Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’ve probably heard it before: “If you ask any single faerie what a fearie is, you’ll get a different answer from each of them.”
And that would be true, because the only identifying trait of a faerie is that there is no singular identifying trait. Except perhaps that of Love. It feels cheesy to write that, but it’s what I believe.
As such, a bunch of different people came together 6 years ago and decided they wanted to cultivate a space in Atlanta that was representative of what they’ve shared together, in large groups at pot lucks and seasonal gatherings, or in small huddles at heart circles and puppy puddles, or in the intimate embrace of a hug…or more. Faerie risings have been occurring in this city for decades, but this was something new, with an outward focus on community during the ritual of solstice, filling the vacant spot in June where Pride Weekend once thrived. As someone who has been both closely and loosely involved in the planning since it’s inception, I can tell you that it often feels like the damn event isn’t going to come together, but somehow, every time, the day unfolds miraculously…like a midsummer dream come true.
Part of that manifestation of space required a location that could transport guests out of the cityscape, a rare and hidden pocket that was accessible but also unique and otherworldly. A month before the first Midsummer, as anxieties were rising that we could not pull off our vision, word of the Arts Exchange came to one of us from the WonderRoot garden. Somehow the Arts Exchange, which has been in Atlanta for more than 30 years, had remained a secret to most, and ultimately provided the perfect canvas for weaving our midsummer’s tale. At the time, the Arts Exchange was basically a run down elementary school with a hope and a dream. In exchange for use of the space, the faeries proudly invested time, sweat, and loving energy into helping transform the Arts Exchange into a useable sanctuary that would continue it’s resurgence through the past six years. As we began planning for 2016, word came to us that the building was being demolished and the Arts Exchange would be moving to a new location. And so ends an era.
You’re invited to join us for this final celebration at the Arts Exchange. As a representation of the diversity of ideas and energies that have been cultivated at this event and within this community over the years, we have chosen “Choose Your Own Adventure” as our finale theme, so that there is no limit to what an individual can bring to the space, and thusly take out of it.
So what happens at Midsummers? Fabulous lewks - serve it from home or grab something out of our drag-swap boutique. Lazy hangs in a field – meeting new friends and holding heart space. Loosely organized but meaningful workshops – anything from yoga to writing exercises to bdsm. Uncharted ritual – welcome the corners and channel the ancestors. I’ve watched new friends shed their city skin for the first time through the course of a single evening. I’ve seen strangers fall in love, if for a single night. I’ve witnessed people with k(no)w talent perform to the bravado of a screaming audience. I’ve seen dance unfold to the confrontation of pain, and the realization of self, and the outburst of living. Or maybe that was just me.
The love that has been put into this event each year has been undeniable, and it warms my heart to think the rotating cast of beautiful characters who have helped to bring it to life each year. After a week that has simultaneously crushed and expanded our hearts, it’s more important than ever for us to come together and celebrate community, to celebrate diversity, and to celebrate love.
I hope to see you there. <3