Our first August meeting was especially productive. Although we look for more people to attend our meetings, our meeting Friday was especially lively with lots of ideas discussed. Shauna, Amanda, Leslie and John were there along with Christine Garcia and Erika Wurth. Erika agreed to read during the conference’s Saturday night performance and generously offered to bring a few of her books of poetry for sale with all the proceeds going to the conference. She believes Marianne Broyles will do the same and will contact her to confirm. Christine has agreed to be the liaison between the conference and UNM. She’ll approach instructors in a few departments to offer students extra credit for attending all or part of the conference panel discussions and subsequently writing reflections of their experiences. Instructors may have other ideas, of course, to involve their students in the conference weekend. Christine also knows UNM students who perform hip-hop and will ask them to be among the performers Saturday night. We’ll continue looking for ways to involve students in the conference by contacting other University instructors connected with our program.
We spent time discussing prices for the conference. It was generally agreed that students be asked a suggested donation of five dollars to attend a single day and ten dollars for the weekend, but not be required to pay. We considered offering group rates for classes attending as a whole (as with previous conferences, no one will be turned away). Regarding general admission, the consensus was to ask for donations of $25 for the entire weekend and $15 per day with a smaller donation for a panel. We will also advertise the option to volunteer for the conference, and perhaps for another community minded organization. The amount of time volunteered would dictate how much of the conference would be offered without payment. Shauna agreed to determine the best way to phrase all the price options. The cost of the Friday night performance remains at $10 with the price lowered at the door for those who can’t afford $10 (as in the past, no one will be turned away, but this is regarded as a paid event for the general public.)
It was agreed lunch would be a potluck. In keeping with the conference’s overall theme of la cultura, people will be asked to bring a dish with some significance to their family and/or community. Amanda agreed to oversee the potluck with assistance from Shauna, and will ask Flying Star to provide coffee and pastries for Saturday as she has for the past 3 years.
We discussed inviting storytellers to the conference as part of la cultura, but didn’t decide how they would participate. Having storytellers during the day for people to hear if they’re not interested in a panel or workshop would be great, but asking them to perform during the day rather than scheduling performances is disrespectful. We didn’t decide whether to include storytelling at the conference and how include them if invited.
John reported on the Friday night performance. The lineup of poets is set for the most part. We are planning three musical performances and are contacting musicians and a band for both Friday and Saturday nights. Akusua continues to develop the Saturday night performance at the Harwood. The format will include poetry and performances from invited performers followed by an open mic, intermission, and poetry and a second round of the same activity (attendees will sign up for open mic at the door upon entrance and at the intermission). She continues to contact poets and performers for the night and has an impressive lineup in the works.