Category Archives: The Red Tent

How to Start a Red Tent

by Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, PhD

I’m so excited to tell you about my latest Red Tent adventure… my new eBook “How to Start a Red Tent.” As most of you know, I’ve been on tour with my Red Tent Movie for over 3 years and I’ve hosted over 1,000 Red Tents. So, now that I have retired from touring (as of Nov 1st, 2015) I decided to gather up all of my Red Tent knowledge and pass it along to you.

I am a very practical girl :). I am always curious about problem solving. Actually, it’s my #1 skill. And I’ve hosted Red Tents in so many different places that if I didn’t have this skill, my perfectionist nature would have driven me insane. Alas, I persevered. I would love pass along all of my tips & secrets on how to host a FABULOUS Red Tent. You can get your copy for $9.99 at: http://www.redtentmovie.com/start-a-red-tent.html

 

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I will teach you what to “do” in the Red Tent, how to make a Red Tent, how to lead a successful Red Tent, food & drink suggestions, how to promote your Red Tent, music for your Red Tent, and how to bring a Red Tent to a conference. I also offer extensive information and photos about the following:

  • Where to Host your Red Tent
  • When to Host your Red Tent
  • How I Made my Red Tent
  • How to Select Fabrics
  • How to Create your Red Tent
  • How to Hang your Fabrics
  • How to Create a Doorway
  • How to Create a Roof
  • How to Create an Altar

Sound helpful? Get your copy at: http://www.redtentmovie.com/start-a-red-tent.html

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El Movimiento de las Carpas Rojas

¿Cómo sería tener tu propia Carpa Roja de mujeres en tu comunidad? ¿Cómo sería si nuestras hijas fueran criadas esperando recibir algún tipo de celebración cuando llegara su primera menstruación?

¿Qué sucede en nuestra cultura actual cuando facilitamos Carpas Rojas para mujeres?¿Existía la Carpa Roja en la antigüedad? ¿De dónde viene esta tradición?

¿Te gustaría saberlo…?

eBook-cover(spanish)

La Carpa Roja tiene una historia, ¿pero cuál es? Hay miles de mujeres alrededor del mundo que están entregando sus talentos como líderes de Carpas Rojas en sus comunidades pero, ¿de dónde viene esta tradición? “La Tienda Roja” es una novela escrita por Anita Diamant, publicada en 1997 que nos entregó la historia de mujeres que se reunían en una cabaña menstrual conocida como la Tienda Roja. El movimiento de la Tienda Roja tiene una historia de 17 años, pero está conectado a miles de años de tradición de mujeres honrando a otras mujeres y creando un mundo que acoge la honestidad, el respeto por los otros, nuestras hijas y nosotras mismas. Estamos en una nueva era de la historia. La sanación de nuestro planeta es la prioridad para muchas visionarias comprometidas. Entendemos que estamos al borde de un precipicio, y que al construir una cultura que honre a las mujeres podemos crear un enorme cambio de paradigma, una Carpa Roja a la vez.

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How to Chose Fabric for your Red Tent

Do you want to know what fabrics work great and what fabrics are total disasters? In this Red Tent TV episode Dr. Isadora gives you some tips and secrets on how to chose fabric for your Red Tent.

For more information about how to chose fabrics for your Red Tent or to see what fabrics we have in inventory at a wholesale price go to: http://www.redtentmovie.com/fabric.html

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How to Promote your Red Tent

by Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, PhD

There are many ways to get the word out about your Red Tent. We believe that women will feel compelled to attend if it feels relevant, important and timely, and if it speaks to them. At any given time there will be many possible tie-ins to women’s lives and “hooks” for particular media outlets. Because a Red Tent is a woman-only space, your primary audience will be women. While we suggest that you start by inviting your girlfriends and female family members, we also want to encourage you to consider opening the flaps of your tent a little wider.

