hello. here are some places you can find me over the next 3 months. check back for updated links and the like.
January 11, 12, 19, 20 Krip Resistence: To Exist Is To Resist: an exploration of sick and disabled QT/POC ancestors and legacies of resistance. Gay City Arts Calamus Auditorium
February 7-8 Syracuse University. performance 4:30 PM February 7, 2018, workshop February 8
February 13; class visit to Tina Zavitsanos' disabled arts class, New School for Social Research, NY MNY
February 27, The Body Is Not An Apology launch performance with Sonya Renee Taylor and others TBC, cosponsored by the YMCA of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. Rialto Theatre, Tacoma, WA
March 1, Critical Social Justice Keynote, Women's Resource Center at Cal State University Dominguez Hills, CA
Friday March 9, Keynote, "Transformative Justice Is Not A Magic Unicorn, But It Might Still Save Your Life." Gender Studies Symposium, Lewis and Clark University, Portland OR
March 31, Keynote performance, Femmes and Pop Culture Conference, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ
April 4, Keynote, Take Back the Night, UPenn, Philadelphia, PA
1. go to air conditioned places esp. in the afternoon when the build up is worst. libraries, bookstores, some cafes, community centers, senior centers. i've noticed if i don't go to an air conditioned place for a few hours in the afternoon i'm really fucked by nightfall.
2. the stuff that's getting to you is "particulate matter", little tiny particle of burning trees. It's listed as "PM 2.5" on air quality sites. n95 filter masks- a two pack is $9 at lowe's. filter out particulate . the masks need to offgas for a bit to get rid of chemical smell once u take them out of plastic. there's also these kind of resperators: http://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-Medium-House-Hold-Multi-Purpose-Respirator-65021HA1-C/202080143 which are $30/40 bucks at Lowe's or Home Depot. They will increase the staring you have to deal with but will filter out more
3. drink a shit ton of water. staying hydrated keeps your lungs plumped and helps them deal with this situation, and also helps you flush toxins.
4. lack of oxygen creeps up and femifests for me as fatigue/ exhaustion, brain fog, confusion, slowness and/or panic. it can also flare any kind of inflammatory condition. if you are feeling these things, that's why. anti anxiety herbs help. go easy on yourself if you're not getting as much done as you wish you were.
5. if you can access a HEPA air filter, run it with your windows shut in a room with a door you can close.
6. stay super hydrated. did I say that already?
7. inhalers, claritin and flonase can help prevent asthma attacks and ease the feeling that you can't get enough air. hit an inhaler as soon as you're feeling it.
8. take liver cleanse herbs like dandelion and milk thistle
9. taking a shower helps me feel like I'm detoxing
10. if you start greying out (feeling like you can't breathe or are about to pass out), call or go to a clinic or urgent care or the er, you might need a nebulizer.
11. you can get free passes to a bunch of museums though the Seattle public library if you have a library card. museums are air conditioned.
12. try doing steams and drinking teas made out of lung supporting herbs like mullein, thyme and elacampane.
13. http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/ is the best smoke blog I've found, with updates on predicted weather changes, maps and lots of info.
