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Event assistants Jessica Flores and Julian Rivers work outdoors at an event.

Community Relations Events Division - How Things Work

Have you ever wondered what it takes for the many Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community events to come to fruition?

The Events team, which is a division of the SRPMIC Community Relations Department, consists of a staff of three: coordinator Julie Sepulveda and two assistants, Julian Rivers and Jessica Flores. The three work together to plan and execute the many successful events happening in the Community throughout the year, whether that means working with vendors, setting up, finding an emcee for the program or scheduling a band for the best entertainment.

“Planning an event definitely takes some time, effort and creativity,” Sepulveda said.

The Events team puts together all Council-sponsored events, such as Spring Break, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, to name a few. They also assist SRPMIC departments and enterprises requesting help putting on their own events. Recently, Events helped the Cultural Resources Department with the Cultural Repository groundbreaking and the Medieval Times groundbreaking near Salt River Fields.

“Working at Community Relations with the Events division is inspiring,” Rivers said. “For example, the Walk for O’odham Piipaash has great meaning. Everyone comes to support kids and elders, families and friends.”

The Events staff starts planning Community events at least a few months ahead of the event date. However, that doesn’t always go as planned, depending on what projects the Events team is coordinating at any one time. The team typically spends anywhere from two to five hours a day on a particular event, which includes brainstorming, meeting and implementing their ideas. Sepulveda said in their planning meetings they discuss what worked and what didn’t at the last event. If there was something that did not work out the way they planned, or the Community wasn’t showing much interest in something, then they try not to copy that idea in the next event.

Julie Sepulveda, Events coordinator (L) hands out promotional items at a recent event.
“It really comes down to us throwing our ideas out there and narrowing it down to what would work best for the event,” Sepulveda said.

Certain events give the team the flexibility to play around with themes and ideas, and other events are more structured or already have set colors, like the Fourth of July celebration, for example.

“Time of the year plays a big role for the event—[is it held] indoors [or] outdoors, [and what are the] colors of the current season,” said Flores. “I like to think of cool ideas that would make the event an experience to remember. Sometimes the littlest ideas people love the most.”

The Events staff welcomes any and all feedback from the Community.

“Sometimes, through the chaos of putting the event together, you forget what you are working for until someone comes up to you and says, ‘This was a great event,’” Sepulveda said. “When I watch the kids participating in the children’s activities, and when I see the adults enjoying the entertainment, I feel accomplished. It makes all of the hard work done in background, and the countless hours of planning, all worth it.”

Events staff can be reached either by phone at (480) 362-7740 or in their office at the Two Waters Complex, Building A, Suite 104.

Council Sponsored Events
* Fall Festival
* Red Mountain Pow-wow
* Veteran's Day Program
• Community Thanksgiving Dinner
* Employee Holiday Luncheon
• Community Christmas Program
• Community Light Parade
• New Year's Eve Dance and Midway
• Walk for O'odham & Piipash
• Spring Break Activities
• Community Easter Egg Hunt
• Memorial Day Program
• SRPMIC Day Celebration
• Salt River Film Festival
• Community 4th of July Celebration
• Native American Recognition Day

Other Events (provide assistance)
• Way of Life Facility Opening
• Indian Village Festival
• Repository Groundbreaking
• Justice Center Opening
• Babbo Ribbon Cutting
• Anti-Drug Awareness Campaign
* Other specialized events