[youtube+https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxbo-6kisyg]

Let’s say that you already have 10 girlfriends that you know will attend. Offer these “inspired” women an opportunity to get involved. For example, maybe they can bring some food, give out some postcards, hang some flyers, send some emails, help with set up or any number of other tasks that they are great at.

Take into account how best to reach your audiences. Not everyone uses e-mail or facebook, and not everyone hangs out at progressive coffee shops. A clear understanding of how to reach each audience segment will make you more effective, and the best strategy is a combination of the ideas listed below.

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Personalized Email

Send an personal email to your friends, family, co-workers (who might be interested), or your email mailing list (business). We have created a email template that you can download. We recommend you send out these emails at least twice: two weeks before, and then a reminder a few days before our event.

Other people you might invite by email:

  • Inivte the owners/organizers of the venue
  • Invite your community leaders
  • Invite other local organizations or women’s groups
  • Invite the press

 

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Facebook Event

Create a Facebook Event & invite your facebook friends. Not sure how, here’s a step-by-step plan for you. (This may have changed depending if Facebook made any recent graphical changes)

1. log into your facebook account2. Go to your facebook page

3. Click the “More” link (currently located next to your # of friends). Scroll down to “Events” & click it

4. Click “Create Event” and follow the on-screen instructions.

If you are needing info for your Facebook Event we suggest that you download the email template and use that same information. And feel free use any photo or drag & drop (or right click) any photo from this website for this promotion.

Be sure to enable the features that allow people to forward your event information to their friends. You can also just send a message with the event information to your friends and to groups that might be interested.

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Local Media

We have designed this list to be comprehensive in order to empower you to do the best Red Tent possible. We realize that some sections will not be applicable to everyone and this section on local media is a great example – depending on your objectives and your audience, you may or may not decide to pursue media coverage. That’s fine, as it’s all about how best to reach and impact your audience. But read on for some guidance for how simple media outreach can be!

We understand that many small groups or community organizations may have limited capacity, so we’ve put together some basic tips that can be useful to those who are new to working with local media. Before you make complicated plans about how to promote your Red Tent, spend some time thinking about who is most likely to understand and appreciate it, and what media our target audience listens to, reads and logs on to. By targeting your core audience of women, you might decide that it makes more sense to focus on, say, an alternative weekly paper that already covers innovative community initiatives vs. the headline-driven daily paper that tends to focus on crime and celebrities.

Below are some basic tips for your media outreach:

Use the template press release as a guide to create your own. Ten days before the event, issue the release to a wide range of mainstream, alternative, community and specialized media. Make sure to send it to reporters covering women’s issues, the arts/entertainment, and metro sections.

Here are a number of ideas:

  • If the Press wants more info about the Red Tent
  • Get on local calendar listings
  • Make calls to local television and radio programs.

Here’s who to contact:

  • Local TV news: assignment editors
  • Public affairs or magazine programs: producers
  • Talk radio or local/community radio: producers or hosts

A couple of days prior to your Red Tent contact the people to whom you sent press materials and encourage them to attend.

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Acknowledgements “Portions of this guide were adapted from the Made in L.A. Event Planning Toolkit, created by the filmmakers of Made in L.A. (www.MadeinLA.com) and based on materials developed by Active Voice (www.activevoice.net) with funding from P.O.V

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Magical Moments and Safe Spaces during Spring 2015 Red Tents and Movie Screenings

by Jayleigh Lewis

Dr. Isadora’s recent travels took her to Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Wisconsin, where she attended Red Tent events both large and small. From an assembly of highly educated women at a psychology graduate school to a gathering of priestesses at an annual spiritual conference, the Red Tent brought magic and inspiration to all.

The filmmaker of Things We Don’t Talk About (otherwise known as the Red Tent movie) visited the Michigan School of Professional Psychology in Farmington Hills, Michigan (a northwestern suburb of Detroit), on April 26, 2015. She was there at the invitation of Ciera Bies, a doctoral student of Dr. Betz King, who is the coordinator of MiSPP’s master’s program. Dr. King and Dr. Isadora met in 2010 at a conference of the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology, of which the two are members. Dr. Isadora was giving a presentation of the research that would eventually become the Red Tent movie; Dr. King was offering a workshop on menstruation ritual. Dr. Isadora was intrigued by the workshop and, when offered the opportunity, attended and had a great time.