I'm proud to announce I will be performing with Sins Invalid in our first full length show since 2011, Birthing, Dying, Becoming Crip Wisdom, this October in San Francisco. Here's the details:
ODC Theater, 3153 17th St, San Francisco, CA
8PM Friday, October 14
8PM Saturday, October 15
(ASL interpreted & Audio Described)
7PM Sunday, October 16
$20 at door; no one ever turned away for lack of funds. Wheelchair accessible throughout. Please come fragrance free. Show contains explicit content.[Image description: The faces of Patty Berne, a Haitian/Japanese femme woman wearing a black headscarf with white floral patterns, looking seriously at the viewer with her brows raised, and Neve Bianco, a younger Black genderqueer femme with a delicate facial tattoo between their brows, smiling, checking out the viewer and arching one brow, floating in front of a purple/blue/green starry sky. In between them are the words, “BIRTHING, DYING, BECOMING CRIP WISDOM. save the date: Sins Invalid 2016 Performance, October 14, 15, 16, ODC Theater San Francisco}
This show is going to be all about the life stages of being disabled- being a baby crip, growing into crip wisdom and community, and what it means to become a crip elder and transition to being an ancestor. It's about all the shit no one taught us, all the shit we learned as we found our way to disabled communities most folks don't know exist. It's about being too old to die young, about not being a supercrip or a better-off-dead-pathetic victim, but about being all of our complicated, real, evolving disabled lives. My pieces, tentatively entitled, "crip magic spells" , are going to trace my evolution in being sick, mad and neurodivergent and finding/ making community with other disabled and weird folks. As a disabled femme of color over 40 who didn't think I would make it past 25, being in this show is a gift. Please save the date! You don't know when this show will come around again- it takes a lot of sick and disabled queer and trans Black and brown hustle to make this happen.
My father was a beautiful, angry, complex brown man. Closeted and married to my mom, somehow trying to survive 1980s central Massachusetts' racism and economic disaster when he would've much rather been in London or Kuala Lumpur or some decolonial brown queer land with great fashion that didn't exist yet. He yelled so much I cried throughout my childhood, didn't fuck my mom and they didn't have a partnership that made either of them very happy, but he did give me some things. He gave me visits to the comic book store where he was a collector, stories about Sri Lanka that I didn't care about as a kid but would grow up to be my everything. And he gave me something maybe the most precious: his brown, mixed-class femme masculinity.
The reports started to trickle in. They were conflicting, a little, but they still painted a picture: Prince lived with chronic pain for years from all that dancing in high heels and jumping off stages- his knees hurt so bad all the time. He had had a hip replacement. He had needed a hip replacement but his religion didn't allow him to do it. Prince had flu that turned into walking pneumonia, for three weeks of tour, and he cancelled some shows but didn't cancel others, and he was on a lot of planes. On the Entertainment Tonight article, his long time friend and collaborator Sheila E. said, “He was in pain all the time. But he was a performer.”
I had walking pneumonia last week, too, my second pneumonia this year. I still have it as I am writing this. And right after I went to urgent care with shortness of breath Tuesday night late, after telling my partner i was just fine for days, and got the diagnosis, I was still thinking about still getting on a plane to L.A., with pneumonia on three days of antibiotics because the doctor said it should be just fine. I listened to my body, but I had to fight to do so. My sick and disabled friends had to say, NO when I asked if maybe possibly it was ok for me to fly, it was just a mild pneumonia and I needed the money and wanted to do the gig. I had to negotiate while I was sitting in the chair at Rite Aid waiting for my antibiotics to be filled, asking them to see if they'd be open to me doing it on Skype so I could be at home, not on a plane and a shuttle. And I still wished I could be there in person.
Let me be clear: I am very clear I am nowhere near Prince's level of fame, talent or world domination, his place in the world and what he meant to folks. But I am a writer who goes on tour, and his death made me think about some things about illness, pain and being a performer.
So here's what I've got: To me, it feels like performance and writing and art can last forever in the minds of those who witness it. And it's also fragile and easily forgotten, especially if you are a queer/trans artist of color, a disabled queer/trans artists of color, an artist coming from being working class or poor, a rural artist, or all of the above. I often feel like if I stop, everyone will forget about me in five minutes. And this doesn't come from nowhere. It comes from seeing Black and Brown queer artists I consider my friends and comrades and also mentors, people a little older than me, people who I looked up to and still do, who shared their skills of how to book a show, how to write a grant, how to believe in yourself as a QTPOC artist. Artists who maybe hit a rough patch where the thing called life was happening a little more than usual, or just changed what kind of work they were doing or how much they were doing it, and folks a little younger than me say, "Who?" when their names come up. The laws of perpetual performance motion, as I've experienced them, dictate that you've gotta just keep saying yes to people who want you to come perform or write or do something, because if you say no, the wheels will stop and it's all over. Maybe (probably) this feels different to folks who are artists who have access to wealth or a trust fund. But for most of the rest of us, I think it feels really different, and the model we are taught is to never stop.
