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Covering the Eastern Realm of the SCA
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From the Chancellor of the Exchequer

Mon, 2017-03-06 08:09

From the Chancellor of the Exchequer:

The term of office for the East Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer will expire in June 2017.  Applications are now being accepted for this office.  The initial term for this office is two years.  There is the option to request an additional two terms at one year each.   Please note that I am NOT going to be requesting the last additional term.  Having served 3 years in this office, I now need to place my attention elsewhere.

 

Applicant letters of intent, resumes and questions are to be sent to these three addresses/offices.

Kingdom Exchequer

Kingdom Seneschal

Their Majesties and Their Highnesses

 

The duties and requirements of the office include:

  • Managing SCA assets.
  • Maintain current membership in the SCA for the duration of the time in office.
  • Serve as a member on financial councils.
  • Is responsible directly to the Crown, but also reports to the Society Exchequer.
  • Will disburse funds in accordance with East Kingdom and Society Financial Policies.
  • Safeguards and maintains records of the monies of the Kingdom and supervises the finances of the Kingdom.
  • Receives monies allocated by East Kingdom Law or donated.
  • Disburses the monies of the Kingdom in accordance with East Kingdom Law.
  • Makes a report of the Kingdom finances on a quarterly basis to The Crown and Kingdom Seneschal.
  • Supervises the Lesser Office of Kingdom Archivist.
  • Supervises the Lesser Office of Kingdom Chamberlain.
  • Supervises the Lesser Office of Kingdom Pennsic Steward.
  • Is responsible for maintaining the financial records of the kingdom, supervising the finances of the kingdom, and assembling financial reports and submitting them to the Society Chancellor of the Exchequer in a timely fashion.

Additional descriptions, expectations and or detailed requirements of this office can be found in CORPORA & SCA governing documents, Society Financial Policy, EK-LAW and East Kingdom Financial Policy.

 

In service,

Maestra Ignacia la Ciega, East Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer

 

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Filed under: Announcements Tagged: Exchequer, kingdom officers

Arts & Sciences Research Paper #17: Early Quilting and Patchwork: A Short Introduction

Fri, 2017-03-03 11:21

Our seventeenth A&S Research Paper comes to us from Mistress Sarah Davies of the Barony of Bergental, who introduces us to the surprising world of historical quilting, where we discover some familiar friends and some quite unfamiliar new ones! (Prospective future contributors, please check out our original Call for Papers.)

Early Quilting and Patchwork: A Short Introduction

Silk quilt by Mistress Sarah Davies. Photo by Master Henry McQueen.

The word “quilt” summons a host of images:

  • Thrifty pioneer housewives cutting up worn clothing to piece elaborate patchworks for their families.
  • Album quilts raffled off for a worthy cause.
  • Wholecloth petticoats worn by colonial dames who danced with George Washington, then carefully preserved in a museum.
  • Brightly colored feed sack quilts during the Depression.
  • Community quilts telling the story of a town from its founding to the Bicentennial.
  • Inexpensive versions of patchwork quilts sold in department stores for families wanting that “country look” in the bedroom.
  • Cherished art quilts hanging in museums or going for high prices at auction.

The popular image of the quilt is of the quilt is modern, calico, and as all-American as an apple pie.  If the word “medieval” ever comes up, it’s because someone made a Game of Thrones quilt with appliqued dire wolves in the border.

The problem with this familiar stereotype is thatit doesn’t begin to reflect reality.  Patchwork and applique may be most associated the United States, but quilts themselves are anything but modern. Quilted carpets were prized on the steppes of Central Asia, quilted garments padded Crusader mail and protected Elizabethan fencers, quilted coverlets graced Tudor bed chambers, and quilted heraldic tapestries hung in Hungarian throne rooms. The evidence is scattered and sometimes hard to recognize, but quilting and patchwork were hardly alien to medieval Europe.

Contents
Definitions
Origins
The Earliest European Examples
Quilted Armor
Domestic Quilting and Patchwork
A Cloth of Honor and a Pillow
Later Developments
Henry VIII: Quilt Owner
SCA Uses

Further Reading
Where to Examine Historical Quilting Firsthand

Definitions

“Quilt” and “patchwork” are so strongly associated that most people think that a quilt must be patchwork, and a patchwork must be a quilt.  Not only is this not true, it confuses two very different types of needlework.  A more accurate description would be as follows:

  • Quilting is a type of padded embroidery that takes two layers of fabric sandwiched with padding of some sort, then stitched together in a decorative pattern.  The word derives from the Latin culcita, a padded mattress similar to a modern futon.  Equivalents in European languages include  coltra (Italian), colcha (Spanish and Portuguese), coite  (French, later superseded by courtepointe), and culte (the Netherlands).
  • Patchwork or piecing is a type of sewing that takes several different types and colors of cloth, cuts them into geometric pieces, and stitches them back together in a decorative. Most are lined to protect the seams, but they do not need to be padded or quilted.
  • Patchwork quilts are quilted bedcovers consisting of a pieced upper layer, an inner padding, and a plain backing held together by geometric or decorative stitching.

