Of the Nuevo Amanecer virtual conference, The Rev. Canon Anthony Guillen says, “It was a rewarding challenge for the Latino/ Hispanic Ministry. After only six weeks of planning, and with 700 registrants and an average of 350 connected daily, the team hosted the three-day conference via Zoom including simultaneous interpretation, break out rooms and live streaming direct from Zoom to Facebook. The Virtual conference was a great success with over half of them from outside the US, including folks from Mexico, Province IX, IARCA [Central America], Brazil and other parts of the world. We know this is just the beginning of a new era for future conferences and have extended Virtual Nuevo Amanecer monthly from June 13 through October 10 on the second Saturday of every month. The next one will hopefully be at Kanuga with a virtual component – the best of both worlds.”
KEY initiated a community-building t-shirt campaign for its youth. Just like a team uniform, this shirt helps them to stay connected, only this time, online. Andrew Tobias, who is leading this effort, says that “Since the participants typically receive a shirt during KEY Conferences and they are so beloved, we wanted to provide that type of community connection with a shirt that everyone can enjoy, while also giving back to Kanuga. These shirts will also pair with our Viral Youth Week theme of “Home” for our social media campaign, which will be held on the same days that Youth Week was planned. During Viral Youth Week, we hope that current, former participants, and new participants, their family, and friends join us on Instagram and Facebook @keyconferences.” Bishop Brian Prior, who is advising them, says, “The virtual Key Conference Youth Week HOME t-shirt is a great way, regardless of where you are, to be connected with and support the Kanuga community!”
In addition, KEY has tied t-shirt sales to a benefit for Kanuga, selling these newly designed “HOME-Kanuga” tees to raise funds to support operations during this time of crisis. The deadline for orders is May 31.
Kanuga’s president Michael Sullivan says, “I have never seen such resilience in leadership as I’ve seen this spring—we are fortunate to be blessed with such strong support and versatile leaders.”