I know the feeling of panic when the three gigs I was counting on for fall 2014 all fell through and I was (really) short on money and scared. I know the hustle, the scramble to get money together, to email and email following up. I know all the ways we are superheros, what it feels like to perform right after puking or having a panic attack and making it shine anyway. I know the ups and downs and the waiting for the check to show up. I know the feeling of loving what you do and having adenaliene carry you. I know the feeling of post tour crash after you are home safe in your bed and your body knows it is safe to finally get sick, when you get sick and sick and sick. I know the feeling of fighting to stay relevant and known- not because you want to be famous, but because if people know your work, you'll get work and your work might reach folks; if not, you won't and it won't. I know the feeling of loving tour, of feeling blessed to be able to travel around and do what you love for folks. And I know the feeling that you are lucky to be able to do your work and you just have to keep going and going because this is not a 9-5 job, so all of this is worth it, right?
As a particular kind of disabled person who for years was broke and sick and unable to leave my neighborhood much, let alone the city, touring was both something other working-class artists explained to me as a way of making a living that could work with the peaks and crashes of a chronically ill body who had fatigue weeks and energy weeks, where you could make a chunk of money and then live frugally off of it when you were sick or tired. And something that felt like, and is, an immense privilege, that many people don't get to do- for lots of reasons, including that I am a walkie, and it's easier for me to get on busses and trains and planes than many of my friends and comrades who use adaptive devices that transportation is too ableist to easily accommodate. I have always felt, no matter what, I don't have my mom's life. I am lucky as hell. I got no reason to complain.
And there is truth to all of that. What is also true is all the days you work sick and in pain. All the invisibilized labour you do to lie down before and after, to take pain meds and stretch and carry traditional Chinese medicine teapills with you to ward off or mitigate the sick, to take care of the sick and pain that happens on the road and after the road. The inner and outer voices and archetypes common in performance culture, that say you are so lucky to do what you do, that the show must go on, that you power through illness, that canceling means you're a diva or 'unreliable' or weak, that to be open about illness means people will think twice about booking you and think you are no longer at the peak of your career. What is true for me, at 41, is realizing that the ways I was able to push myself, even as a chronically ill artist, to take redeyes and busses and long long travel days, in my 30s to shows and workshops and gigs, are less possible in my 40s.
Many folks I know increasingly talk a lot about sustainability, but I knew few people who actually have figured out how to do it all the way. That's not our fault- it's ableist capitalism's. We are all trying to survive the best we can, and there are few working artist workshops, fewer working disabled artist workshops, and a reality that it certainly feels like not everyone can make any kind of living as an artist. We are used to doing a lot on a little as a working-class, QT/POC artist model of our strengths. We don't have a model of touring that includes disability and illness, canceling and rescheduling, that seems like something other than a luxury, or even possible. This often comes from a place of being cash poor, but it's also true that artists with access to more money don't feel like it's possible to cancel or slow down either.
When Sins Invalid, the disability justice performance collective I am honored to perform with, rescheduled our big 2010 show after a collective member had 3 big health issues come up, bumping it from an original October 2010 date to April 2011, it was both unprecedented - something no one in performance worlds I know had seen done - and something we deliberately did as a disability justice collective committed to leaving no one behind and centering our bodies as they were. (You can see more about this decision here: http://sinsinvalid.org/blog/sins-invalid-performance-update and here: http://sinsinvalid.org/blog/sins-says-thanks ) I hope it's made other groups start to dream how to build in ideas of how to make performances happen where cancelling or rescheduling isn't an unforseen disaster or an impossibility, but something we can plan for.