Most early quilts were whole cloth (non-pieced), usually of fine linen or imported silk.  The first tantalizing hints of what might be medieval patchwork date from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, with one surviving artifact that might have been both pieced and quilted.  Even then, it’s not at all clear that this item was intended for a bed, as evidence suggests it was more likely intended as a cloth of honor for a royal throne room.

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Origins

The first known quilted object is a quilted linen carpet dating from around the first century of the Common Era.  It was found in a Siberian cave tomb, and the central motifs (primarily animals, with abstract spirals on the borders) are wool appliques stitched into place with couched cording on the raw edges, while the background is diamond quilted in a coarse running stitch.

Whether the Siberians developed quilting on their own or learned it from outsiders, its advantages in such a cold climate are obvious: warmth without bulk, strength without stiffness, and easily adapted to multiple uses.  It was also unusual enough that it could be traded for luxury goods along the Silk Road and other trade routes running across Central Asia down to the Mediterranean trade ports.

This seems to be exactly what happened.  The next known quilted objects were both trade goods, and were both found in archaeological digs.  One, a quilted slipper that seems to have been cut down from a larger object (a bed quilt or carpet), was actually found in a rubbish tip along the Silk Road.  It was likely made around the eighth or ninth centuries CE, and is a very typical “Turkish slipper” with a low vamp and tilted toe.  It is of linen padded with cotton or linen tow, backed with more linen, and quilted in the backstitch with coarse linen thread.  It was almost certainly intended for indoor wear, as the sole is made from the same quilted item as the rest of the slipper.

The other early quilted object, a quilted wool funeral pall dating from the fifth or sixth centuries, is more problematic.  It was found in a Merovingian tomb in the 1990’s, and unlike the slipper, it seems to have been made in Europe, or at least for the European market; it is of wool, not linen, and is quilted with cotton thread and stuffed with cotton thread, both imported from Egypt.  Without further examples, we can only speculate as to its origins, but the pall’s existence, and the use of expensive imported materials in its construction, suggests that there might have been a quilting industry, at least on a small scale, either somewhere in the Mediterranean Basin or perhaps in Merovingian France itself. Without further examples, we can only speculate.

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The Earliest European Examples

Unfortunately, there is almost no evidence of quilting anywhere near the West for the next several hundred years.  There are a handful of references in tax records to silk quilts being sent by the bale to local rulers, but these are exclusively Asian.  There is only one written reference to a quilt in a European record and one painting showing what might be a pieced or quilted item, with no physical evidence until the early fourteenth century.

The written reference is a French poem from the 12th century, La Lai del Desire. This little chivalric romance, only a few hundred lines long, includes a description of a bridal bed covered with a “quilt of two sorts of silk cloth in a checkboard pattern, well made and rich: “Sur un bon lit s’ert apulé / La coilte fu a eschekers / De deus pailles ben fais e chers”. (Lais inédits des XIIe et XIIIe siècles, ed. Francoise Michel, Paris, 1836: 18-19.) The word coite is used so casually that it’s clear that the author simply assumed that his audience, wealthy, sophisticated, and used to the very best, would not need to be told what a coite was, or how it was made.

The painting, by the school of the Italian artist Cimabue, is more intriguing.  Dating from around 1275-1300, this small, elegant panel painting shows the Madonna and Child seated on a low couch, flanked by Saints Peter and John the Baptist while two sweet-faced angels hold up a piece of fabric behind the Madonna as a sort of floating cloth of honor.  The cloth of honor, which is so strikingly different from the usual brocade or cloth of gold seen in such paintings, was hailed by art historian Roberto Longhi as a “stupendous, decorative invention,” and it’s not hard to see why.  Black and white gyronny patterns alternate with blocks of red in what is almost certainly an attempt at showing a patchwork cloth of alternating red brocade and black and white pinwheels.  Whether this cloth was actually quilted is not clear, as the greenish highlights on the red are probably intended to depict a brocade pattern and not stitching.  However, it’s very clear that something that we’d call a patchwork quilt was not out of the question in the SCA period.

Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist, Saint Peter, and Two Angels c. 1290. National Gallery of Art. Samuel H. Kress Collection 1952.5.60.

As tempting as it is to conclude that the little Cimabue painting indicates a thriving patchwork and/or quilting industry in the late thirteenth century, however, there is still no definitive evidence for this.  Spanish silk weavers, steeped in the Moorish decorative tradition of geometric patterns, produced magnificent brocades that bear such a strong resemblance to patchwork that least one quilt historian assumed that a brocade cope from the 1200’s was patchwork.  The same may well apply to a mid-fourteenth century fresco by Florentine artist Taddeo Gaddi of The Marriage of the Virgin.  This homely scene, which includes a groomsman giving St. Joseph a congratulatory slap on the back, shows a geometric textile of red, green, orange and white hanging from a roof…and though it certainly looks like a quilt, and could easily be a quilt, it could just as easily be a piece of Spanish brocade.

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Quilted Armor

Fortunately for historians and SCAdians alike, more definite evidence for both quilting and patchwork begins to appear around the year 1300.   Professional armors specializing in quilted gambesons and other forms of padded armor begin to crop up in court records.  The French court had a “courtepointier,” or quiltmaker, while a few decades later someone known only as “Niccolo de la Coltra” worked in Padua as ‘the master of quilts.” These professional quiltmakers were far from unique; professional quilt and quilted armor guilds were active in Bologna, Rome, Florence, Venice, and Genoa by the fourteenth century, often in association with cotton guilds. Southern France was another center of the European quilting industry, particularly whole cloth white quilts.

The primary product of these quilted armorers were closely fitted padded armor intended to be worn on the upper body, either over or in place of steel armor.  They were known as jacks, arming doublets, coat armor, jupons, aketons, or haketons depending on area and period, and their construction was strictly regulated.  One Italian guild required that jupons be padded with linen or cotton tow to the depth of three fingers’ breadths on the shoulders and two fingers’ breadths upon the torso for maximum protection. Aristocratic versions were often made of rich fabrics such as heavy velvets or silk brocades, then padded so heavily in the chest that their wearers were compared to greyhounds.  Less exalted versions, made of linen padded with cotton or wool, were lighter, cheaper alternatives to metal armor, so they became a popular option for foot soldiers, sappers, or archers. There were even jacks where small steel plates were sewn inside the padding, then layered with more cushioning for extra protection.

Several such pieces have survived, most in surprisingly good condition.  The most famous include the “Black Prince’s jupon” in Canterbury Cathedral, the coat armor of Charles VI in Chartres, the doublet of Charles de Blois in Lyon, and a curious German tunic that layers linen, padding, and small steel rings for extra protection.  Less famous but arguably more interesting is the Rothwell Jack, a rare piece of armor worn by a common foot soldier or archer.  Unlike its aristocratic kin, the Rothwell Jack is so crudely made that it was probably thrown together on short notice, either by a sailmaker or possibly its original owner.  Its materials, over twenty layers of raw wool and coarse linen stitched together heavy linen thread, are equally humble, and again indicate that it was made by a non-professional.  Although local historians long claimed that the Jack belonged to John of Gaunt, it almost certainly belonged to one of his archers, as the right armscye is all but worn away while the left is largely intact.

Quilted armor disappeared late in the SCA period thanks to the invention of firearms, as quilted armor was useless against a bullet or other small projectile.  However, protective garments of quilted linen were still popular among court tennis players, as in a 16th century painting by Francesco Becaruzzi, while quilted doublets of leather lined with silk were used as fencing jackets by the wealthy.

There is also an abundance of artistic evidence for quilted clothing and armor during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.  The best known is Hans Memling’s The Chasse of St. Ursula, but there are several funerary sculptures, particularly in Germany and Switzerland, showing knights wearing quilted gambesons or jacks.  There is also a tiny Italian ivory of The Flight into Egypt showing St. Joseph wearing a quilted tunic that might have begun as coat armor, although it equally could show a peasant tunic quilted for warmth.

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Domestic Quilting and Patchwork

There is less somewhat less physical evidence for domestic quilting during the early Middle Ages, while aside from La Lai del Desir, there is nothing in writing about patchwork until a French memoir of 1507.  However, there are a handful of extant quilts and two pieces of patchwork that hint at a much richer tradition that has been lost to war, wear, and time.