MiSPP is a small, independent graduate school that was founded in 1980 as the Center for Humanistic Studies. The campus is four acres but all classes are held in the same building. Students, as part of their degrees, are required to organize events that bring presenters to campus; since Ciera’s doctoral work is aligned with Dr. Isadora’s Red Tent work (which itself was a doctoral dissertation, the first non-written dissertation allowed by the University of Wisconsin!), Dr. Isadora was a natural choice of presenter.

The event sold out with between 75 and 100 women in attendance. It was a highly organized, professional affair. A silent auction consisting of 100 donated items raised $500, which was used to help pay the cost of the gathering. Additionally, 25-30 community organizations and businesses were sponsors, with advertising featured in the programs that were handed out to attendees. During the first half hour, women were free to socialize, participate in the auction, and enjoy catered food before sitting down to watch the movie.

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The large atrium space was also host to a post-screening Red Tent, during which it was revealed that the majority of the women present held master’s degrees, while half held PhDs. It was a very educated audience! Strangely enough, the school’s regulations stipulated that the male janitorial staff had to hang the Red Tent; this was done on the Friday prior to the screening. The Red Tent stood ready all weekend, just waiting for the women.

Dr. Isadora at the permanent Red Tent in Lousiville, KY

Dr. Isadora at the permanent Red Tent in Louisville, KY

On May 8, Dr. Isadora attended a much smaller screening at a yoga studio in Clarksville, Tennessee, called Yoga Mat. On the way to Clarksville, Dr. Isadora took a detour to the famous, permanent Red Tent in Louisville, KY, where she spent the night in the Red Tent. It was a fantastic space created by Amy and Rebecca, where they host bi-weekly Red Tent events for women and girls. For more info visit:  http://www.redtentlouisville.com/

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Clarksville, TN is home to a large military base, and the town’s culture mostly revolves around it. The yoga studio might be one of the only local places able to attract a crowd that would be interested in the Red Tent movie! The screening was sponsored by the studio’s owners: Trish, Erika, Amanda, and Erin. Approximately 20 women attended, filling the space. An unofficial Red Tent followed, during which the women participated in a discussion initially prompted by questions about the movie but largely self-directed. The women explored aspects of the experience of being a stay-at-home mom, with some women speaking from the perspective of moms who wanted to stay at home with their kids but couldn’t, and some speaking from the perspective of moms who do stay at home but want to work.

Recently, Dr. Isadora has been making Red Tent movie rentals available online for $1 on specific dates which are announced in advance. May 9 was one of those dates. For 24 hours renters could watch the movie as many times as they wanted. For upcoming dates when you can take advantage of this opportunity (and to buy your rental ticket), go to the upcoming screenings page. The next two dates are June 13 and July 11.

For the second time in two years, Dr. Isadora was invited to the Priestess Gathering of the Re-formed Congregation of the Goddess, International (RCGI), held in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. This year’s gathering took place during the weekend of May 15-17. The RCGI, co-founded in 1983 by Lynnie Levy and Jade River, is a legally recognized religion dedicated to positive spiritual growth for all people and especially for women. It is an endorser of the film. Last year’s Gathering included a film screening as well as a Red Tent that was raised for the duration; this year there was no screening but a beautiful Red Tent and Dr. Isadora hosted a Red Tent workshop.