I don't have a magic solution. But I know I am 41, a performer and writer, on my second pneumonia in two months, watching a lot of our beloved artists- Prince so much among them, but also Aiyyana Maracle, Mohawk Trans Elder writer and performance artist whose work I first encountered twenty years ago, who meant so much to me and so many folks in communities I am a part of, who just passed from liver cancer today, and many others - become ancestors in their 40s and 50s and 60s. And I am committed to figuring out together how we can remake performance culture's expectations and figure out our own disabled and chronically ill performance ideas that allow our bodyminds to thrive. I want us to live to get old.
You know, Jian Ghomeshi will affect us all in different ways, so a day after the verdict, as a means of getting through this last hour and a half of a semi turbulent plane ride from detroit to seattle, with narry but a mickey of Woodford and some free seatback TV as resilience practices, I give you this series of survivor movie reviews. Survivor narratives are barely anywhere on TV outside of CSI: Special Victims Unit, so I started thinking about the gems that I have watched obsessively over and over again that have spoken to me about trauma and resilience. Also I am a Taurus so I just watch the same shit over and over again. Here it is. WARNING LOTS OF SPOILERS. This is not an exhaustive list.
Good Will Hunting
I have a strange love for this movie. It's about working class white straight cis guys. But for all that, it's like one of the few films I've found about trauma and working class smart kids who are foster care survivors who fuck up, get the girl, fuck up, and in the end, reject assmillating into a nice middle class job. It also makes fun of most shrinks and the main character heals through finding a similar working class genius fuck up who went to MIT but is teaching at bunker hill community college. If it was about POC it'd be perfect but it would also be another movie.
Dance Me Outside.
Sorry this is gonna be a big spoiler, but this gem of a movie is like one of the few movies I see that has an almost all Native cast, where a white guy kills a Native woman but in the end the Native women kill the dude and nothing bad happens to them. Also, a white man's low sperm count is a prime plot point and there's a lot of gentle, goofy yet realistic kindsa Native masculinity in main characters. Plus, Gloria Mae Eshkibok is in it. You can watch the whole thing on YouTube. I used to have it on VHS.
Mostly for the moment where the main character touches the girl they are crushing on and everything stops. The sound cuts out as they kiss. When her mom kicks her out of the house, she doesn't kill herself. She goes to UC Berkeley to study like, queers and poetry. “ I'm not running, I'm choosing.” She stands with her best buddy on a Brooklyn rooftop eating an ice cream watching the sun.
One crazy upper middle class white femme girl runs away from the psych ward and her fucked up dad to live in an abandonned building and hang out in pre-gentrification Times Square with an also crazed survivor baby butch, strips, is supported by street life and starts a pirate radio station. They touch a lot and love each other but don't fuck. Trauma bonding. Femmeness. Sex work. Street life and running away to safety.
Once Were Warriors
Hella real, beautifully shot and acted story about intergenerational trauma and resilience in a Maori Indigenous community. The mom character is incredible . Hard hard survivor suicide moment at the end, but also a return home.
Still have never been able to bring myself to watch it. Have read the book 98 times. Glad it launched Gabrielle Sidibe's career but still mad Ms Rain has straight hair.
Oh hi. Look, I booked a 20 city tour for Bodymap, cause I'm like that. Please check back for updates and more specific information as things get firmed up. I will also update with access info and Facebook links as they come up. Also I AM TURNING 40 during this time period. Stay tuned for surprises.
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prefigurative politics and creating radically accessible performance spaces: building the world to come.
(I've been working on this for a while, but these are expanded notes for the talk I gave at Proof.So.Gay: Pecha Kucha Night, a series of 6 minute talks Syrus Marcus Ware asked me to speak at yesterday, at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto.)
“If, as the African revolutionary leader Amilcar Cabral described it, culture is the ‘collective personality of a people,’ then the arts are its collective dreamlife. In the absence of coercive control, the arts, like dreams, are naturally drawn to the deepest hopes, fears, and truths that are suppressed in daily life...art becomes conscious dream-telling, responsible creation with the potential to affect the life of our people.”