The oldest known actual whole cloth European quilts are three trapunto, or stuffed quilts from Italy.   Two, the so-called Guicciardini quilts, were probably made for a Florentine wedding in the 1390’s (and may have originally been a wallhanging), while a third seems to have been an actual coverlet.  All are made with the same materials (linen top and back, cotton padding, linen thread) and with the same technique (dark brown backstitched outlines on the decorative motifs, running stitch on the backgrounds).  The iconography and the motifs are so similar that these items were all but certainly made in the same workshop, while the designs and the captions on the Guicciardini quilts are in an otherwise rare Sicilian dialect.

The Tristan Quilt (detail). Victorian and Albert Museum, Museum no. 1391-1904.

The Guicciardini quilts, one in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, one in the Museo di Bargello in Florence, have been the subject of scholarly controversy for nearly a century.  They seem to have been made for a wedding between two powerful Florentine families around 1394, but whether they were originally a set of two quilts for two beds, one quilt for an enormous ceremonial bed, or a huge wallhanging is not known.  Some scholars, notably Arthurian specialist R.S. Loomis and quilt historian Susan Young, believe they were designed as a set, but recent analysis by Sarah Randles indicates that they were probably one huge piece that was cut apart and reassembled into two quilts for reasons that made sense at the time.  The piece in the Bargello belonged to Guicciardini descendants as late as the 1920’s, while the section in the Victoria & Albert was acquired around the turn of the twentieth century.  The iconography, a Sicilian retelling of the story of Tristan and Isolde depicted in large squares similar to the panels on a modern comic book, seems strangely inappropriate for a wedding gift, especially if the quilt(s) was indeed intended for use on the bridal bed.

Less well known is the third quilt, which was owned by the Pianetti family.  This piece, only half of which was extant when it was last photographed, once again showed Tristan and Isolde, only in central medallion surrounded by heavily stuffed fleur-de-lis.  The border shows allegorical figures feasting in vineyards and gardens, but there are no captions so the meaning is not clear.  It was last seen in 1938 and has vanished without a trace, leading to the tragic but unavoidable conclusion that it might have been lost during the massive destruction of World War II a few years later.

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A Cloth of Honor and a Pillow

Quilt historians assumed for decades that the Guicciardini and Pianetti quilts were the only surviving medieval quilts.  However, a startling discovery around 2000 in Budapest challenges this assumption.  Archaeologists excavating the old Tekeli Palace found a silk textile depicting the arms of the Arpad and Angevin dynasties encased in mud at the bottom of a rubbish shaft.  The Anjou Textile, as it is now known, was wet-cleaned and disinfected by conservators to remove mud and bacteria, then examined for clues to its construction and original purpose.  The mudball had been found alongside coins dating between 1390 and 1427, while physical analysis of the actual cloth indicated that it was at least a few decades older than the coins.

The Anjou Textile. Budapest History Museum.

Close examination revealed that this textile was pieced and appliqued in red, white, blue, and golden silk, while its age indicated that it was likely made not long after the Cimabue painting with the patchwork cloth of honor.  Stitch patterns on the cloth and a few bits of cotton padding and linen thread clinging to the wrong side clearly indicated that the Anjou Textile had originally been quilted in a diamond pattern at least twenty or thirty years before the Sicilian whole cloth quilts.

Most striking of all, Hungarian court records from the reign of King Charles Robert reference a large order of red, white, and blue silk from Italy, while the king’s Great Seal of 1331 clearly shows a patchwork cloth of honor that is all but identical to the Anjou Textile.  As unlikely as it may seem, the evidence indicates that there is a strong possibility that the Anjou Textile was pieced and quilted no later than 1331, and probably about ten years earlier.

As important as the Anjou Textile, it is not the most elaborate piece of early patchwork.  That honor must go to the Impruneta Cushion, one of the most remarkable surviving pieces of early needlework, regardless of technique.

This small pillow, only one foot square, was found in an Italian tomb in 1947.  The little town of Impruneta, about fifteen kilometers south of Florence, had been bombed in 1944 during the Allied advance up the Italian peninsula.  It wasn’t until 1947 that the town had the money to check on the tomb of its fifteenth century bishop, Antonio degli Agli, which had been knocked open when bombs struck the pilgrimage church of Santa Maria dell’Impruneta.

Bishop Agli himself had suffered little damage during the attack, but the most significant find in his tomb was the tiny cushion that had been placed under his head by his grieving niece, Deinara, when he died in 1477.  The cushion, which seems to have been one of the bishop’s favorite possessions, turned out to be not a simple pillow but a dazzling piece of early patchwork, with elaborate star and checkerboard patterns on the front and a simple but striking geometric pattern on the back.

The Impruneta Cushion, with the back also visible. Photo by Sailko, under Creative Commons licensing.

