The battle cry of the nouveau-lesbo could easily be “No more potlucks!” — a rejection of the uninspired, often awkward social gatherings of decades past. Luckily, nouveau-lesbos and the art-minded alike can rally at nomorepotlucks.org (NMP), a visually slick, content-rich queer arts and academia journal, where readers are invited to submit work.
Some may recognize the domain name from its days as a posting board for dyke-centric Montreal events. Since then, NMP has grown into a full publication, one that can be accessed online or printed on demand as a hard copy. Incidentally, demand for NMP is high these days. Mel, MC and Dayna, NMP’s busy creators, recently presented at a round table on electronic publications at the HTMlles Festival in Montreal, and they’re planning a workshop and talk about NMP in Vancouver this summer.
While NMP uses a free open-source content management system, costs add up quickly when one considers paying hosting fees, backing up the database, archiving each issue and using tools like DropBox, Highrise and Code to manage the project. NMP raises funds at Meow Mix, Montreal’s hip and happening monthly lesbian cabaret and dance party.
Xtra sat down with NMP to find out more and get some dirt on the upcoming fundraiser.
Xtra: NMP is celebrating its second anniversary. How has it changed from year one to two? What’s planned for year three?
Mel: I think that the more issues there are, the more valuable the project becomes. And going into year three makes us think, “This is really happening.” We’ve been doing print and web since Issue One, and we’ve kept the same format throughout for the website because it really works. The best additions have been in terms of people to the team. Momoko Allard for help with layout for print and Yasmin Nair as a new regular contributor. And we’re looking to work with an amazing guest editor for 2011. But we’ll keep it a surprise for now.
Xtra: What have been some of your most memorable articles?
Dayna: One of the cool things about being involved with NMP is reading and seeing the contributions from writers, artists, academics, anarchists, illustrators, shit-disturbers, thought-provokers and readers. I love the discussion that can happen around articles and submissions through commenting. That’s been an exciting development, watching the conversation happen and wanting to see more.
Xtra: What can people expect from this Meow Mix?
Dayna: A fucking awesome time, that’s what. There’ll be a show, there’ll be dancing, drinking and a party jammed with hotties. Yes, hotties. Just in time for winter.
Xtra: Any acts you’re particularly excited about?
Dayna: I’m pretty excited about seeing what Alexis O’Hara’s cooked up. She could read the phone book and it would be awesome. I’m also excited about Jessica Salomon, a comic who used to be a lawyer, Erin McGregor, singer/songwriter to the stars, and the fabulously talented Julie Tamiko Manning, who will sing a few songs and make people cry. Or break up. Or get back together. Or finally talk to that hot dyke that you didn’t the last time you went out. Which was a while ago. See? You should come. This could be you.
Jackie Gallant and I have been working on a new thing that involves an electric guitar and rocking like its 1979, so that should be fun. We’re also thrilled to have drag master Nat King Pole and dancer Emilie Roberts performing, and Mother Bea Arthur presents: The House of Bogue + dj Goldilox showing us the party after the show.
Xtra: Anything else you’d like to add?
Dayna: It’s so great when performers donate their talent and time to NMP’s fundraiser. It means a lot, and we really appreciate it!
Mel: The response has been excellent. It makes it easy to keep going.