I know this is cutting it really close timewise, for which I humbly, humbly apologize…
but I only found out about this event last week, and just found out the other day that there will indeed be interpreters for it!
At Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois (which is near Bloomington – about two hours southwest of Chicago), from July 5th through July 8th is the National Women’s Music Festival.
You can find out more about this festival at this site – http://www.wiaonline.org/
To learn more about what exactly IS the National Women’s Music Festival, check out this page which explains it in better detail:
Even if music isn’t really your thing, there appears to be a lot of other things going on that might appeal to you. The keynote speaker for this event is a woman who is the former president of the National Organization for Women (NOW). There are some interesting workshops planned, including a number that focus on women’s spirituality – much of which does have a Pagan slant to it, and others which focus on writing, health, animals, lesbianism, etc. etc. Go here to see some of the workshops offered:
Spirituality – http://wiaonline.org/SpiritualityUC3.html
Writing – http://wiaonline.org/WriterSeries.html
Animals – http://wiaonline.org/Petlovers.html
Go here to see a tentative schedule of the event and the workshops, to find out more about when your workshops will be taking place (keep in mind this is a TENTATIVE SCHEDULE, so if you are interested in going, you might want to double-check to find out when the workshops you are interested in are actually happening, especially if you can’t attend for the full event and only want to go for one day or something…):
I also get the impression there will be quite a few a few vendors there, selling their arts and crafts. You can see a partial list of such here, it hasn’t been updated since the first of June, so I am sure there are more on the list now –
I admit, this event is not exactly cheap (although I have seen other events that were more expensive). The registration for the full event indicates that a 4-day pass is $265. There are reductions for those under 25 or over 65. You can get a one day pass that varies in price depending on which day you want to go. Check out the registration page for more information about entrance fees, housing, child care, etc. at:
The main thing here is to find out if there is an interest amongst Deaf women (and men…while the event is mostly women, men are invited to attend as well!) to attend. I’m interested in possibly going myself, although I doubt I can afford the entire four day event. However, I would like to go for one day and would love to have some company.
I am currently in communication with the lead interpreter for this event, as well as some of the organizers, and they seem to be a great group of women who truly do want to see this festival be accessible, and they seem to be very open to working with others to try and make this festival an exciting and positive event for Deaf women. If you are interested in learning more about the interpreting services being offered for this event, I would suggest you contact Ruth Rowan, the lead interpreter at email@example.com
Unfortunately I didn’t learn about this festival until just a few days ago or I would have made more of an effort to get involved in helping them with the planning, promoting, etc. Ohhh well…maybe next year! Actually, as I understand it the festival began at the University of Illinois back in 1974, continued there for several years, and then moved to Indiana University in Bloomington in 1982, where it has been for many years. The organization which sponsors this event – Women In the Arts – is actually based in Indianapolis. Just recently the event has moved back to Illinois, I believe this is only the second year that it will be held at Illinois State University, and they are still building it up from the change. Last year’s event was small, and yet still quite wonderful (no, I didn’t go…just what I was told).
This is the sort of thing that appeals to me, and that I am quite interested in attending. We as Deaf Women need to take advantage of events like this and show our support by trying to attend ourselves, or at the very least…sending an email to show our appreciation for their efforts, even if we can’t go ourselves. Also, since “word of mouth” (or should that be “word of hand?”) is so important in getting the message out, I encourage you to please send this to any and all of your friends who might be interested, and let them know.
Even if we can’t make it this year…let’s all keep this in mind for next year and perhaps make plans to attend (although I realize that it might conflict with attending the National Assoc of the Deaf conference for some of us!)