- Ricardo Levins Morales (with thanks to Patricia Berne for sharing these words with me.)
Pre figurative politics is a fancy phrase for the idea of imagining and building the world we want to see now. It's waking up and acting as if the revolution has happened. It's, for example, building a sliding scale community acupuncture clinic that is affordable and centers disabled and working class/poor and black, indigenous, people of color, instead of writing reports about how the medical industrial complex is fucked up. (though that can be important too.) I think of it as being focused on the Allied Media Conference principles of "we spend more time building than attacking" and "we focus on our power, not our powerlessness."
As a performer and writer, I know that in the higher education programs that I attended to study writing and performance, I learned basically zero about creating accessibility in making performance art and theater and spoken word. The focus was almost always on creating the work of Art, in a vacuum- almost no attention was paid to the audience, the performance space, the container and community for the art as being as important as the art itself, and not separatable from the art. Practical skills- from how to make a flyer or a budget, let alone how to do successful ASL and make a fragrance free space or a performance whose pace was accessible to non hyper able bodied performers- were neglected in those ivory towers. I think that if anyone had asked about how to create accessible spaces, for performers or attendees, they would have been, gently or not so gently, dissed. That stuff, that's about community based art, or art therapy- not real, professional, capital A art.
As a performer, producer and director, I believe that how you do it and who is there to see it is as important as what is on the stage. My favorite performance spaces are spaces that become temporary, two hour communities that are autonomous zones that feel like freedom. Being in them, we can smell and taste and feel things we have always wanted but rarely witnessed- both in what we see on stage, and how we interact and participate as an audience that is a community of witnesses. Having an accessible space for performers and attendees and workers, where disability is not marginalized, tokenized, or simply not present, is very different than having a performance space that is full of mostly able bodied, young, non parenting people who can afford to spend the money to attend and get there.
As oppressed people, we don't control a lot of things. But one thing we can sometimes control is the stage. The stage can be prefigurative politics.
I remember this time that I asked Patty Berne, the genius co-founder and Artistic Director of Sins Invalid, the disability justice performance incubator I have been deeply inspired by and have participated in as a performer, why she started Sins with Leroy Moore. She said something like, (and I know I'm paraphrasing, but this has stuck with me) "You know, I could lecture people of color doing movement work about why they should care about ableism. Or I could create a performance that shows them the inside of their dreams and nightmares and fucks their shit up and shakes them inside out and transforms them."
As a (queer, disabled, femme, cis, of color) performer, writer, curator, producer/director and performance artist, i can attest to the fact that disability, access and accessibility are rarely thought about in performance. As in most ableist and able bodied centered spaces, when access is thought of, it is thought of as a guilt ridden afterthought. It is usually only thought of when disabled, sick, Deaf and/or Crazy people ask (in an email, on a Facebook event, in a phone call, like we do) for a curator or director to post the access info. This request is usually responded to with guilt, with defensiveness, with surprise, with bad or nonexistent or last minute scrambles for access. Because, as Qwo-Li Driskill says, one way ableism works is that disabled people "don't even exist in the able bodied imagination."
Further, in ableist, mainstream performance spaces, access is mostly only considered only when audience members are concerned. It is beyond the scope of most theater managers to even imagine that performers, directors, light and sound techs, stage managers and volunteers could be disabled. Writing this, I can remember clearly the pause on the other end of the phone as I asked my contact at a performance space whether the stage was accessible, after he had said, "Oh yeah, there's a ramp at the door" three times, and I'd said, "Yes, but is there a ramp for the stage?" He couldn't imagine that one of the performers was a wheelchair user. When he got it, he said without hesitation, "Well, I guess she'll just have to perform on the floor"- without thinking for a second about the second class place implied by that state- able bodied and walkie crips get the stage; you get the floor.