Analysis by an early conservator known only as “Signor Clignon,” supplemented by a thorough conservation/stabilization by the Tuscan state conservation agency in 1990, revealed that no fewer than thirty different types of silk lampas, brocade, damask, satin, and velvet were used to piece the front of the cushion.  The actual pieces ranged in size from approximately 1.5 inches to perhaps a quarter inch square, and were so finely and accurately stitched that conservators speculated the makers used stiff paper or pasteboard to stabilize the shapes during construction.  The seams, which had been repaired at some point during Bishop Agli’s lifetime, were all reinforced with couched cording.  The back of the cushion was pieced of inch square pieces of wool arranged in concentric squares.  This not only produced a noticeable sense of movement, but is all but identical to the modern patchwork pattern known as Trip Around the World.  Just as on the front, the seams on the back were reinforced with couched cording.

Italian scholars believe that the cushion was made between 1425 and 1455, as it was clearly used before being put in Bishop Agli’s tomb.  As carbon dating would require destroying a large section of the cushion itself, it is not possible to give a more precise date unless Agli family records surface mentioning the cushion.

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Later Developments

The Renaissance brought increased trade with the Eastern countries where quilting originated. The Ottoman Empire had a native tradition of quilted bedcovers and caftans; surviving examples from the courts of 16th and 17th century sovereigns such as Suleiman the Magnificent and Selim the Grim are worked in the running stitch on silk broadcloth and brocade, lined with cotton to get around the Qu’ranic prohibition against silk garments.  Court etiquette dictated that clothing be presented to foreign ambassadors, so it is possible that European diplomats posted to Constantinople returned with quilted caftans in their baggage.

This was the time when European countries established colonies and trading posts in Asia. India had a strong native quilting tradition and quickly began producing export work in cotton and silk (the very word calico, later the name of the favorite quilting cotton, is derived from Calcutta). Portugal in particular imported “pintadoe quilts” from its Indian possessions, as well as palampores and unquilted spreads that were later worked up into “colchas” on the Iberian peninsula. Several of these Indian/Bengali quilts have survived, including one in the collection of Hardwick Hall in England, almost a dozen in the Museum of Antique Arts in Lisbon, and a half-circle cape in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Indo-Portuguese Quilted Cape. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession Number 23.203.1.

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Henry VIII: Quilt Owner

By the sixteenth century, silk and linen quilts were quite popular in wealthy households throughout Europe.  Among the best examples of this is the 1547 death inventory of England monarch Henry VIII.

Henry VIII’s inventory provides a unique look at quilts in aristocratic households.  He owned over one hundred quilts and quilted coverlets, including two quilts assigned to his bath, sixty “holland” quilts of fine linen for bedding, and approximately forty quilts of various types of silk.  One of the quilts, a green sarcenet coverlet worked in roses, pomegranates, and fleurs-de-lis, may have dated from early in Henry’s marriage to his first queen, Catherine of Aragon, or even been part of her trousseau when she married his brother Arthur.  Other quilts were “payned” (pieced) in color combinations such as purple and white, green and white, and five or six colors such as tawny, green, yellow, blue, crimson, and white.  There were even two “quiltes of canvase to cover cartes,” presumably part of the equipment used to move the royal household on Henry’s frequent progresses.

Many of these quilts likely either Indian imports or European copies of expensive Indo-Portuguese work, such as the Indo-Portuguese silk quilts, but the “holland” quilts of fine linen stuffed with wool were likely made in Northern Europe.  Four or five of these would be used as actual bedclothes, while a silk quilt, often very elaborately worked with metal or silk threads, would be used as a bedspread.

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SCA Uses

There are several uses for quilts and quilted objects in the SCA. The most obvious, and common, is armor. Although quilting was used for both gambesons and jacks, padded linen jacks cannot be made list legal. However, a finely quilted jack would look spectacular in court. A better choice for a heavy weapons fighter would be a gambeson or a quilted tunic worn over armor in cold weather. The only caution would be to use only cotton batts – synthetic batts do not breathe, and armor made from them could cause a fighter to overheat and suffer a heat stroke. Most pre-quilted fabric is made with polyester batts and should be avoided for this reason.

Another good choice would be quilted bedding, either pillows or bed quilts.  Most fabric stores offer basic quilting classes, by either hand or machine. Machine quilting is obviously not period, but it’s possible to quilt a whole quilt in a day by machine. Virtually all modern quilts are made of cotton broadcloth or calico – again, not period, but washable, cheap, and very practical for camping. And Indian bedspreads are so close to palampores that a quilted version would make a fine addition to any campsite.

