Pay It Forward with Well Dunn #GivingTuesday

I will never forget the first time I heard of the Well Dunn organization. I was sitting in my internship advisor’s office at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. We were going through my options for my senior year and what possibilities that might hold concerning internships. I mentioned to her that I would love to be a part of the program offered in Los Angeles in the fall that but due to my financial situation and the extra expenses that entailed, this would not be a possibility. She then proceeded to tell me about the scholarship options offered through Well Dunn. This was the first semester my university had partnered with them and she quickly gave me the information needed to apply. After filling out the application the wait began. In meantime, I researched more on Well Dunn and realized the vast amount of community involvement and scholarships they were funding. A few weeks later, I received a call from Well Dunn informing me that I had received the scholarship and the amount would more then cover the extra expenses needed to attend the program in Los Angeles that fall. I did my best to retain my professionalism until the end of the call, then proceeded to carryout some unattractive mixture of tears of joy and exclamations of excitement.

So here I am, sitting in my favorite coffee shop in LA, with three weeks left of the most amazing semester to date. The memories, friendships and connections I have made here have exceeded my highest expectations and have advanced my career in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I have spent my time in LA working with Wide-Eyed Entertainment, an artist management company. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this internship seeing as though I am a Music Business Major with an emphasis in songwriting and productions, but what I did know is that I wanted to really see the ins and outs of the daily life of an artist and writer and what that entails. I could not have ended up with better mentors and supervisors. They believed that the best way for me to learn was by doing exactly what they did during a typical workday, which in reality was anything but typical. I have been asked time and time again what the day to day generally looks like and the only real answer I have is that you never know what could happen. This is, of course, meant in the best way. Some mornings start out going over budgets for music video shoots and end with booking tours or spending hours in rehearsal with an artist while they prepare for a live performance. I have gotten a chance to be a part of A & R meeting with some of the top executives in the music industry, go to studio sessions with artist I have looked up to for years and even attend a few shows on the road. I have also learned the importance of taking an interest in everyone you come in contact with. It still amazes me that no matter how busy the day is, my supervisors still find the time to send birthday gifts to their colleges or ask the lady at the cash register how her day is going. I genuinely believe this is why they have achieved so much success and it has challenged me to do the same not only in my career but in every aspect of my life.

I can never thank Well Dunn enough for making these experiences and this semester a possibility. I do not say this lightly or theoretically that I could not have done it without their immense support and contribution. I hope that one day I will be able to do the same for other students and induvial and help make their dreams a reality.

Melanie Siegrist

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Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward with Well Dunn

Today we are launching a new fundraising campaign to celebrate Emily Dunn’s 30th birthday and to raise funds for the Well Dunn Intern program.
Take a moment to read about Emily and the number one reason all of us here at Well Dunn are so passionate about helping college students pursue their dreams of working in the music and entertainment business.

From Deborah – Emily’s mother:

I was very sad to day when I woke up. Today is Emily’s 30th birthday. When she was a little girl, I imagined Emily as a grown-up. I knew her as a college graduate and I knew her at 23. She was beautiful and happy, with her new life in San Francisco. But she was not yet a grown up. Being a grown up is hard to define. I wonder if she would have found the love of her life, maybe more than one. I wonder if she would have stayed in California or found that too limiting for her. I wonder if she would still wear her hair long always blowing in the wind. I know that she would be so happy for her sister and would love to be planning her wedding. I imagine there would be lots of purple and maybe some arguments over dress styles. I know that she would love Jon, his eyes, his deep laugh so similar to hers and the love of dance she shares. She would also love her niece Claire. Emily would be the aunt to take Claire out on adventures that would never be shared with her parents. I know that Emily would have lots of shoes and boots this year, because it seems she had a hand in the design this season.
Emily, I still have so many dreams for you. Each time we are successful in placing a candidate for a Well Dunn Intern, I think there is a chance that one of your dreams may be coming true.

All of my love to you today and every day. Mom

In honor of Emily, please Pay It Forward with Well Dunn and help us grow the Emily’s Scholarship fund to provide iconic internships to college students with financial need. A donation of $30 would be a wonderful way to celebrate Emily’s 30th birthday. We are grateful for any amount you are able to give.

