Sunday, January 4, 2009

Update series #1: Where are we now?

Hey folks,

Well, it's January already, and it feels like the days are streaking by at full speed. I thought I'd use the blog to keep readers updated on the process of building the structure of SpiritFire - what's planned, what's getting done, and how things are going. If you have questions or comments, they are welcome.

So where are we now?

After SpiritFire ends - Sunday evening, in fact - the staff meets for a quick dinner and basically downloads everything we can think of - every pro, con, success, failure, question, complaint, and hope that might affect the next year's gathering. Once that's done, we pack up the rest of the camp, go home, and go into our respective comas for a few days. In general, we take about 2 months out of any SFF-related modes and then in October start planning again. Martin usually has postcard art and T shirt designs ready by about late Oct. to mid November - he's awesome! In fact, here's the front of the postcard for this year:

(drop me an email OFF BLOG with your mailing addy and how many cards you want if you'd like some.)

The first thing we do is to plan our first staff meeting; this is coming up in mid-January. We look over the feedback left to us by festival attendees (another post coming about that soon!); we talk about what we need for on-site assistance, rituals, funding issues, general festival process, and what the individual staffers need in order to do their jobs. So that's coming up, and in preparation I'm compiling a lot of lists - this is where the staff starts wincing - what we need to address during our discussion and so forth.

So that's what's coming up. What's already done?

REGISTRATION IS OPEN!!!! Yes, you may have heard that rates had to go up this year - we've succeeded at keeping our registration at the same level despite our contract going up in cost each year. But even though we have finally had to change our rates to keep things manageable, they've only gone up $10. Yes, you heard that right - $10. So register early to get the best rate!

We know the economy isn't in the greatest shape; each year, we are able to award a good number of partial scholarships thanks to the kindness of folks like you who register and make a donation to the scholarship fund. Even a small donation makes a difference, so if you can give, know that the funds to to pay for folks who otherwise couldn't attend - and they are our friends, our family, our colleagues. the Ritual Arts Collective of Western Massachusetts has generously donated $600 towards scholarships this year - a huge help in our efforts to make the event accessible as possible to all. Thank you!!!!

Our presenter line up usually starts with a small group of invited teachers that help us set the basic structure of SpiritFire. So far, we have a great start, and I invite you to read the SFF Presenter FAQ if you are either interested in submitting a proposal or know of someone whose skills would be a great fit for what we do. The presenter page and other workshop areas will be updated on the main SpiritFire website as we get a more solid schedule set, so keep checking back there.

There's a lot more, but I'll save that for a later post - see you all soon!


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