Letter from Lauren

20748135_10203534450318005_1181940306798909070_o.jpg

 

 

Since its inception, Women Galore has had collaboration as its core. First, a male-owned shop reached out to a female journalist (me) to help them dedicate a month to women authors. Then, I turned to other artists, writers, poets to help build meaningful programming.

I never wanted to do it alone. And I never have.

In its first year, the list of collaborators who participated in or helped organize the month-long feminist literary arts festival contained several dozen names. In year two, the list grew to around 75.

There is strength in numbers. But there’s also chaos.

Last year, when Jessica Roberts was helping to plan an afternoon of zine-making and diary readings, she suggested I build a committee. It was an off-hand idea, but a thoughtful one. The interest in participation was obviously there: why not formalize it? More important, why not be intentional and inclusive in the voices at the table?

So, we did just that.

In output, Women Galore will look similar to years past: author talks, panel discussions, performances, music, book clubs, parties. In input, it’s radically different. This year, we’ve assembled a behind-the-scenes group of more than 60 women, from novelists, to playwrights, to fundraisers, to DJs, to activists, to organizers, to just generally badass women.

Our monthly meetings to plan events and discuss programming have sparked introspection, laughter and friendships. It’s remarkable to be in a room of women with open minds and shared goals.

Because of these women’s input, assistance, guidance and conversation, this year’s Women Galore is shaping up to be an ambitious, intersectional, and fun calendar of events.

I said once in passing that we were building a feminist army. But that’s not right. It’s not about fighting. Women Galore is about words and language. Collaboration is a conversation, not an argument.  It’s about talking, speaking – sometimes loudly, sometimes angrily. And it’s about listening. To everyone. (Unless it’s a Q&A and you don’t have either.)

We’re not an army; we’re architects --- building the city we want to live in.  One, where the women things are.

See you in May, 

Lauren 

 

Lauren