Don’t pack away the swimsuit or camping gear just yet because SisterSpace Weekend 2016 is coming up on September 9-11 in Darlington, Md.
The three-day women’s festival is brought to you by SisterSpace Delaware Valley and will focus on spirituality among other things, according to SisterSpace Board President and member of the Planner’s Committee, Jo-Ann McIntyre.
“We have planned many more camp-wide social gatherings as well as several interactive activities,” she said.
McIntyre said the group planned on focusing on social issues in workshops, but ultimately decided to save those for the yearly SisterSpace Meetup events to have more of an impact.
SisterSpace is expecting over 200 individuals to show up for a culture and music packed weekend, with around 80-100 of those being volunteers.
McIntyre said SisterSpace always tries to have a diverse mix of spoken word, comedy, and musical artists at the weekend.
“Most of our performers this year are people who were some of our Day Stage favorites such as Antara, a singer-songwriter from Burlington Vermont; Mama’s Black Sheep from Maryland; and Danie Ocean who hails from right here in Philadelphia,” she said. “We also have old favorites like Virago, a guitar and percussion duo, and Monnette Sudler, jazz guitarist extraordinaire, with Jan Jeffries and Lynn Hunt.”
New artists this year include C.C. Carter, a well-known spoken word artist from Chicago and Onliest, comprised of twin sisters Tiffany and Ganessa James from Brooklyn.
Workshops will include presentations by a licensed medium, who will talk about communicating with the spirit and learning how to take care of yourself, drumming workshops, salsa dancing, and cardo boxing to name a few.
“This year, we’ve gotten quite a few submissions for financially based workshops as well as others focusing around relationships. One of these is a Speed Dating workshop hosted by SisterSpace itself,” McIntyre said. “Every year, we do a workshop called Old Dykes/Young Queers which gives women of various ages and walks of life the chance to sit down and talk to each other about their viewpoints and the differences and similarities in identifying as gay/queer throughout the years. And of course, we have our Sexuality Space which hosts workshops and activities that focus on education, interaction and exploration of all things sensual and sexual.”
McIntyre, who came out in the 80’s, did so in a place where there was a large LGBTQ presence. She said although queer identities were not yet accepted in mainstream society, those communities were important for embracing one’s identity. With society’s changing viewpoint on the LGBTQ community, McIntyre recognized that queer spaces are becoming less of a necessity.
“That’s where SisterSpace comes in. I believe that there is still a very strong need for women in general, not just gay women, to have a safe space where they can go to be together, to support each other and to understand and celebrate themselves and their culture as women. I hope that we have succeeded in making SisterSpace one of those places.”
Online registration ended in August, but contact SisterSpace Weekend directly for information at sisterspace.org or call 888-294-1110.