If you are interested in sponsoring an intern, you can do so at a variety of levels starting at $1,000 to sponsor an intern for one month, $3,000 sponsors an intern for a summer and a donation in the amount of $4,000 would sponsor an intern for a spring or fall internship. Thank you for helping the Well Dunn Iconic Internship program by paying it forward!

You can make your donation at www.welldunn.org/donate.

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Bonnaroo By Well Dunn

Bonnaroo is a special home to Well Dunn. It’s where Emily first stepped foot in the world of music and entertainment and where she made her mark. As we gear up for this years Bonnaroo we asked some of our past interns, board members and friends of Well Dunn to share their favorite Bonnaroo memories, tips and what not to miss this year!

Favorite Bonnaroo Memories

Creating the health & wellness program and watching it grow!- Laura Gentry, Board Member

Too many to fit into this space so I’ll pick year one when first-ever headliner Trey Anastasio hit the stage. I was standing with all the organizers and we looked out at the 70,000 and couldn’t believe what we had built. Was an incredible feeling.- Ken Weinstein, Board Member

I’ve had so many incredible memories at Bonnaroo it’s hard to pick just one! It’s hard to beat Paul McCartney. – James Shinault, Board Member

Seeing Odesza front row backstage in 2015 – Well Dunn Alumni

2013 Paul McCarthy – Best Show I’ve ever seen! – Well Dunn Alumni

Too hard to pick! But basically that feeling when you’ve seen this amazing festival come together! People are dancing and happy and singing at the top of their lungs! It’s that moment when you stop for a second and take in all the magic.- Liza Mclain,Well Dunn Alumni

Waching My Morning Jacket side stage was incredible! – Channing Morris, Board Member

So so many amazing memories for me at Bonnaroo…I booked managed and emceed the Sonic Stage for 12 years. Amos Lee played a solo set and dedicated my favorite song to me. While I have COUNTLESS highlights, including when the concessions team through me a surprise baby shower ON the Sonic Stage with a brass band from New Orleans playing and singing for me while 30 of us danced on stage, Amos is one of my favorites. – Annabel Lukins, Well Dunn Board Member

What I love most about being on The Farm

My favorite times are speaking to volunteers on site, at the picnic and those who visit our Well Dunn table within Bonnaroo Works. – Deborah Dunn, Board Member

Seeing the festival go from 0 to 60! We arrive on site Wednesday and it the calm before the storm. Thursday when the gates up its non-stop till Sunday night. We are up early and spend all day talking with potential interns and visiting with Alumni. Then the sun goes down, we pack up and head to the shows! – Channing Morris, Board Member

I love to meet past interns who are now full-time professionals in the industry; it vindicates that the Well Dunn program is really making a difference in young people’s lives. – Chris Dunn, Board Member

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I get most excited right when the tollbooths open for the first cars. It’s just a great moment for us on the other side of the fence. – James Shinault, Board Member

U2!!!! – Annabel Lukins, Well Dunn Board Member

Veteran Tips

Drink water and eat food. You can do it all but take care of yourself first. – Laura Gentry, Board Member

Listen to the Code, drink plenty of water, and try not to overthink it. – James Shinault, Board Member

Be open to as much new music as you can. I’ve discovered some of my favorites at Bonnaroo – Annabel Lukins, Well Dunn Board Member

Hydrate and radiate positivity!!!Liza Mclain,Well Dunn Alumni

Bring plenty of water, lots of sun screen, external batteries, walkie talkies, toilet paper, and soap and water to wash with. – Well Dunn Alumni

Bring lots of sunblock and stay hydrated! – Ken Weinstein, Board Member

You can sleep when you’re dead! – Well Dunn Alumni

Water, personal fan and a camera! Take it all in, see as many shows as you can but don’t worry about missing one cause its hard to see them all. – Channing Morris, Board Member

