Hello Sarah, just one word: AWESOME. Thank you so much for your wonderful support! At the strongest point, we had about 100 people in the room. The tent turned out really beautiful and immediately took everybody inside to a different mental plane. When I run big events, I am usually concentrating on the tasks at hand, but in the tent I found myself relaxing, listening to other women's stories, talking. We had different stations on the main floor of McCullough with vegan nail polish, tarot reading, henna hand painting and people actually sat down and talked to one another, laughing, designing cards, trying out the natural beauty products. I overheard women introducing themselves to each other, hopefully making new friends. The tent was on the stage and the other workshops took place in a circle in the middle of McCullough — one on menstrual health, one on financial security for women and — the most popular one — sexual pleasure and sex toys. The woman who ran that workshop got a lot of business at her table afterwards :-). Planned Parenthood and Vermont Works for Women had longer conversations with about 40 women, which is a great number. Overall, I think we really achieved what we set out to do -- provide a space for meaningful conversations and connections. Of course, there is room for improvement: we think we would do a longer day next time (this time we had space constraints) and we would have students lead more workshops. But I think our trial balloon launched really well.
It went great! 13 girls showed up which is 3 more than I expected because a couple people brought friends. Everyone had a really good time and they each took a candy bag and a bag to give to someone. In the bags I printed out Happy Halloween from the Red Tent Foundation. A lot of girls really like RTF already and they were happy about the topic of Halloween costumes and body image because they agreed it is a really important issue with Halloween coming up. The meeting lasted a little longer than expected because I expected it to be 30-45 minutes and it was about an hour and 10 minutes.
The meeting Friday was another success! There were six women again, but four of them were different than last time. Our topic was sexual assault, and it was a really great atmosphere. People were comfortable enough to share semi-private stories about experiences, but it never felt too heavy. We talked a lot about resources and what we could do if someone we knew was sexually assaulted, because most people didn't know much about our options. It lasted forty minutes, and when I announced that the meeting was over but people were welcome to stay and hang out, everyone stayed for another half hour or so and kept talking. I'm upset we only have one more this year! I'm going to try to book a room in two weeks on Friday again.