2017 Out in the Open Summit Sessions
Living on the Land & Eating from It Sessions:
Art & Expression Sessions:
Organizing for Justice Sessions:
- Bees Have Three Genders: A Look Into the Hive with Eli - A conversation about bees and their current and prospective keepers. Open to all levels of experience!
- Additional resources for this session from Eli: "The Brattleboro Area Beekeepers' Guild Facebook is the best place to lurk if you're considering beekeeping in the area."
- Climate Change with Abby - Climate change is often talked about as something that will happen sometime in the future, but the reality is that it is here and now. So let's talk about it! How can we live with the current reality of climate change without turning away? How does it affect us as queers? As parents? As social justice activists? What does climate justice look like? This workshop will embrace a spectrum of emotions including overwhelm, grief, and gratitude, with a goal of moving forward with active hope.
- Creating Public Spaces for community engagement- gardens etc. with Nicole - Importance of mapping needs/ desires of your region for common spaces/community. Tools for bringing people together. How to build a more resilient community through honoring each other and sharing knowledge.
- Kitchen Counter Butchery: Demystifying Rabbits and Chickens with Lily & Kegan - This session covers the basics of poultry and rabbit butchery through demonstration and hands-on learning, with a focus on parting and using the whole animal. We'll also discuss perspectives on meat animal processing and eating in rural queer context, with particular focus on food justice and affordability.
- Plant Walk with Naomi - This session offers an opportunity to explore some of the medicinal and edible plants of the area, discuss botany, engage with direct perception, and talk about what it might mean to cultivate queer relationships to land. Bring layers and dress warmly!
- Additional resources for this session from Naomi: "Folks can check out my blog at www.tinyponyapothecary.com"
- Goat Care & Cheesemaking with Susan & Nancy - Considering adding goats to your homestead? Learn a bit about goat behavior, milking, basic care and space requirements. This is a hands-on opportunity with a couple of goats and their goatherds from Bloodroot Farm in Rockingham. Then we will go to the kitchen to demonstrate what to do with all the milk! We will show you basic cheesemaking skills and recommend tools and resources to make great cheeses everyday.
Art & Expression Sessions:
- Alchemic writing circle with Morgan - Everyone has a voice, and everyone can write. This session is focused on getting past our fears to create and celebrate raw writing in a space without judgment. All prompts are open-ended to draw upon both life and imagination, and sharing is never required.
- Additional resources for this session from Morgan: "Amherst Writers & Artists website"
- "Am I Queer Enough?" with Wendy - Have you ever wondered, "Am I Queer enough?" How do we navigate -- and name -- identities in Queer space and in not-Queer-enough spaces, especially in rural locales? Who determines whether we're Queer enough to call ourselves "Queer"?
- Comics as LGBTQ Expression with Sophie - A discussion around LGBTQ comics and comics techniques will be followed by exercises where participants will make their own comics. Facilitator Sophie Yanow teaches comics-making classes at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT.
- Meeting Intimacy with Curiosity with Lis & Natalie- Capitalism and heteropatriarchy teach us to disconnect from our bodies and each other. In our queer culture, how do we grow intimacy within ourselves and share it with each other without apologies? We invite you to come explore how to find and trust your inner yes and no, one of the foundations of true intimacy. Together we will, through a series of body-based, non-sexual, and consent-based explorations, be curious about what feels authentic for us, what healthy connection means in our circles, and how that spreads out into our communities. Here are some teaser questions to sit with before the session: Am I able to make room for my own intense emotions? How do I experience and express joy? Can I give myself permission to show you who I am while loving and accepting myself?
- Playing at the Boundaries: Queer Music Sharing as Community Building with Calvin & Sean - Whether it's leading a group song around the fire, making your crush a mixtape, producing a podcast, or playing a live show to a house full of dancing bodies, sharing music connects us, teaches us, heals us, elevates us. In this session, hear and respond to tunes by rural and urban queer and trans artists, celebrate ways of sharing music while subverting capitalism, and collaborate on a playlist to be shared with the rest of the Summit and beyond.