Best Part of Being with Well Dunn on site

Besides the VIP status?! Being at the Farm is a constant reminder of the incredible impact Emily had not only on the individual you meet but on the festival as a whole. Every year you meet someone who knew her or are shown something she created. Then you meet a past intern and hear their story and see how her legacy has now created a viable career path for them in this crazy industry! – Channing Morris, Board Member

Finding the excitement in the volunteer’s eyes when they hear they too could be in the music business just like Emily – Annabel Lukins, Well Dunn Board Member

The enthusiasm of the volunteers we talk to reinforces that Well Dunn can make a difference; create an opportunity; give someone the resources to do something they otherwise would not be able to do on their own.  I know that Emily is smiling and feeling good that so many young adults have been given the opportunity to explore their passions in the music industry. – Chris Dunn, Board Member

So proud to be part of Well Dunn always. Love helping young people realize their dreams. – Ken Weinstein, Board Member

I am always grateful for our hardworking board members and volunteers.  I know Emily is honored that so many young people are getting opportunities in her memory.  She continues to laugh and dance with us. – Deborah Dunn, Board Member

What Makes Bonnaroo So Special

The all-accepting and happy people who attend, coupled with the amazing music all in one place. – Well Dunn Alumni

Bonnaroo is special because it’s a place with no expectation of being anyone besides yourself. It’s a community driven festival and Bonnaroo is accepting of all humans, no matter the color or creed. It’s nice to have that type of space here in the states! – Laura Gentry, Board Member

There is no vibe like the Bonnanroo vibe. People are so loving and open and family oriented there. Everyone’s there to help the other have the best time in their lives. And it works every time. Every year when I come back, people ask me how was Bonnaroo. I say, well I mean, it’s on the money awesome every year! Never changes. Always incredible and special. – Ken Weinstein, Board Member

There’s something magical about the farm, the vibe, the sunsets, the musical diversity…it’s just a spiritual institution in my life. – Annabel Lukins, Well Dunn Board Member

I love Bonnaroo because of the people. Being a Bonnaroovian means something to everyone in their own special way. You’ll never find a stronger sense of community anywhere- James Shinault, Board Member

The Farm vibe is what makes it special. I like that the camping isn’t too far to the festival and there’s definitely a vibe of the community. – Well Dunn Alumni

Favorite Food Vendors

Spicy Pie – Everyone!

Amish Doughnuts! – Laura Gentry, Board Member

Hamageddon aka Baconland – Channing Morris, Board Member

Ice coffee at the Grind – Annabel Lukins, Well Dunn Board Member

The bacon guy and the Amish donuts – Ken Weinstein, Board Member

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Joy Antwi WD Intern Hired Full Time at Big Hassle

Excited to share another success story from a Joy Antwi a 2016 Well Dunn Intern.

Graduating from undergrad and doing something that you love doesn’t happen to many, but I lucked out. I spent years trying to explore different avenues that would allow me to continuously grow. Listening to music, discovering new artists and enjoying music & arts festivals became my passion; I spent time searching for a pre-existing niche that my skills could thrive in and my passions could come into use.  I was seeking a way to help cultivate, and facilitate artistic connections and communication to the masses.

After another beautiful Bonnaroo I learned about some of the pieces that go into the yearly celebration and came across the Well Dunn Organization. I loved the organization’s mission and driving force for its creation, Emily Dunn. I was over eager to get involved, and wrote an essay, that could have easily turned into a novel. Once I submitted my application I prayed that this all would become real, and it did.

I got in connection with Deborah Dunn who found me to be a plausible great fit at Big Hassle Media. I moved to New York in May, and didn’t only fall in love with the city but Big Hassle and my teammates. May quickly turned into August and before for I knew it my internship was over. The possibility of having me on the team arose and it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. I am now a happy Hassler!

Congrats Joy!! We can’t wait to see where this new path takes you!

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Bonnaroo 2015

Well Dunn heads back to the farm tomorrow! Here are some pictures from the Roo 2015. Be sure to come visit us at Bonnaroo Works tent to meet some of the board members and learn more about Well Dunn.

Continue ReadingBonnaroo 2015