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Michigan Womyn's Music Festival records

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 508 large
The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival records (1976-2015) contain crew guides and handbooks, maps, banners, t-shirts, programs, brochures, posters, meeting minutes, correspondence, inventories, press clippings, as well as recordings and photographs taken during the festival. The collection gives an insight of the intense effort and amount of coordination it took to make the festival possible, and how it evolved and grew more complex with each iteration.

Dates

  • 1976 - 2015

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research. However, access to the WWTM Media Archive (boxes 9, 14-17, 19-33, 36-37, 40-46, 65) requires written permission from the donor and is otherwise restricted until 2066. Contact Special Collections for further information.

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact MSU Libraries Special Collections.

The material is stored offsite in Remote Storage. Please contact Special Collections 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Extent

101 Linear Feet (84 Boxes)

Biographical / Historical

The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival was an annual international music festival for women by women. In 1976, Lisa Vogel, her sister Kristie Vogel, and Mary Kindig organized a women-only event in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan where approximately 2,000 women congregated for a three-day music festival from August 20 to 22. From 1976 to 1981 the festival took place in a wooded area near Hesperia, Michigan, during which time the festival grew from a regional to a national event. In 1982, the festival moved to its final location near Hart, Michigan, to 650 acres of private land where each year women assembled tents, built stages, and delivered a variety of services and workshops at the space called "The Land."

The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, often referred to as MWMF or MichFest, was produced by We Want the Music Cooperative (WWTMC), later known as We Want the Music Collective, and We Want the Music Company. Artists of all genres were welcome to perform at MichFest. From the beginning, the festival attracted feminist and lesbian activists, with many of the performers as active members of these communities. As the number of artists and attendants grew, so did the complexity of the festival, with pre-festival activities, a variety of workshops, shopping tents, separate childcare services for toddlers, boys, and girls, as well as services for people with disabilities. The complexity of the festival was reflected not only in the activities held but also in the set-up of "The Land," which changed every year to meet the needs of a self-sustained community. To many participants, this was a magical, transformative place, although the controversial stance of restricting the space to womyn-born womyn only eventually led to its closure in 2015.

Arrangement

The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival records are arranged into six series. Please note the box and folder information when requesting materials. Each series and subseries has been arranged by particular themes, and follows a chronological order when possible.

Series 1: Contains crew set-up guides for tents, stage and other festival grounds, as well as handbooks for services and workshops. Arranged intellectually to display the physical setting of the festival.

Series 2: HerStory includes interview transcripts, and miscellaneous records for the show Rock Chix Lix.

Series 3: Artifacts such as maps, banners, wooden signs, mugs, t-shirts, and wristbands.

Series 4: Publicity including festival programs, brochures, posters, press reviews and clippings.

Series 5: Business Records including committee minutes, correspondence, and inventories.

Series 6: WWTMC Media Archive includes audio and visual material produced during the festival.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Lisa Vogel in 2016.

Related Materials

The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival website is: http://michfest.com

Additional related archival collections: Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. Records of the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, 1983-2016 is held at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, http://oasis.lib.harvard.edu/oasis/deliver/~sch01528

Processing Information

Elisa Landaverde processed this collection in 2017.

Sources consulted in the creation of this finding aid include Doyle, JD, "Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival : articles on the festivals and performers," accessed January 10, 2018: http://queermusicheritage.com/wmf-michigan.html; Michfest. Official site for the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, accessed January 10, 2018: http://michfest.com; Voices from the Land, accessed January 10, 2018: http://www.michfestmatters.com
Title
Finding Aid for the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival records
Status
Cataloged
Author
Elisa Landaverde
Date
2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48824 USA
517.884.6471