Split This Rock Poetry Festival and Program Updates Responding to COVID-19
Thursday, April 23, 2020
What Comes After: Poetry Festival 2020 Cancelled | New Community Offerings
Dear Split This Rock Community,
We hope this message finds you and your loved ones well-held. As the pandemic health crisis exposes and deepens inequities across our communities and world, we know that many receiving this email are on the frontlines. Your work inspires ours.
We appreciate your patience and continued support as Split This Rock's staff and board assessed what we could offer to respond to the public health crisis and preserve the vital energy and spirit of Split This Rock community programs. We know that Split This Rock Poetry Festival is a special gathering that provides sustenance to our writing communities.
While we would love to postpone the Festival to a later date, so much is uncertain. Given the need for a sustained, long-term public health response and the uncertainty about how long local and national responses will take, it is clear that we cannot responsibly reschedule the current Festival as an in-person event. Because we value the health and well-being of our staff and our community, we have decided to cancel Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2020. We remain committed to paying honorariums for featured poets and scholarship recipients.
Although we are unable to gather in person this year, Split This Rock is excited to offer adapted and accessible programs online over the coming weeks:
- #SplitThisBookfair, a virtual book fair celebrating presses, journals, and authors
- Featured poet readings
- Free writing workshops
- Virtual Open Mic featuring your responses to current political, economic, and health crises
- Poem of the Week series, and more....
Look out for emails and social media posts in the coming weeks announcing dates for these free online events.
On behalf of the board and staff, we are so grateful to the poets, educators, presenters, and volunteers who have always made the Festival the special gathering it is. We are also thankful for a broad community of supporters and sponsors who offered messages of support and sustained funding through this critical time. Your work makes our work possible.
We're sending thanks to you for staying in relationship with us and with each other. May we keep tending these ties as we respond to and navigate this passage.
In care and solidarity, with poetry on our lips and our fists in the air,
Split This Rock Staff & Board
Friday, March 13, 2020
Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2020 Postponed
Split This Rock staff and board have decided to postpone Poetry Festival 2020. We are assessing what the options are in a context of an uncertain local and national situation. We look forward to continuing the work that went into the Festival in some exciting ways in the future. We will update by web, email, and social media to announce those plans as they are confirmed.
In the meantime, contact email@example.com if you have questions. We're still working with hotel partners to support refunds. We're sending solidarity & thanks to you for being in this with us. Please be gentle with our small staff as we respond to the high volume of communication. We are working remotely, and email is currently the most effective way to reach us.
Split This Rock Update for March 2020 Programming
Given the state of emergency in the DC-metro area, Split This Rock is joining many peer and partner organizations to suspend in-person programs and postpone events through March 31. This includes the DCYST Grand Slam Finals (March 14), Sunday Kind of Love (March 15), and the DC Youth Open Mic (March 21). Writing workshops in late March were already cancelled to make room for the Poetry Festival.
Split This Rock staff and board are making a range of plans to respond to public health need and still preserve the energy and spirit of these vital spaces for community, spaces that are even more urgently needed in times of crisis. We will reassess April programming at the end of March and update by web, email, and social media to announce those plans and what remote options we can offer.
We understand that this crisis is straining almost every social system. We want to stay in this together and are so grateful for your messages of continued support and solidarity. Please be gentle with each other and with our small staff as we all navigate a changing situation. We are working remotely at this time, and the best way to reach us with questions is by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2020 Response to COVID-19/coronavirus
Given the need for urgent public health response to COVID-19 and George Washington University's decision to suspend public events on campus, Split This Rock will no longer be able to host in-person sessions as planned for Poetry Festival 2020. Staff met yesterday, and staff and board are making a range of plans to respond to public health needs and still preserve the energy of the Festival and the spirit of resistance and readiness that is even more urgently needed in times of crisis. We'll continue with updates by email, social media, and Split This Rock's website to announce those plans and what remote options we can offer.
We will update by Friday with additional information based on board decisions tonight. Please contact email@example.com if you have questions. We are working with hotel partners to support as many full refunds on reservations as possible.
We're sending you fortitude for these thick times and thank you for being in this with us. Please be gentle with our small staff as we respond to the high volume of communication this shift requires.