BIL 2015

March 21-22nd at Imperial Vancouver. Doors open at 8am. Opening remarks begin at 9:30AM.

Skyler Reed


I am the founder of Festival Poetics, a regional poetry festival based in Portland, OR now in its second year that brings together local writers and poets and presents it to new audiences. I have participated in community organizing or activism in some form for most of my life including Environmental Activism and promoting Open Source software in the University system. I am passionate about being a connector between the ivory tower arts and the community bazaar.

Talk Title: Building An Arts Community (Or ANY Community) Without Burning Out

As the founder of a DIY community-oriented poetry and arts group that has blown up into a four-day full fledged Festival I have learned a few things about creating a quality, well attended, and well loved community of artists and writers. As the de-facto Leader being immersed in an outcast subcultre that is filled with intelligent, engaging, and sometimes very introverted characters. Unlike starting a company softball team, a local library book club, or even a tech meetup, getting people involved and motivated to build an arts community may seem like an easy proposition but its more about creating cooperation than artistic creativity–and as Amanda Palmer says, when it comes to getting help (and avoiding burnout), you have to know who to ask.

This talk is for ANYONE who has looked around and said “Why don’t they have ( / stitch and bitch / drink and draw / poetry slams / etc.) near my house?!” In my talk I will cover DIY Community Building:

– How to build a long-term strategy for a sustainable community-oriented arts organization that will last
– Making your event well known and well attended week after week, month after month, year after year
– Operating on a shoestring to no-string budget using newfangled social media and old fashioned word of mouth
– Avoiding burnout by finding the right people inside and outside your community that can and will help you
– And… Staying sane by keeping away the toxic people and institutions that can drag your community down