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Built by Dr. Isadora and 2 incredible helpers, this year’s Red Tent was grander and bigger than last year’s. It included several nooks and crannies, including an “inner sanctum” encircled by a larger outside space. Many women commented that they enjoyed this layout; even though the Red Tent as a whole could hold about 10 people at a time, those inside felt such coziness and privacy that they could almost imagine that they had the whole Tent to themselves! Dr. Isadora already has a vision for next year’s Red Tent: a two-story stairwell, including a loft area, will be incorporated into it. The stairwell will become a “birth canal”-like tunnel of red fabric, and the loft’s balcony will allow women to look down on the lower portion of the Tent. Additionally, Barb, who every year creates wonderful, elaborate altars for the Gathering, has agreed to build a Red Tent altar of all natural materials. Those who heard about this plan are very excited and can’t wait for next year!

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Dr. Isadora noted one very special moment that took place during the Gathering, a moment so touching that, for her, it was “the one thing I was supposed to do that weekend” and by itself was enough to make her glad she had showed up. She had offered the veil dancing ritual (where a few women lie on the floor while the rest of the group dances around them with veils, eventually laying the veils down on the women and resting them there for a short time until slowly and gently lifting them back off) in the Red Tent, and about 13 women had participated. One woman had very much wanted to attend but hadn’t been able to. Following her intuition, Dr. Isadora offered to do the ritual again that night just for her.

Later, after the main event of the evening, Dr. Isadora was sitting at a picnic table with a group of women eating fruit, including the woman who wanted the veil ritual. She got up to go do the ritual, and all of the women at the table joined her! A spontaneous, magical moment that no one could have planned followed as the women danced with and honored their sister. Being a woman who does not fit many traditional feminine norms, she was deeply touched to feel this kind of support from other women. After the ritual, the group played the song “How Could Anyone” (“How could anyone ever tell you you were anything less than beautiful? How could anyone ever tell you you were less than whole?”) and sang the words directly to her. In that moment, nothing could have been more perfect.

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Women’s History and the Red Tent Movement: Provocative Questions at Georgia Screenings

by Jayleigh Lewis

From Latin American countries to college campuses, March 2015 was a lively month for screenings of the Red Tent movie, Things We Don’t Talk About. On March 5th, the film came to Harvard University’s Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, while on the 12th a screening was hosted by the Feminist Collective of Northeastern Illinois University. A hemisphere away, the Parque de la Herradura Barrio Miraflores in Cali, Colombia, was the site of another screening on March 15; on March 28th the movie came to Talca, Chile, and the Casa de la Luna.

It is fitting that for Women’s History Month (celebrated every March in the U.S.) the movie traveled so widely and was embraced by those seeking to preserve and understand the story of the role of women in the world. The Red Tent movement continues to grow, to define its place in women’s history. It both complements and enhances other women’s movements of the present and past. The movie, as a readily accessible icon of the movement, inspires questions that help to clarify the unique contributions of the Red Tent.

March 27 in Canton, GA, hosted by the Youniquely Woman Red Tent community

March 27 in Canton, GA, hosted by the Youniquely Woman Red Tent community

Dr. Isadora, the filmmaker, attended two screenings in Georgia this past March, at which these questions took center stage. The first was on March 27 in Canton, GA, hosted by the Youniquely Woman Red Tent community. This dedicated group of women has been meeting monthly for about a year in a permanent Red Tent located in the home of Crystal Starshine. Since Canton is a rural community located in the hill country north of Atlanta, some women have a commute of over an hour! This screening, which included a potluck meal and a Red Tent talking circle, was attended by about 10 women; overall, it was relaxed and low-key. The talking circle was an opportunity for honest, open conversation and healing. Dr. Isadora particularly enjoyed the informal feel of the post-screening Q + A—instead of standing in front of the group as a presenter, she sat in a circle with the women and engaged in an intimate, collaborative conversation about the movie and the Red Tent. (An interesting anecdote: Dr. Isadora dreamed about attending this screening a few days before her arrival. When she shared this with Crystal, who, among other things, is a professional psychic, the two speculated that perhaps they had been unconsciously in communication prior to the event. A possible reason for the comfort and ease Dr. Isadora felt?)

