Last summer, I taught a freeform tapestry workshop at the New England Fiber Arts Summit, hosted by Wing & A Prayer farm in Vermont. A day or so into the retreat, I realized that it was my very first experience of teaching at an event where I was not the only BIPOC instructor. I had the pleasure of teaching alongside Marceline Smith and Sylvia Watts-Cherry, and it wasn't just their irresistibly charming personalities that made the retreat unforgettable for me. It was the fact that, at a time when conversations around bias and racism were coming to a head online and in my personal life, Marce, Sylvia, and I could talk about those issues freely--and fearlessly--with one another.
That weekend, we started to dream of a way that we could share that experience with others. Since August, we've been meeting, via video, bimonthly, and sometimes weekly, to plan our event. And what did we come up with? The Creative Advocacy Networking (CAN) Retreat, guided by our shared vision and mission:
The CAN Retreat will be held September 17 - 20, 2020 at the farm. Along with the three of us, Nancy Ricci and Karida Collins will be joining us to lead workshops and discussions on the business of working in the fiber industry: teaching, publishing, networking, and sustaining your creative energy. To be true to our commitment to promote accessibility, we were determined to keep the registration fee reasonable and within reach for BIPOC artists who are just setting out on their creative business journey. With generous donations from Stitches Events, Indie Untangled, Pom Pom Magazine, Taproot, Brooklyn General, Fiber Gallery, and Kate Davies Designs, we're able to turn our dreams into reality.
Registrations coming soon--watch this space for registration, schedules, and hotel info.