By & for Storytellers

By Emma Rose Smith


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Unspoken Words 2018

After a busy two days of the festival in its first year (2017), this year we're back with more sessions, more artists, and more venues.

We'll be running performances, workshops and discussions 7-17 September at various locations around the inner west (Gadigal & Wangal land). Crucially, the program for 2018 is more spread out: there are longer breaks between sessions, and rarely more than three sessions scheduled for any one day. This means you can participate in your areas of interest without burning out or having to lock away a whole weekend.

This shift in focus reflects our thinking about health and self-care. 2018's producers (Emma Rose Smith, Gabrielle Journey Jones, Vanessa Lee and Wil Roach) each contribute to the program their years of experience in mental health, community work, activism and independent arts. Meet the team here.

Your support will be directly reinvested in:

  • Artist fees
  • Travel support for regional and interstate artists
  • Focused curating and consultation
  • AUSLAN interpretation for performances
  • More accessible and community-minded venues
  • Providing free access for some sessions, and subsidised ticketing prices for costed sessions
  • A free-entry hub space with installation artworks

For the first time we'll be paying our producers for their countless hours. Without these producers, the festival itself would not exist.

Why 'Unspoken'?

Unspoken Words pays respect to the creative communities that keep us thriving all year round. Instead of competing with existing gigs, we aim to make sessions that are for our peers, assuming that everyone in the room -- whether on or off the stage -- is an expert in their field. We encourage participation, not passive listening. In a practical sense, this is done through a focus on workshops and discussions (with some performances too!). We want to talk about things that are relevant to you, whether that be practical skills and participation or issues like access and discrimination.

Bring all of yourself.

We have an active policy for 'safer spaces'. If there's something that you think we should consider more, please get in contact.

2018 program

Read the program

We base our work from the land of the Gadigal & Wangal peoples of the Eora nation. Sovereignty never ceded. We wish to pay respects to elders past and present, and all First Nations storytellers. This always was and always will be Aboriginal land.

Your support

We have received some generous support from these partners, which has meant that we could cover our production costs so far (including a free pitch night in Newtown and a fringe show at Griffin Theatre Company), as well as some artist fees for festival sessions. To carry out the rest of the festival, we need another 9K:

  • Remaining artist fees and travel support: $5000
  • Remaining producer / curation fees: $1000
  • Auslan interpretation: $800
  • Venue hire & tech support: $2200

TOTAL: $9000

Our goal is to cover at least 3K of that through crowdfunding, and the remainder through ticket sales.

Thank you for your support

All donations of $20 and over get a ticket for your gig of choosing from our program. The actual ticket value is usually over $20 for some of these gigs, so it's cheaper to donate here than pay at the door.

More generous donations will receive some special gifts, including:

  • Full passes to our 2018 festival
  • Limited-release entry to our Mental Health First Aid training session (Sunday 9th Sept)
  • Tickets to Word in Hand and Enough Said poetry gigs
  • Red Room Poetry's glass KeepCups printed with a poem
  • Hand-printed Unspoken Words t-shirts

In addition to the above, the first 6 donations over $50 will receive either:

  • One of 3 double passes to any regular Queerstories gig in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne (Oct 2018 onwards)
  • One of 3 double passes to a session of your choosing from the creative program at New Moon, a new community space in Lewisham.

Thank you to all!

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Team Members

Emma Rose Smith

Gabrielle Journey Jones

Kristy Wan

Vanessa Lee

Wil Roach