HEALING YURT Sex & Gender Empowerment Festival: Social Justice Through the Arts (2019/2020)



The Healing Yurt theme has two interchangeable projects.

1. The "Healing Yurt Art Workshop" is an independent, self-contained, nomadic one-day project similar to the Dream Yurt project structure. Healing Yurt Art Workshop is looking for host organizations / events to collaborate with, please contact erdensyren@yahoo.com for more information.

2. The “Healing Yurt Sex & Gender Empowerment: Social Justice Through the Arts” is a one-day festival, read about it below.


VOLUNTEERS: Healing Yurt Festival is currently looking for volunteers interested in joining the project through all facets of planning/logistics, art team/art installation, fundraising, marketing, and on day of festival. Please reach out to erdensyren@yahoo.com with your interest.


About:

In Fall 2019, the Healing Yurt project seeks to come to Auraria Campus in Denver. The “Healing Yurt Sex & Gender Empowerment: Social Justice Through the Arts” is a free, open to all, inclusive one-day social justice festival dedicated to raising public awareness and prevention about sexual violence and LGBTQ+ rights through the universal and powerful language of art and music.

The “Healing Yurt" festivals main highlight feature will be a live art + interactive yurt installation sculpture to be created and deconstructed in the span of one single day by collaborating local Denver artists. The public/attendees will have a chance to participate in the social art experience through "votive wish ribbon" making workshop. The remainder of the festival programming continues with live music performances, featuring empowering speeches by nationally and regionally celebrated leading women’s rights and LGBTQ+ community speakers, among information/activity booths by participating anti-sexual assault and LGBTQ+ rights organization committed to sexual violence and gender rights advocacy and intervention as a public health, human rights and social justice issue to help reinforce prevention efforts.

Healing Yurt is a volunteer run festival running on the power volunteer commitment. We depend on the help of public, private grants and sponsorship from partnering internal Auraria campus student body and external organizations to help offset festival associated materials expenses.


Project Abstract / Background:

The "Dream Yurt" project series is designed to eradicate social barriers through the power of art, social advocacy and community, and in place promote kinship across our differences. By engaging/challenging systems of power, the project aims to transform systems of structured oppression, injustice and displacement while celebrating diversity, promoting social activism, equal justice, and inspiring social change.

My name is Eriko Tsogo, I am a woman, Mongolian American multi-disciplinary artist, civic engagement community coordinator and sexual assault survivor. My sexual trauma history has and continues to profoundly affect and shape my identity today.

Individuality, diversity, sexuality, sexual assault, sexual violence, and LGBTQ+ rights issues are complex subjects with many facets. It has always been a dream of mine to provide an avenue of sharing and healing for sexual assault survivors like myself and for marginalized identities of diversity. As an extension and part of the “Dream Yurt” project series, “Healing Yurt Sex & Gender Empowerment: Social Justice Through the Arts” festival utilizes the term “healing” both in a literal and a broader conceptual meaning to help reconcile/embrace survivors of sexual abuse and trauma through personal symbolic gesture, the comfort of sharing in sameness and by the healing power/energy of the collective empathy.

Essentially the hypothetical healing yurt installation/interactive sculpture container mimics similar properties of a sweatlodge in concept. The yurt installation/interactive sculpture presents a safe abstract space in time where sexual assault and marginalized survivors of trauma are united in pain, truth and the desire to connect. Healing Yurt represents/implies a conceptual, symbolic space; a domain where different cultures, communities, and dreams are housed/safeguarded under one unifying roof, where a wealth of knowledge can be shared/exchanged with each others as part of Colorado's rich and diverse cultural offerings.

Participants are invited, encouraged to express, purge, release and cleanse their personal narratives of pain and sorrow as votive offering, in anonymity or otherwise, by creative means through writing or art on numbered colorful ribbons, to make “wish ribbons”. Each individual wish ribbon then gets attached/bound to the Yurt installation infrastructure (or roof poles), creating a visually erratic effect of colourful prayer flag esque composition inside the yurt.

In binding the wish ribbons to the all-healing non-judgement space of “mother yurt” – she relieves the weight of sorrows through the collective connection point, in connecting to the mass human condition. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of the “Healing Yurt Sex & Gender Empowerment: Social Justice Through the Arts” festival to help inspire, propel and instigate empowerment for the individual/survivor and surrounding community to reclaim the power that was lost through support, understanding and empathy.

