the Gulf Coast Womyn's Festival
By Jack Nichols
On Easter weekend, Camp Sister Spirit will play host to a Millennium celebration, inviting its many regular attendees and their friends to the 12th Gulf Coast Womyn's Festival. This friendly southeastern Mississippi locale promises four days of "empowerment, entertainment, and encouragement."
The Festival's Workshops, its Day & Night Stage, and a Craft Market will be augmented by 'Great Southern Meals' (that means plates filled with vegetables and meat although vegetarian meals will also be provided). Though the Camp offers limited cabin spaces (reservations should be made in advance) there's also a tent for recreational vehicles.
Admission costs will range between $95 and $225--a sliding scale, based on income. There are four no no's, however: no illegal drugs, no alcohol, no sado-masochistic activity and no pets. Camp Sister Spirit advertises itself as a 'Clean & Sober Non-Violent Space'.
Personal attitudes and behaviors lie at the core of any genuine political changes. The 12th Gulf Coast Womyn's Festival continues its tradition: engaging women in productive dialogues about those ways in which they can change their personal lives for the better. In open discussions, the learners, in the manner of folk schools, become the teachers.
The Gulf Coast Womyn's Festival—in the Camp's spirit—sees itself as "an organic mechanism for initiating a process of social evolution." Attendees will focus on what is called "situation-specific social justice" and putting "genuine social change within the reach of every member of the community."
Brenda and Wanda, two longtime lovers, the extraordinary idealists who founded Camp Sister Spirit, have successfully allayed the concerns of their Mississippi neighbors and regard their site as a safe haven for women who are seeking respite and longing to create a better world. "Our neighbors know they can come to us not just for food or a warm coat," they say, "but for advocacy and for referrals to services."
Attend the 12th Gulf Coast Womyn's Festival:
P.O. Box 12-W
Ovett Mississippi 39464-0012