We are not supposed to be healers, because we are obviously 'unhealed' and broken, according to the ablest imagination. And we are not supposed to be performers except in a "clap for the brave cripples, but don't expect them to be a) good b) have some shocking shit to say that you didn't expect" kind of way. The charity model infects even how crip art can be thought of, or if it can be thought of at all.
So this brings me to the work of setting up performances and the idea that making access happen
You've heard the idea perhaps that the audience makes the performance? Aa performer of color, I know that performing to an all QTPOC audience is very different than performing to one that is majority white- or when white people have grabbed all the seats right at the front, for example.
The audience at a Sins show is as important as a show. Is part of the show. Because it is a portrait of cross disabled, deeply accessible space that is also Black, Brown and economically accessible.
When I went to Sins for the first time and ran smack into crip culture- a line of chair and scooter users right at the front, a line of Deaf, Hard of Hearing and signing folks at the front right in front of the ' terps, short folks, cane users, folks with PCAs, folks in pain, dressed up, dressed all in white, popping pills, flirting, spraying active enzymes under their tongues to withstand chemicals they were surrounded by, sitting by audio describers, Black Brown and white, no one turned away for lack of funds - it fucked me up in the best way and changed my life. This was the audience. I was a part of the audience. A brown, sick part. We were not translating and we were not trying to pass as disabled or fighting to just get in the door or to see five seconds of ourselves on stage and the world was the world to be. and we were not "sorry, the space is inaccessible, but you can watch it on the livestream!" (Note: I am all in favor of livestreaming as being a way to make performance accessible to folks who are unable to make it to the show because of money, sickness, fatigue, etc, but livestreaming an inaccessible space is not an ok fix for an inaccessible venue- sick, disabled, Deaf and crazy folks would like to be part of the community gathering to witness performance, too.) We were not an afterthought. Able bodied people could come, but they weren't doing us any favors.
Over the next few years, as I grew in disability consciousness and identity, and took part in hanging out, talking, thinking and building DJ culture with other sick and disabled folks, I started thinking a lot more, and trying to put into practice, accessible booking and producing. I learned a lot from others doing this work.
It took a long time before i realized that the work I was automatically doing as a disabled producer- buying the fragrance free soap, booking ASL and doing Deaf promo and making sure that everyone got their scripts in to the terps two weeks in advance, taping off lanes 36 inches wide, figuring out where interpreters, Deaf and HOH folks could sit near each other and still have clear sight lines to the performance, doing pre show education about fragrance free, recruiting childcare workers, calling venues multiple times to punch through their "Oh yeah, it's accessible" to finding out what that really meant, co-creating an accessible venues google document- was both a specific skillset of accessible performance skills, its own job that no one should be doing *and* doing directing, performing, etc. And that It was also an invisibilized labour because it is feminized, disabled cultural labour. And it is never taught in a theatrical or performance MFA. And mostly, when it happens, it happens because sick and disabled and Deaf and crazy folks make it happen, because we are the ones who a) care b) have the sick/disabled/crazy/Deaf science and skills to make it happen.
Five years after I attended that first Sins show, when I was working on booking the Mangos with Chili toronto show, I listened to myself as I explained that the culture in Toronto had shifted- not at all fully, and not automatically, but through years and decades of cross-disability and Deaf cultural activism in Toronto, and it was no longer just acceptable business as usual all the time to have queer performance in inaccessible spaces. People who did could expect resistance and a community raising our voices in anger. (I say this with hesitation, knowing that there are still so many inaccessible spaces, and that this is an ongoing work in progress- and also wanting to mark that accessibility awareness in Toronto QTPOC and activist performance spaces does feel broader than in many cities that I have visited. And that that happened through the labour of many, many disabled, chronically ill, crazy and Deaf folks and allies, and deserves to be celebrated.)