Participants are invited to register their wish ribbons into the 1001 Wish Ribbon Collective using our sign up sheet during any one of our project workshop events to get notification about the final RISE WINDHORSE ! performance event.

The goal of the wish ribbon collective is to reach 1001 dream wish ribbons. Once 1001 ribbons have been collected, we will use our sign up sheet to invite all past participants to partake in the big finale ceremonial performance event RISE WINDHORSE ! at a TBD rocky mountain hill top location. Participants will get to purify, revitalize, and forbade the universe to help awaken their dreams come true using the power of the surrounding natural elements and collective wish energy.

Participant make sure to register their contact information on the 1001 Wish Ribbon Collective sign up sheet at each one of our Dream Yurt Project workshops and stay tuned about final RISE WINDHORSE! event.


About Yurt

Yurt in Mongolian means home. The Mongolian yurt has been a distinctive feature of nomadic life in Central Asia for over three thousand years. Mongolian yurts are ecologically friendly and one of the world’s most practically designed habitations. The construction and decoration of a yurt is infused in history and cultural/folk symbolism that range from equality, unity, strength and protection.

A traditional yurt is a portable round tent structure covered with felt and designed to be easily dismantled. The yurt frame structure comprises of expanding wall sections, a doorframe, roof poles, wheel crown, and two columns inside to support the roof. The roof structure is self-standing and relies on the support of 108 poles that resemble the rays of the sun. Complete construction takes around 2 hours or less depending on the amount of assembly support.


Live Art + Interactive Yurt Installation Sculpture Construction

The main highlight feature of the festival will be a live art + interactive yurt installation sculpture to be created and deconstructed in the span of one single day by collaborating local Denver artists. The public/attendees will have a chance to participate in the social art experience through wish ribbon making workshop/activity. The hypothetical yurt installation will be constructed outdoors on the Auraria Campus lawn area. The collaborating artist team will plan/brainstorm the main methods, techniques, concept, materials, and budget needed for successful completion of the installation sculpture. Integral is each artists unique notion/rendition of “hypothetical yurt” as container and all the amazing ideas that may birth from this project.

Main installation components to consider is the number 108 (amount of poles used in traditional yurt roof construction) and to create a main inner “lattice frame structure” by merging some type of symbolic circular wall and roof. Once the installation/interactive sculpture is completed, participants will be invited to come inside and tie/attach their “wish ribbons” onto the 108 roof poles. The act of tying the ribbons symbolizes the essence of the social art experience. The end product should result in a bouquet of colorful ribbons draping under the roof.





Healing Yurt Workshop Mission:

- The Healing Yurt project utilizes art as empowerment.

- The “Healing Yurt Sex & Gender Empowerment: Social Justice Through the Arts” is a free, open to all inclusive, one-day art campaign festival dedicated to raising public awareness about sexual violence and educating communities on how to prevent it through/using the universal and powerful language of art and music.

- The Healing Yurt art campaign festival seeks to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.

- The yurt installation/interactive sculpture presents a safe abstract space in time where sexual assault and marginalized survivors of trauma are united in pain, truth and the desire to connect. Healing Yurt represents/implies a conceptual, symbolic space; a domain where different cultures, communities, and dreams are housed/safeguarded under one unifying roof, where a wealth of knowledge can be shared/exchanged with each others as part of Colorado's rich and diverse cultural offerings.

- In binding the wish ribbons to the all-healing non-judgement space of “mother yurt” – she relieves the weight of sorrows light by connecting to the mass human condition. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of the “Healing Yurt Sex & Gender Empowerment: Social Justice Through the Arts” festival to help inspire, propel and instigate.

- The Healing Yurt has open door policy and inclusive to ALL who want to participate.

- The Healing Yurt is designed to bring light to discerning women’s issues such as helping break the silence on violence/mistreatment against and about women.

- To promote discussion and awareness about women's rights, gender equality, sexual identity, diversity issues.

- To end all forms of violence/mistreatment against women including sexual violence, victim blaming, and derogatory labels.

- To de-stigmatize sexual hypocrisy and self made assumptions, thereby engaging social justice and inspire radically informed communities.

