In Our Shoes spoken word event accepting submissions |

In Our Shoes spoken word event accepting submissions

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — In Our Shoes is a special event marking the culmination of an eight-week Steamboat Pilot & Today series focusing on the issue of sexual assault in Steamboat Springs and Routt County, which will publish in the newspaper during June and July.

The event will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 27, in Library Hall, and it will include art, spoken word, a specially-choreographed dance performance by Jasmir Belly Dancing Troupe and a panel discussion.

Spoken word submissions may include essays, poems, songs or performance art and can be submitted at The deadline for submission is June 1.

“Since sexual abuse thrives in the dark, we hope that as many folks in our community that feel comfortable sharing their experiences in the light do so, either through making a pair of shoes or submitting a performance piece for the July 27 event,” Sista Luna, Young Bloods Collective board president and co-founder, wrote in an email.

Steamboat Pilot & Today is partnering with Advocates of Routt County, Young Blood Collectives and Steamboat Creates to plan and host the In Our Shoes event.

Spoken word submissions don’t have to be perfectly complete or polished. There will be time to adjust and grow them between the submission and performance, Luna noted.

There will also be two rehearsals for the performance, with times and location to be announced

The spoken word portion of the In Our Shoes event was inspired in part by SPEAK, a collection of spoken word pieces written and performed by women from across the Yampa Valley. The annual performance is sponsored by Young Bloods Collective.

“Storytelling allows us the opportunity to get a glimpse into what it is like to ‘walk a mile in someone else’s shoes,’ so to speak,” Luna wrote in an email. “It’s essentially an exercise in empathy. Empathy is crucial to understanding human experiences that are different from your own, particularly ones surrounded in stigma and shame.”

In addition to the spoken word event, the In Our Shoes series will also offer several more shoe decorating events, details of which are upcoming.

To enter a submission

Spoken word submissions may include essays, poems, songs or performance art. Submissions are due to by June 1.

For anyone who’s on the fence about submitting a piece, Luna has these thoughts:

“Your truth is healing. Sometimes that healing comes from sharing your truth; other times it comes from respecting your personal boundaries surrounding that part of yourself, and both are completely valid. If it feels like sharing your truth would be supportive of your healing, we would love to have you contribute to the In Our Shoes collaboration.”

If you go

What: In Our Shoes spoken word event and art display
When: 5 p.m. Saturday, July 27
Where: Library Hall, 1289 Lincoln Ave.

To reach Julia Ben-Asher, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @juliabenasher.

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