- Additional resources for this session from Calvin and Sean: "If participants have access to Spotify, [we recommend] this pride playlist of queer and trans artists of color by Alok Vaid-Menon"
- QueerDharma: queering buddhist practice with Aurelie - The workshop will have a threefold agenda. 1) offer concrete tools for the practice of mindfulness to cultivate wellbeing and solidity 2) offer a teaching from secular buddhism on interdependence and non-self through the lens of intersectional lbgtqia+ identity politics and activism 3) open up a facilitated environment for sharing out our lived experiences as queer and trans folx framed by the teachings.
- Additional resources for this session from Aurelie: "A good short-form primer: http://www.decolonizingyoga.com/gender-dysphoria-dharma/"
Organizing for Justice Sessions:
- Advocacy, Action, and Activism in Vermont with Brenda - A dialog with participants about personal encounters with elected leaders. What questions can we ask them? Best way to open lines of communication to folks to make sure our voices are heard. How we can be effective and still be maintain a quality of life in our rural homes. We will also explore questions like: how can folks be elected officials? What does it mean to sit on a town committee? How can we as LGBTQ people effectively participate in existing structures like Town Meeting, Selectboard, or the school board? What would a rural & small town LGBTQ agenda and goals for these types of structures look like?
- Art for Demonstrations with Shea - What are the goals of visual messaging in demonstrations? What kind of imagery makes an effective statement? What are tools to make banners and giant puppets, particularly, that are light, sturdy, visually impactful, and help us make change? In this workshop, we'll look at examples of big art for demonstrations and learn practical skills for constructing giant puppets and big banners. Chem/scent warning: there will be (aired out, low stink) paint smells at this workshop!
- Creativity, Cultural Organizing, and Social Imagination with Devon - In this session we'll explore the important roll of creativity and imagination within social and environmental justice organizing. We'll learn some of the principals of arts/cultural organizing, talk about examples we've seen, connect to resources to help implement cultural strategies within our own organizing, and brainstorm ways to use creativity to address social issues we see in our own communities.
- Mad Pride & Allyship with Malaika & J - in our session, Mad Pride & Allyship, we’ll discuss ways of framing emotions and experiences outside of psychiatry and the social construction of mental illness. we’ll also talk about how to be a good ally to mad folks/psych survivors/folks experiencing emotional distress.
- Out in the Open for Justice with HB & Grace - Rural & small town LGBTQ people have a critical role to play in building towards collective liberation for all. This is the third Out in the Open Summit and we're excited to continue growing this work, network, and these connections. During this session we'll continue visioning and strategizing about how we can use Out in the Open in increasingly powerful ways to build towards justice in all of our communities more than just one weekend a year. We'll explore questions like: What do you love about your community? What makes our towns/communities similar and what sets them apart? How have you met challenges as a LGBTQ person living rurally, and would your response work elsewhere? What possibilities do you see for (radical) change in your small town, and what support do you want/need/dream about?
- Resilience-Based Organizing for a Just Transition with Vanessa - As climate chaos escalates, LGBTQ people- especially QTBIPOC -are among those communities hit first and worst. But our communities also have a unique knowledge of what it takes to change, transition, and survive. This participatory conversation will explore the vision of the Just Transition movement and the principles of Resilience-Based Organizing, and open discussion on the role we can play in building a transition towards life-affirming economies for people and planet.
- Additional resources for this session from Morgan: "I highly encourage participants to skim Movement Generation's Just Transition Zine. This workshop will walk through and unpack the frameworks laid out in this zine. The zine is free and printable online in both English and Spanish"
- Songs of Healing & Resistance with Camille - Songs are powerful vehicles for energizing and focusing our organizing meetings, building and healing our communities, and expressing our demands for justice. In this session we will talk briefly about the role of singing and chanting in social justice movements, sing a handful of resistance and healing songs, and practice leading a group in song. No singing experience or skill necessary! This kind of singing is about the heart and energy we put into it, not about how "good" we sound.