The Polk Museum of Art’s MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake features new leadership this year.
Joy Williams and Leslie Norman have taken over as the coordinators of this signature event.
The museum hired Williams in January 2016 and Norman joined the museum staff in April 2016. They worked alongside former coordinators Brenda Friedman and Maya Beck last year to learn the ropes. Friedman and Beck have since passed the baton into the capable hands of Williams and Norman.
They each bring more than a decade of event-planning experience to the position, as well as a love for this fine art show.
“I've always attended Mayfaire with my family and loved meeting all the artists and purchasing their work,” Williams says. “I enjoy planning events and thought my love of art and planning events would be a great combination.”
Norman enjoys event planning, and views the position as a great way to do what she loves while serving her community.
Both women have experience in planning another iconic event: Lakeland Pigfest. Williams served on the Pigfest board for two years during her presidency in the Junior League of Greater Lakeland.
Norman served as Pigfest co-chair for five years. She oversaw the festival layout and ensured logistics were planned and executed. She also served on the Pigfest board for three years as a liaison to the Junior League and a member of the Grounds Committee.
“My involvement with the Junior League gave me the knowledge and experience in planning events of all sizes,” Williams says. “I've helped plan many of their events and came to realize I really enjoyed the process.”
Williams and Norman have introduced a few key changes to Mayfaire 2017, including new food selections during the two-day show and at Mayfaire Saturday Night. They also have relocated the children’s activity tent to Chiles Street.
“We wanted to make the children’s area more convenient for families to enjoy without having to leave the show,” Norman says.
Regarding the beefed up food selection at Mayfaire Saturday Night, that change also was done with families in mind.
“We wanted to make it easier for families to participate in the event without having to tote coolers and chairs to the event,” Norman says. “This year, just bring your chairs or blankets. We will have plenty of food and beverages for everyone to purchase and enjoy that night.”