It is with great care and sadness that Room announces the cancellation of Growing Room Literary & Arts festival for March 2021, and until further notice.
The cancellation of Growing Room Literary & Arts festival 2020 due to COVID-19 left us all heartbroken; however, it allowed the Room collective to take a step back from the festival, and the magazine in general, and assess our changed capacities. And we realized that we don’t have the capacity and supports in place to continue running both the magazine and the festival, at least not in a way that offers them the individual time and attention that they deserve.
There is great power in this realization. Since the festival started in 2017, we have learned so much. We know more about what we need if we are to continue the festival in the future, we have a better idea of our boundaries, and we have experienced the joy of building something beautiful in community. Most importantly, we have learned what we need in order to care for ourselves, too.
We’ve decided, instead, to spend next year with intentional focus on the magazine, the systems and people that make it possible, and on building important relationships with other organizations with aligned mandates and values to ours. That is to say, we have some extremely exciting projects in the works that we can’t wait to share with you all in the new year!
Thank you to all the staff, volunteers, artists, publishers, sponsors, partners, and attendees who have grown, engaged with, and supported us with the Growing Room festival for the past four years. Thank you to all the great festivals and festival organizers, in particular the ones who are shifting to online festivals and doing the work of navigating new forums and platforms in order to continue supporting brilliant writers and artists, while also keeping the community safe.
Of course, there are additional ways to keep supporting Room magazine. Order a one-year subscription to keep getting the magazine delivered to your door for all of next year! If you subscribe now, you will receive our special, extended Growing Room issue (out March 2021), which will feature many of the talented artists and writers who were intended to appear at the Growing Room 2020 festival. Read the Interview with Growing Room Special Issue 44.1 Editors for more information on this amazing issue.
Jessica Johns and the Room collective