March 28, in Atlanta. The First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta

March 28, in Atlanta. The First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta

The second Georgia screening took place the next day, March 28, in Atlanta. The First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta, an independent philosophical and spiritual community, co-hosted and provided the space. Also co-hosting were Charis Books (one of the first feminist bookstores in the U.S.) and Charis Circle, the educational and nonprofit arm of the bookstore. This screening was well-attended, with about 50 people present. Two of the attendees, Mary Ann and Drea, are good friends of Dr. Isadora and longtime supporters of the Red Tent movie; they were instrumental in arranging this screening. (They also partnered with Dr. Isadora a couple years ago to host the largest screening to date of Things We Don’t Talk About: it was sold out with approximately 250 women present!) Mary Ann is actually featured in the movie, speaking about her choice not to have children.

This screening’s audience was composed largely of politically active women, many of whom had been involved in consciousness raising groups in the 60s and 70s. They were keenly interested in issues of feminism and how feminist values are represented in the movie. Some tough, thought-provoking questions were asked during the Q + A. Dr. Isadora was kept on her toes as the questions brought out the scholar in her and invited everyone present to truly think about issues such as diversity within the Red Tent movement. Is the movement truly welcoming to all women everywhere, or does it only (perhaps unconsciously) reach a subset of women? Are the women portrayed in the movie truly representative of the larger Red Tent movement? Whose stories aren’t being told? Does the Red Tent movement acknowledge its debt to other women’s movements, particularly those of the past and the work of older feminists?

These questions can be answered in many ways, and the larger discussion is ongoing. On this particular occasion, the women and Dr. Isadora, through honest discussion, concluded that the Red Tent movement is indeed growing in diversity and that it crosses many racial, social, and religious boundaries. The movie was filmed in 2009 and 2010 and provides a snapshot of the movement during those years. Between then and now, the movement has spread and now embraces, for example, women who primarily speak Spanish or French (the movie is subtitled in those languages) and whose native cultures are very different from the English-speaking Caucasian women who are well represented in the movie.

While the film does not overtly address connections between the Red Tent movement and the larger women’s movement, since its focus is on the Red Tent, these connections very much exist, and Dr. Isadora believes that Red Tents represent what women want now. Each wave of feminism brought with it much-needed changes in women’s lives, sometimes in an attempt to rebalance the effects of previous changes. We are now in the third wave of feminism, when women are realizing that the stress of “having it all” (family, work, etc.) is causing them to become alienated from themselves and each other. The Red Tent, Dr. Isadora believes, brings women back to themselves and brings back women’s community.

What do you think about these crucial questions? If you have seen the Red Tent movie, do you think it accurately represents women and women’s communities? How would you add your voice to the discussion?

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How to make a beautiful Red Tent doorway

What does every Red Tent need (besides incredible women)—a beautiful doorway inviting them in!

In this very special episode of Red Tent TV, Dr. Isadora (the Red Tent Movie filmmaker) gives you a step-by-step guide on how she made her Red Tent doorway that she uses in her traveling Red Tent. This is One-of-a-Kind item is sure to add splendor to your already amazing Red Tent and she’s going to give you all of her tips & secrets so you can create it yourself.

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These unique doorway panels are specially designed and sewn by Dr. Isadora (the Red Tent Movie filmmaker). Fashioned with an antique, decorative, hand-embroidered cotton Uzbeck Suzani (“Suzani”) top piece. Layered sheer fabrics create the doorway opening. Beautiful fringe on both sides create an elegant and welcoming entryway. Two ornamental curtain tiebacks to hold the sides open are included. Hemmed at the top to accommodate a tension rod (not included) to hang in a standard doorway (dimensions: 36” × 80”).

Dr. Isadora has created only two of each doorway design: finished or unfinished. Order the door as a finished piece, and hang the door in seconds. Or order the doorway unfinished and sew it together yourself as a fun project. The unfinished doorway has the exact same materials (decorative Uzbeck Suzani and other fabrics, fringe, and tiebacks) as the finished one. You will need a sewing machine and thread. Tension rod is not included in either the finished or unfinished doorways.

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