UPDATE: Schedule is now live!
With a keynote address from Hala Alyan — join us for a weekend of poetry, dance, and art celebrating SWANA artists and beyond!
The Radius of Arab American Writers and Mizna are excited to host Mizna+RAWIFest, RAWI’s bi-annual conference for 2023, in RAWI’s 30th year! The conference will take place October 26 through 28. This event is FULLY-HYBRID, with RAWI and Mizna representatives making sure those choosing to attend online will be able to fully participate. The conference will kick-off with a keynote address from novelist and poet Hala Alyan. The full slate of performers, panels, and events will be announced soon – get ready for music, dance, an incredible slate of readers, and opening & closing night parties!
In person registration: $200. Includes free breakfast + lunch, and more!
Mizna+RAWIfest is a fully hybrid conference; in the spirit of accessibility and care, all in-person attendants will be required to mask during the duration of the conference. We have a cap of 100 in-person attendants. Need-based waivers are available; for a 50% discount waiver, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The festival will be held at Open Book; the space has an elevator & gender-neutral bathrooms; if you have accessibility concerns or questions, please e-mail us at email@example.com.
Virtual registration: Free! All panels and performances will be conducted on/streamed on Zoom. We strongly encourage donations so we can continue to make free offerings like this for future programming.
Please reserve your conference registration here: http://tinyurl.com/MRFEST23
Virtual conference registration will remain open once in-person registration fills up. Please make sure you reserve as soon as possible as seating is limited, and so you are able to access our special hotel rates — which are available on first-come, first-serve basis.
What is Mizna+RAWIFest?
RAWIFest, co-hosted by Mizna, is a biannual conference that has been held for three decades and running, bringing together Arab and SWANA creatives as well as non-SWANA allies–not only poets, prose writers, and playwrights, but visual artists, performance artists, musicians, educators and scholars–both in diaspora in North America as well as from other regions. RAWI especially invites Black, Indigenous, and other people of color interested in our programming to apply.
At Mizna+RAWIFest, we aim to create a space where we can talk amongst ourselves and highlight voices and people threatened by erasure. The conference consists of readings, panels, workshops, roundtables, and celebrations of both emerging and established SWANA creatives. In a global climate where opportunities for Arab and SWANA creatives to share our experiences and insights is limited, RAWI’s biennial gathering provides a rare opportunity to bring a large number of Arab American and SWANA writers, artists, and scholars (and their readers, allies, and admirers) into the same inclusive and welcoming space so we can engage in various dialogues otherwise unavailable to us.
How accessible will Mizna+RAWIFest be? What if I’m not located in North America/Turtle Island?
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and in the spirit of openness, accessibility, safety and inclusion of our chronically ill, disabled, and geographically diverse community members, this year’s conference will be a fully hybrid gathering. We aim to make every single event available to virtual participants, and all in-person events will be livestreamed.
In-person attendees will be required to fully mask.
What artistic disciplines are welcomed for programming at RAWIFest?
The festival will center and uplift the intersections of literary and performance arts. We welcome applicants from a broad range of artistic disciplines, including but not limited to: poetry, spoken word, fiction, memoir, essay, oral storytelling, individual performance art, theater, music, dance, and various intersections thereof.
What organizations fund RAWIFest?
RAWIFest 2021 is supported by generous financial and logistical contributions from Mizna, our co-host, with the aim of engaging a wider range of performance and literary artistic traditions with lineage of the Southwest Asian and/or North African regions. In-person events will be held at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on the ancestral homelands of the Wahpekute and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ peoples.
Who is welcome at RAWIFest?
While we are the Radius of Arab American Writers, we want to make space for non-Arabs with regional and/or historical proximity to the Southwest Asian and North African regions, especially marginalized religious and ethnic groups therein. Furthermore, we want to make space for non-American/North America-based voices, made possible by our hybrid virtual programming. All applicants who fit in with our organizational vision of anti-racist, anti-zionist, transfeminist, and anti-patriarchal politics are welcome. More information about us can be found here: https://arabamericanwriters.org/
Can I apply as part of a proposed panel or with an institution?
Panelists will be grouped according to common interests, disciplines, and artistic or scholarly areas and will then work collaboratively to formulate a panel around a shared topic. Proposals for pre-designed panels will also be considered.
What is the in-person capacity for the space?
In person attendance will have a hard cap of 100 people due to the capacity of the space and to stick to COVID safety protocols for our attendees. We want to keep folks safe!
Will all programming also be available to virtual attendees?
Yes! All programming will also be broadcast virtually. Panels can have a combination of in-person and virtual participants, as all panels will be conducted virtually.
Can I attend from outside of the United States/North America?
Yes! You can either opt to travel to the conference in person or attend virtually. We will do our best to accommodate a range of time zones in our programming.
Can non-Arabs attend? Who is welcome at the conference?
While we are the Radius of Arab American Writers, we want to make space for non-Arabs with regional and/or historical proximity to the Southwest Asian and North African regions, especially marginalized religious and ethnic groups therein. Furthermore, we want to make space for non-American/North America-based voices, made possible by our hybrid virtual programming. All applicants who fit in with our organizational vision of anti-racist, anti-zionist, transfeminist, and anti-patriarchal politics are welcome. RAWI especially encourages Black, Indigenous, and other people of color interested in our programming to apply. More information about us can be found here: https://arabamericanwriters.org
What genres / fields is the conference open to? Is it open to scholars or only artists?
We welcome applicants from a broad range of artistic disciplines, including but not limited to: poetry, spoken word, fiction, memoir, essay, oral storytelling, individual performance art, theater, music, dance, and various intersections thereof.
How can I keep in touch with people I meet after the conference?
We’re glad you asked! RAWI members can keep in touch on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) as well as on our new website, launching this fall, which will include a members-only area where folks can view each other’s profiles and connect with each other, as well as view resources only available to members.