i’ve organized lots of different types of events: conferences, arrest actions, political campaigns, social gathering, work parties and festivals. The job of organizing often splits into two broad parts – logistics and content.
Logistics organizers make sure that all the registration fees are paid, that ride shares are organized, that the site is prepped, that speakers or workshop givers are picked up at the train station, that the press releases goes out and the promotion is done, that the event program or action fingerbook is compiled and proofed, that the dry erase board has working markers or the participants know their rights and have lawyer numbers written on their arms, that the food is prepared or the pot lucks don’t have 16 deserts and no main course, and that there is bail money somewhere to get our people out of jail if needed.
Content organizers figure out who is going to present and that they fit together thematically, they translate materials from brilliant facilitators into something accessible for participants to help them decide which workshop to attend, they do the media interviews about the event or action and with some regularity they present or facilitate parts of the event.
Typically, organizers are dominantly one type or the other. But when you get lucky, you find an organizer who is a universal donor, who can do both parts of making an event happen. I call them plug and play.
Angie is one of these gifted types. A handful of days before the Loud Love event she agreed to come to the last disorganizers meeting (her lack of car and need for a ride to go shopping played into my hands). As we went over the long list of things which still needed to be done, both on the content side and logistics, she kept volunteering and i started relaxing. She would write the event program, she would coordinate the kitchen, she would create a new logo, she would run registration and manage the money, and sure she could give an edgy kick ass workshop as well. And she would do it all in just 3 days.
Over the long arch of our relationship we have had more than a couple of conversations where i was describing the relative disaster of the organizing state of something i was trying to manifest and she calmly accessed the situation and pulled it together. Like the time she got together $5000 in cash, after all the banks were closed, to bail me and a handful of other scruffy activists out of jail. But that is another story.
Thanks Angie, for everything.
i have been delinquent in posting about the Loud Love event, which overall i was super pleased with (special thanks to Angie for jumping in at the last minute and being the world class organizer that she is). Here is one participants view on the event, complete with exerts from the upcoming Transparency Tools fingerbook i am crafting with Marta (if you have good pictures, please let us know we need them).
Two weeks ago, I attended “Loud Love: Relationship Strategies to Change the World,” an ‘unconference’ on relationships in rural central Virginia. It was a really powerful and cool experience, and I want to share with you some of the tools I learned–including tools to increase knowledge of others and yourself, and to help sustain long-term relationships. I want to share these tools with you because I think they are really important and useful to everyone, in all manner of relationships–not just to the sort of people who go off to a weekend conference on polyamory organized by a bunch of hippies in the woods. I also want to share them with you because I really do think better interpersonal relationship skills can help change the world, and in the conclusion I’ll muse a little on how.
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The coining of the word “kiss” is often credited to Shakespeare and i think it is an especially brilliant name, further solidifying his genius status in my mind. Perhaps it was called just “snogging” before old Bill came along and saved the day. In this spirit, i have asked Rabbit to come up with a better term for compersion, which is slightly poorly defined as the opposite of jealousy. What compersion really is is feeling excited about your romantic intimate having other romantic intimates. Great idea, terrible name. Oh, and it turns out Shakespeare did not coin “kiss”, but has the first attestation of it (first recorded printing).
A talented group of organizers is putting together this Loud Love conference in June (you can register on line for it). The content is potent and eclectic, including: how to date a sexual assault survivor, how to have a brilliant break up, honest seduction, blues dancingas non-sexual consent practice, transparency tools, how to explain polyamory to your kids, crafting sexy consent, BDSM/kink, becoming a drag king, multiple parallel honeymoons and much more. One of the workshops i am most excited about is on how to transcend jealousy and learn how to be excited about your lover having other intimate relationships.
In polyamory discussions one often hears “Do i have to transcend my own jealousy to be polyamorous?” The answer is no. The stock reply is that you do not have to transcend jealousy to be in a poly relationship, but you do need to be willing to look at the feelings underneath it and communicate honestly about them with your partner. If you can communicate about these and other tricky feelings, you maybe able to navigate through your jealous experiences and maintain multiple relationships. If you can’t talk about it, you are sunk.
There is a fair amount of good stuff out there in the world on how to manage jealousy and there is precious little that i have found on how to build compersion. And by the time Loud Love is actually happening, i am confident we will have found useful stuff on this important topic, and/or we will have found a capable facilitator for this workshop.
And hopefully Rabbit will have found a better name for it by then as well.