Harvest of Voices

Harvest of Voices is the kickoff event for the Mountain Harvest Festival. Although it will look a little different this year, the popular event is still on for 2020.

By Mckenzie Moore

Staff Writer

Although it will be slightly different this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Harvest of Voices at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts is still on. The event will be performed for a reduced in-person audience as well as livestreamed next month, and submissions for the event must be received by Aug. 31.

“We are planning to do an in-person audience with limited seating,” said Debra Muzikar, executive director of the Blue Sage. “We’re looking at an outdoor venue, and we’re thinking possibly two nights so we can get more people the opportunity to go.”

The Harvest of Voices event has seen big success for the past 20 years as the opening of the Mountain Harvest Festival, with a packed house at the Blue Sage and even more people attending the livestream at the Paradise Theatre. Although the Harvest Festival will not be taking place as usual this year, Muzikar hopes the event will still connect writers and community members alike.

Submissions are currently open for prose, poetry, book excerpts, songwriting and other writing styles to give everyone an opportunity to potentially read their work for an audience. Pieces will be reviewed by the Blue Sage Literary Committee, whose goal is to provide a “well-rounded, entertaining and appropriate event for the public.”

Prose pieces must be able to be read in six minutes or less, and if the judges determine that will not be possible, it may be eliminated or the writer will be asked to cut it. Poems will each be considered individually, and if multiple poems are submitted, only the poems selected can be read at the event.

The content of the writing must also not be too graphic or profane for some younger audience members, and judges will be looking for a balance of both format and subject matter.

Harvest of Voices takes place in tandem with the “Garden of Voices” virtual events, also hosted by the Blue Sage. Garden of Voices is a recurring event with local writers sharing their work virtually, but Harvest of Voices will be a hybrid event (with an in-person audience as well as a livestream option).

Both events, however, provide an opportunity for people to share their thoughts through writing. Especially during the pandemic, Muzikar hopes it will be an avenue for people to express their feelings and connect with each other.

“Writers have been a big part of this community for a long time,” Muzikar said. “I think people are looking for interactions. Not even just this year because of COVID, but every year. They love hearing what people have to say, their thoughts and ideas. It’ll be interesting to see if any of the writing is about any of the issues that are going on in our world today, or if it’s going to be more personal. That’s something to look forward to.”

The in-person event will take place at 7 p.m. on Sept. 26 at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts in Paonia, and ticket prices will be $15. Ticket prices for the livestream event will most likely be a lower price, which is to be determined.

Writers can submit their work or get more information at info@bluesage.org or by calling 970-527-7243.

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