Thursday, January 28, 2010

Midwest Hellenic Fest

Glaux (my gf) and I are interested in starting a festival/conference/campout for the Hellenic community. This comes from a place of, "We want to attend this festival, but it doesn't exist yet." Not being ones to just sit and sigh about that, we are willing to put our many years of festival and event coordination experience into play to make the thing exist.

We are members (and resident caretakers) of Our Haven Nature Sanctuary in Southern Indiana, a 175-acre piece of land dedicated to "all positive paths." We practically live there in the summer, and we know beyond a doubt that we can secure a date for the 2011 season.

Glaux and I are both organizers for one of the major festivals that happens at Our Haven and for one of the smaller, newer ones. I was a Coordinator with Indy Pagan Pride Day for years, and I was heavily involved with the largest student programming board on Indiana University's campus as an undergrad. My point: we have oodles of event planning experience. We know how to put together a festival successfully.

We are both newer to Hellenismos, in particular, but not to the Gods or even all of the practices. Our experience, though, is that one doesn't have to be an expert to plan an event. You bring in the experts to teach the workshops, lead the rituals, host the discussions, etc. Planners only plan.

Our vision is to host a pan-Hellenic festival -- one in which both the Traditionalist and the Innovator are welcome. Sounds radical and scary, I know. But we've seen amazing results from our pan-thelemic festival -- Babalon Rising. There, magickal groups who've been in-fighting for a century camp right next to each other for a week, attend the same classes and rituals, speak civilly to each other for a change, and manage to learn and grow.

A Midwestern location offers some benefits. Namely, it is centrally located for US-based Hellenics. And Our Haven offers some great facilities: hot showers, on-site food vendor, a lighted and covered pavilion, a central fire pit, a spacious main field with lots of fire rings, a children's play area, and several shrines to the Gods.

This would be in the summer. Perhaps to coincide with the Hellenic New Year? It would be an opportunity to present basic and advanced concepts, meet in person with folks we know only from teh Intrawebs, honor the Gods together as members of a larger community, see and experience ritual concepts, discuss and debate in authentic and real-time conversations.

Firstly, are there folks out there who would be interested in attending this type of festival? And, secondly, are there experienced, knowledgeable people reading this who would be interested in joining Glaux and I on the planning committee? We're thinking a committee of five or so to start (including us).

Feel free to e-mail me personally, too.


SG said...

This sounds great! I hope it is wonderful, and continues for years to come :) Blessings, Gitana, Hellenion Proto-demos tes Hahnes Persephones

Laurelei said...

Thank you, Gitana! I have high hopes for it, too. =)

Crys said...

I would love to be able to attend but I don't think I'll be able to make it this year. I'm in Iowa and it's a bit short notice for me plus annual family obligations.

I hope it goes really well so there will be an event next year!

Laurelei said...

Luckily, Chrys, the first fest will be in 2011. I hope that will give you some time to plan and prep for it. We'd love to have you there!

Dnode said...

I would tremendously like to attend this event. How is it progressing?

Laurelei said...

Dnode -- It's coming along well. We have three speakers confirmed. (Well, five, counting Glaux and myself -- and I suppose we should be counting ourselves, after all.) We'll be making some announcements about it again soon to keep it on people's minds. =)