I just got back from the MEOW Conference, also known as Musicians for Equal Opportunities for Women, and I want to take a second to say why I thought it was great. Check it out:
At my showcase with a great band:
Sleeping with Julie Christensen (again!)
Keynote speech with Suzi Quatro:
Singing with Jangles (aka Donna Lynn Caskey) at her gig:
I have spent a lot of money over the years at conferences and seminars and various career-oriented events. I am more inspired, in a practical way, from this weekend than any other one I’ve done. I mean, I was inspired by both ROCKRGRL events but my career was so embryonic at those times that it was more just an amorphous sense of companionship and encouragement and sisterhood. Now I’m looking for tangible tools and connections and ideas and I found them all at MEOWCON.
Carla DeSantis Black chose people and panels that were grounded in quality and professionalism and useful information. The fact that it was all women was wonderful, but that is not the only reason why this was a useful event to attend. In fact, the sisterhood aspect is kind of just icing on the cake (and there were plenty of guys there).
This conference has the ethic that I look for in everyone I work with, which is professional, joyous, a little bit goofy, full of appreciation for those that came before, encouragement for those coming up. It is so different from most industry events. Mark Hallman and I have a running joke about our “I suck / I rock” continuum. (“Is this an “I suck” day?” “Yes, I’m afraid it is.”) This conference provided a weekend of “I ROCK” and tools to rock harder. That is quite the opposite of, for example, SXSW, where I spend the whole time fighting the feeling that I am wearing the wrong clothes.
So congratulations to Carla, her wonderful family and all the volunteers, performers and speakers who put their hearts into a beautiful event. Here’s to it. Let’s all do what we can to help it flourish and endure. Love, Rain