One warning: quilting is addictive. The calicos used for modern quilting are among the most beautiful cottons being made today, and who can resist beautiful fabrics? So don’t be surprised if what begins as a single gambeson, or a way to use up scraps, turns into a full blown obsession!

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Further Reading

Colby, Averil. Quilting. HarperCollins, 1972.

Evans, Lisa. ‘”The Same Counterpoincte Beinge Olde and Worene’: The Mystery of Henry VIII ‘s Green Quilt”, in Medieval Clothing and Textiles 4, Robin Netherton, Gale R. Owen-Crocker, eds. Boydell Press, 2008.

—. “Anomaly or Sole Survivor? The Impruneta Cushion and Early Italian ‘Patchwork'”, in Medieval Clothing and Textiles 8, Robin Netherton, Gale R. Owen-Crocker, eds. Boydell Press, 2012.

Von Gwinner, Schnuppe. The History of the Patchwork Quilt Origins: Traditions and Symbols of a Textile Art. Schiffer Publishing, 2007.

Where to Examine Historical Quilting Firsthand

Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia
Historic Deerfield in Massachusetts
International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Nebraska
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
Shelburne Museum in Vermont
Victoria & Albert Museum in London

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Filed under: A&S Research Papers, Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, Arts and Sciences

Kingdom Arts & Sciences Special Deputies Named

Wed, 2017-03-01 17:16

Greetings all from the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White.

You all may remember how impressed I was with this past year’s King’s and Queen’s A&S Champion’s Competition. Mistress Elysabeth Underhill and Master Magnus Hvalmagi organized an activity highly praised by the entrants and judges alike.

We want to build on their success as we plan for future A&S Champion’s Competitions. We also want to take advantage of what worked at the Kingdom competition and make it easy for other groups to use throughout the year.

To those ends, Mistress Elysabeth and Master Magnus have agreed to work with me as Kingdom A&S Special Deputies.

In particular, their roles will be to:

1. Refine the judging rubric and publish this spring
2. Refine the competition rules and publish this spring
3. Run the next King’s and Queen’s A&S Champion’s Competition, including registering entrants and organizing judges

If you are interested in helping with any of these tasks please contact them. They will be gathering feedback from the populace as well as recent A&S Champion’s Competition judges and entrants.

Our goals are:

1. Set expectations early for the next competition
2. Help artisans plan in advance and understand those expectations
3. Train more judges
4. Build consistency

We hope this will make the process easier and more enjoyable. We also think that this fosters learning and teaching throughout the year in addition to the competition.

These roles and goals are specific to the administrative aspects of the competition. The Champions will be chosen by the Royalty in the manner of their choosing.

We will be working together with Lady Sofya Gianetta di Trieste, Queen’s Champion of Arts and Sciences, and Lady Raziya bint Rusa, King’s Champion of Arts and Sciences.

In addition to their roles representing the Kingdom, they will advise and assist the A&S Office in these administrative tasks associated with the competition.

Your Servant to Command,

~philip


Filed under: Announcements, Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, a&s champions, A&S champs, Arts and Sciences, champions

In Memoriam, Lord Argus Erikson

Tue, 2017-02-28 09:26

Lord Argus Erikson, aka Argus of the Seven Hills, passed on unexpectedly on February 1, 2017. His passing leaves a hole in the fabric of the Barony of Stonemarche.  Usually one starts this sort of article with a summary of the person’s awards and offices. Doing that doesn’t do Argus justice.

He received his Award of Arms from Balfar and Luna in 2000. He served Stonemarche as Chatelaine for several years.

Eventually he handed off the formal office, and writing the reports to someone else, but he never really stopped being a Chatelaine. As I scanned the social media in the first day or two after we heard the news, the one thing I saw repeated over and over was the sentiment that he’d been one of the first people the writer met when they came to an event in Stonemarche as a nervous newcomer, and he welcomed them. He made them feel like they belonged there, and were genuinely wanted.

That, at its core, is what a Chatelaine does. You can read guides to SCA life, you can watch videos and look at web sites about the SCA and how to get started, but it’s the personal touch that really makes you want to stay. He made people welcome as naturally as breathing. His legacy to Stonemarche, and to the SCA as a whole, is all those people who came, felt welcome, and stayed to become part of the fabric of the group.

It wasn’t just when you were new either. His face lit up any time he saw a friend, whether he’d just seen you the week before, or it had been a year. I don’t think I ever ran into him at an event without getting a big smile of welcome and hug.