- The healing Yurt is designed to embrace the universal truths and struggles of the human condition. By showing the struggles we all face, help eradicate the rigid border of gender inequality and in place, help highlight the power of the human condition and the universal in all of us.

- To cultivate community and diversity.

- To help empower and transform the individual and community through the power of empathy, inspiration and hope.

- To celebrate the beauty in struggle and resilience, power of relativity over absolution.


4 Festival Components

COMPONENT 1

Inviting local Denver artists to come together to collaborate on one single day construction and deconstruction of large-scale spatial hypothetical yurt container installation that also acts as interactive sculpture on the Auraria campus lawn area. Once all invites are sent out and artists booked, artist will be introduced to each other and the team will be meeting to discuss, brainstorm main methods, techniques, concept, materials, and budget needed for successful completion of the installation sculpture.

Depending on permission from campus and weather permitting, Healing Yurt final installation may stay up for a weeks duration after the festival date.

Possible material considerations for live installation/interactive sculpture: wire, yarn, sting, weaving, wood, plastic, foam…

Local Denver artist team TBD.


COMPONENT 2

Festival programming: Partnering organization advocacy booths to be up the entire time of festival, the public is free to interact with the featured collaborating organizations and gather information/partake in provided activity. Then main festival highlight art installation/social engagement workshop followed by music performance break to gather public to stage area. Then headline speeches, ending with more music performances. The art installation will be up once built until the end of festival and public is free to interact/participate with it.

Nationally and regionally celebrated leading women’s rights and LGBTQ+ community speakers will headline the festival. Speeches to help educate the public about sexual violence and gender rights advocacy as a public health, human rights and social justice issue, to reinforce the need for prevention and intervention efforts through radical social discourse.


COMPONENT 3

Festival Collaborators/Event Sponsorship.

Internal Auraria Campus student body sexual advocacy organization: Gender, LGBTQ, civic rights, women’s rights, and immigrant rights students groups/clubs within the tri institutions University of Colorado, Metropolitan State University, Community College of Denver to come together for festival partnership and financial sponsorship.

Many external Colorado Women's Rights and LGBTQ+ organization being considered.


COMPONENT 4

- Volunteers Committee. Healing Yurt is a volunteer run festival running on the integral heart power of volunteer commitment.
- Local Artist Team.


Anticipated Goals

- Creating initial festival Planning and Volunteer Committees setup, meeting periodically until event.
- Securing all project logistics/
- Creating/curating project website page.
- Securing funding through public, private grants and sponsorship from partnering internal Auraria campus student body and external organizations to help offset festival associated materials expenses.
- Acquiring financial sponsorship from collaborating organizations.
- Inviting/securing local artists to volunteer time and help build the hypothetical yurt installation sculpture.
- Creating Artist Team to brainstorm main methods, techniques, concept, materials, and budget needed for successful completion of the installation sculpture.
- Purchasing all art installation related materials within budget.
- Booking Auraria campus lawn area for main festival location.
- Securing event date.
- Booking regional/national headline speaker(s) and accommodations within budget.
- Renting all necessary festival equipment.
- Creating and run through of successful marketing campaign.
- Acquiring media/press interest and festival coverage.
- Putting call out for extra volunteers to help with day of event.
- Successful setup/breakdown of festival.
- Depending on public attendance and feedback from day of festival, Healing Yurt has potential to become reoccurring festival in Denver or tour different states.


Who will benefit from your project?

- All genders.
- Sexual trauma, abuse, violence victims.
- Marginalized identities: LGBTQ+, women, immigrants, refugees, artists.
- Educators, youth, activists, artists.
- Greater Metro Denver population in Colorado, all who attend or hear about the festival or idea. Ideas are infectious.


Budgeting

Healing Yurt is a volunteer run festival. We depend on the help of public/private grants, donations and sponsorship from partnering internal Auraria campus student body and external organizations to help offset festival associated materials expenses.

Festival total budget is estimated at $21,930 raised through combination of public/private grants, donations and sponsorship from partnering organizations.

Note: Please find ballpark estimate for festival material expenses. The ballpark estimate for each category was carefully researched and calculated, depicting accurate estimates.

Contact erdensyren@yahoo.com about specific budgeting list.