And I was rewarded. At the show, there was a line of signing folks right up front, parents who were able to attend and watch burlesque because there was childcare, chair users with nice wide rows and clear beginning and end times marked on the invite so WheelTrans bookings could happen, frag free seating, folks who left halfway through because they got too tired, youth and elders.
That crowd was the show.
And more than that: that crowd was the movement and community i want to live in and make art for and with. It was the opposite of an inaccessible performance space filled with able bodied, non parenting, young queers. It was a cross-disability, parenting and mixed class community for three hours where I felt like all my parts could come home. I didn't feel like I was pushing myself to be in a space that was inaccessible, and where the fact of disabled people wasn't even present. I wasn't at home, staying home from an inaccessible and alienating space, worried that I would fade from people's memory or become a "whatever happened to her?" because I had just stopped going to inaccessible spaces. Where I was not isolated from other disabled, deaf, chronically ill and/or Crazy folks because of the walls the ableism enacts to separate us from each other and forcibly isolate us. That show and crowd, it was the world to come. It was, and is, the world and the performance space that I want.
(PS: I am working on a guidebook for creating accessible events- watch this space for where it will be available for download.)
( image description of thumbnail image]: large screen with the image of writer June Jordan on it, wearing a black and white horizontally striped shirt, looking down, smiling with pleasure. person on stage at mike is
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarashina wearing a red slip]
As an emerging queer writer of color, I deeply needed writing arts spaces that got it - that weren't just focused around straight, dead white guys - and they were damn hard to find. They don't exist in most graduate schools. They are rare in community spaces. I've spent the past 13 years teaching writing and performance to badass marginalized writers to try and fill that gap and because I love doing it, through Supporting Our Youth's Pink Ink program, co-founding Asian Arts Freedom School and teaching with June Jordan's Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley and in communities and colleges across North America. And 13 years later, I know there's still so much need for places to learn writing, stretch and grow fiercely as a queer writer of color.
But! I am so excited because I'm starting to teach writing classes as sacred space by and for two spirit, queer and trans people of color and TSQTPOC with disabilities. My first class, Sacred Texts, Collective Dream, is kicking off this November at the Living Room Project in West Oakland, CA, a physically accessible space. I'm also teaching this class online in December, in order to make it accessible to as many people as possible. Further, I'm teaching Frida and Harriet's Children, an online writing class for TSQTPOC with disabilities and chronic illness in January 2014. I am so fucking excited about taking the leap to make spaces of liberatory writing education for communities of writers I love the most possible. You can see more about the project here: http://www.brownstargirl.org/current-projects.html
Since I posted the call for participants three weeks ago, I've had a ton of people emailing and being interested in taking classes. This is awesome! I've also had a bunch of people asking what the scholarship opportunities are because guess what- a lot of two spirit, queer and trans people of color writers are broke! I have a number of Deaf folks who want to take the class, and I am fundraising to pay ASL interpreters to make this class Deaf accessible.
A huge part of liberation is making learning accessible in all ways. So- I'm writing to ask if you would consider supporting Sacred Texts, Collective Dream with a donation of any amount to go towards full or partial scholarships for folks who are broke/ low-income to take the class, and for access costs.
Here's the cost breakdown:
Cost of renting accessible space: $120
Scholarship fund: $600
ASL: 2 interpreters at $60/hour for 4 2 hour classes= $960
Total goal: $1680
You can Paypal me at firstname.lastname@example.org, marking the donation as "personal" or "I'm sending money to family and friends." I'm bad at making GoFundMes and stuff like that, but this seems to work for most folks. Literally any amount of cash helps and gets you my love and support and thanks for helping collectively build zones of accessible creation as liberation.
If you're broke right now, I get it (believe me.) You can totally help by passing the word on! You can also help out by letting your folks know about the classes, posting about the classes and campaign on social media, or writing an article or blog post.
Thanks in advance for all the work you do, and all your love and amazingness.
all work is shared under a Creative Commons license- credit if you share, no commercial use allowed.
This work by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.