He did lots of other things in the SCA too – he fought heavy list, he fenced, and he loved to sing and tell stories.  He wrote SCA filks, and loved a good party. He was a familiar sight at bardic circles with his gigantic beer stein, claiming “The wife said I could only have one drink, so it’s a big one.” It wasn’t true, but it made a good ice breaker.  It got people to laugh, and he loved that.

He was Father Christmas at more than one Baronial Yule. I think he was “Uncle Argus” to half the children of the Barony.  And he was always there to lend a hand when something needed doing at an event.

The funeral was held on Thurs. Feb. 9, but an informal memorial is planned for Palio in Stonemarche in June, for his SCA friends to share memories and bid him farewell.

The formal obituary is available on-line here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/telegram/obituary.aspx?n=brian-ford&pid=184026211&fhid=4796.

This In Memoriam was written by Mistress A’isha bint Jamil.

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Filed under: In Memoriam Tagged: In Memoriam, Stonemarche

Travel Fund to Benefit from Sales of The Dream Atlas

Fri, 2017-02-24 13:03

The Dream Atlas is a map of the Known World inspired by the 14th century Catalan Atlas and created as a fundraiser for Their Highnesses to use toward travel expenses and Eastern Hospitality for foreign royalty. This Atlas is now available for purchase. The map shows all twenty of the current kingdoms, as well as many baronies, shires and sites of large annual events.

In addition to providing geographical reference, there are annotations about each kingdom designed to help travelers better understand various regions. These notes come from conversations with the people who dwell in each land and provide only a small taste of much larger cultures.

Researched and drawn by Lady Christiana Crane, The Dream Atlas is designed to be an opportunity for people to learn about their neighbors, regardless of kingdom. It makes an attractive piece of art for the home or office, however adventurous pilgrims may instead choose to fold their map and use it to record their own travels, turning the Atlas into a living journal.

Maps are 24”x36” black and white prints and are $35 including shipping. These can be ordered through the website until April 3, 2017.

There is also an extremely small number of limited-edition, full color hand painted originals of the map done on acid free paper available for $1000 each. Details regarding availability and delivery time are available by contacting TheDreamAtlas (at) crossroadgames (dot) com.

To learn more about The Dream Atlas, or to order yours, go to theknownworlddreamatlas.blogspot.com


Filed under: Announcements Tagged: for sale, fundraiser, Fundraising, Ioannes and Honig, Travel Fund

Teachers Sought for Novice Schola

Fri, 2017-02-24 05:09

On March 11th, the Barony of Bergental (Springfield, MA) will celebrate its 25th birthday by holding a Novice Schola, with classes and activities for one and all.

The class scheduler, Mistress Barbeta Kyrkeland, is still looking for teachers to teach classes in the following categories:

  • A&S (particularly scribal, woodworking, leatherworking, lampworking, blacksmithing, beer-making, metalworking, etc.)
  • Martial
  • Cooking & Food
  • History
  • SCA Life
  • Music & Dance
  • Garb (particularly looking for a simple tunic class)
  • Youth 10-16
  • Youth 6-9
  • children 1-5

If you are available to teach at thsi event, please contact Mistress Barbeta harpnfiddle@pobox.com.


Filed under: Events Tagged: Bergental, classes, novice, novice classes, novice schola, teachers

On Submitting Crown Tourney Letters of Intent

Sun, 2017-02-19 19:56

Greetings unto all those intending to enter Spring Crown Tournament,

Please be aware that both the combatant and the consort must submit a letter of intent, either through the following link (preferred) or by email to Their Royal Highnesses Prince Ioannes and Princess Honig with a copy to the Kingdom Seneschal. Joint submissions are preferred if you are using the following link, or if you are using email.

http://surveys.eastkingdom.org/index.php/372252?lang=en_

The Letter of Intent must be received by Coronation, April 1, 2017.

If using email, the letters of intent must include all of the following information for both combatant and consort: Society name, legal name, address, telephone number, years of residency and be accompanied by proof of membership with membership number & expiration date that is valid at least thirty days after Crown. If both entrants are combatants, then that should be clearly indicated.

Their Highnesses would remind all entrants that should they win, they will be named Prince and Princess of Tir Mara for their time as Crown Prince and Princess of the East, representing the noble people of Our fair Crown Principality. Please bear these responsibilities in mind should you choose to enter the Crown Lists this Fall. Their Royal Highnesses also request that combatants bring heraldic shields for the list trees.

