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Help! I don’t know how to start a Red Tent or Host a Screening

by Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, PhD

If you have found yourself inspired by the Red Tent movement or have seen “Things We Don’t Talk About” and now you want to create a Red Tent in your community or host a screening of the film, but you have found yourself saying, “Help, I don’t know how to do this..” we are here to help!

I don’t know how to create a Red Tent? You don’t need tons of red stuff, but it sets the tone and it makes it more fun.

For additional one-on-one advice on how to create a Red Tent we suggest you participate in the monthly “Red Tent Temple Movement Teleconferences” with Alisa Starkweather, the founder of the movement. To find out when the next call is visit: http://www.redtenttemplemovement.com

How to get started:

Consider your goals and needs – and use the film to support them in a practical way. Before any event, you should consider the following:

1) IDENTIFY OBJECTIVES

Identifying your objectives will lay the foundation for your event planning. Think about what you’d like to get out of the event, how it can benefit your group or organization, and what is realistic. Here are a few suggested objectives (these are not mutually exclusive!):

  1. Raise awareness about the importance of the Red Tent in your community.

  2. Raise awareness about taboo topics.

  3. Create an environment that supports, nurtures, and celebrates women.

  4. Raise awareness about the importance for women taking time for themselves.

  5. Heighten visibility and spotlight the importance of your work by connecting it with the issues raised in the film.

  6. Build bridges between different age groups, races, and religious or spiritual practices.

  7. Educate women about opportunities that are available in your community.

  8. Establish coalitions with other groups or organizations and inspire the development of new programs that address the needs of women in your community.

  9. Fund raise for your group or organization. By joining forces with “Things We Don’t Talk About” we can work together to build the world we want to live in.

2) TARGET AUDIENCE

Because a Red Tent is a woman-only space, your 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.


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Who else should I invite? • Invite your community leaders • Invite other local organizations or women’s groups • Invite the press, perhaps your local newspaper reporter is a women, invite her!

It’s important to have Action Steps: Offer the “inspired” women who want to attend your event an opportunity to get involved. For example, maybe they can bring some food or maybe they can help give out some postcards or send some emails.


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Getting the Word Out

There are many ways to get the word out. We believe that people will feel compelled to attend an event if it feels relevant, important and timely, and if it speaks to them as an audience.

At any given time there will be many possible tie-ins to women’s lives and “hooks” for particular media outlets. Having a Red Tent in every community will help millions of women and girls. One of the film’s goals is to reach “beyond the choir” and we believe that you can do it too!

Take into account how best to reach your audiences. Not everyone uses e-mail, 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 likely to be a combination of the techniques listed below. And remember, the best publicity will do more much than attract people to your Red Tent or screening: it will bring the overall message that we need Red Tents in our communities to a much wider audience.

Finally, be sure to send us your event information (info@redtentmovie.com) so that we can publicize for you too! If you booked a screening with us , you submitted a license and we added all of your information to our upcoming screening page and all of our other social media PR.

1) ELECTRONIC/VIRAL OUTREACH

This is one of the most effective ways to reach people, but attention spans are short, and it works best when it is accompanied by other sorts of outreach and publicity. In all electronic outreach, be sure to include a link to www.redtentmovie.com so people can view the trailer, or better yet, embed the “Things We Don’t Talk About” trailer on your website.

  1.  Newsletter or e-mail announcement: You can use the downloadable flyer templates or the template e-mails we provide at www.redtentmovie.com/host.html as the basis to create an email announcement to spread the word about your event. We recommend you send out these emails at least twice: two weeks before, and then a reminder a few days before your event.

  2. Blogs: Reach out to any bloggers that you know and to bloggers who are popular with your target audience. Even a brief mention with a link to the event is helpful. Be sure to send them information to link to or embed the “Things We Don’t Talk About” trailer from                 www.redtentmovie.com onto their site for increased impact.

  3.  Social networks have become hugely important in reaching certain audiences, and can be especially useful when there’s a Facebook group connected to a specific local community such as a Red Tent, university, local women’s organization, etc. We suggest setting up an “event” and inviting members of your community to forward and distribute the event information to friends. (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, including links to the Things We Don’t Talk About” website and to our pages on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/redtentfilm and Twitter http://twitter.com/redtentmovie

Be sure to tag us:


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2) POSTERS & FLYERS

Putting up posters and flyers around your community, in the right coffee shops, and on community bulletin boards can be incredibly effective. We offer a number of free downloadable template flyers and mini-posters (at