In Service to the East, I remain

Dueña Mercedes Vera de Calafia
Seneschal, East Kingdom


Filed under: Heavy List, Official Notices Tagged: Crown Tourney, Letter of Intent

Baroness Beyond the Mountain invites Artists to Plan for Artifacts of a Life III

Sat, 2017-02-18 10:12

Submitted to the East Kingdom Gazette by Eloise, Baroness Beyond the Mountain

Ah, February. It feels like winter has stretched on forever, and like spring will never come. Some parts of the Kingdom are grey and cloudy, and others are wondering where to put the snow. It is enough to crush the spirit. What is one to do, to revitalize the soul and sustain us until the return of warmth?

The wise suggest exercising one’s artistic skills, which warms the fingers through activity and nurtures the mind through use. And what better application of winter survival skills than entries for Artifacts of a Life?

Artifacts of a Life III will be held in the Barony Beyond the Mountain (New Britain, CT) on September 30. Artifacts is a different sort of arts competition: entries must be “themed” – the theme is things that would have been used/owned by a single individual sometime in period. Possibly they are the items that would have been left in a will, or even just the day to day paraphernalia of life. They do *not* have to be items owned by *your* persona, but they do have to be linked to one person in one time/place.

There are currently anticipated to be three categories: Typical, Elite, and Village. The Typical category must include three to five items from a single culture and time. The Elite category will include six to nine items from a single culture and time. And for the communally ambitious, the Village category will allow you to work with others in a team to collaboratively create six to nine items. To flog the horse, all of the items in an entry must be placed within a uniform time and culture.

February is grey and quiet. Isn’t now a perfect time to work on your entries? You know that the closer we get to Pennsic, the more you will think about those deferred projects. The ones you were going to work on over the winter. You know as well as we do that you’re not going to do those jobs until July. It’s tradition – why fight tradition? Instead, take these snowy days, and immerse yourself in the artifacts of a life in period. Now is the perfect time.

And prizes! Did we mention the lovely prizes? As at the first two events, we will be bestowing hand-made wooden chests stuffed with materials to make the fingers of even hardened artisans twitch with avarice.

The event announcement is here: http://www.eastkingdom.org/EventDetails.php?eid=3108. The event website, with information about the rules, and pre-registration is here: http://sca-artifactschallenge.blogspot.com/. Please watch both spaces for updated information, as details about the event itself are always changing.

PLEASE NOTE: Entry in the competition REQUIRES pre-registration with Mistress Elizabeth Vynehorn. If you have not specifically notified her of your intention to compete, we will not be able to accept your entry. This is for the benefit of the contestants. Knowing at least roughly what you plan to enter allows us to recruit the best possible judges to give you the best possible feedback. Without pre-registration we will not have sufficient/appropriate judges. Speaking of judges…

If you are available and interested in judging for Artifacts, please let us know. Recruiting judges is by far the most difficult aspect of the event, and if you can assist we would be most grateful. Contact Mistress Elizabeth via the website or event announcement, and we will contact you if your expertise matches our needs.

Come to Artifacts! We would love to see you.

Eloise, BBM


Filed under: Arts and Sciences, Events

King’s and Queen’s Bardic Champions: Final Pieces

Fri, 2017-02-17 12:35
The Gazette asked each of the final four performers to share their piece with us.  The four performers received the task of composing a piece with a specific theme, each one receiving one of the four seasons.

 

Winter – Countess Chatricam Meghanta or “Megha”

The piece as performed is based on Purananuru poem # 69, as translated by A.K. Ramanujan.  The original poet was Alattur Kilar who was writing about the Tamil King Killivalavan. 

I modified it to fit the theme I was required to write to, “Winter” (I interpreted that to mean the rainy season in India), where I was, Concordia, and which king I was performing for. ~Megha

 

My singer friends, here you are, lute in your hand, a hunger in your belly that no one heeds, clutching at your waist, a cloth of patches with strange threads, cold, wet, on a body as aimless as a ruined man’s and your family dulled by poverty.

 

You round the whole earth and you are here to ask in a small voice for help. So listen.

 

In Summer Time His army slaughters the murderous elephants of enemy kings, leaves the wounded in pools of blood, makes a slaughterhouse of the battlefield.

 

Now, in the rainy season, he is in Concordia. He is Brion, King of the East. He wears perfect garlands, his ornaments are flames of gold. you can warm your hands by.

 

Go to him. You will not ever need to stand in the cold outside his great door. Go fill your eyes with the gold, the rice, the sweet liquor he gives away to singers.

 

Once he knows you want in winter you will not need to stand with your lute in your hand wet and empty.

 

Once you have seen him you will wear lotuses of gold, flowers no bee will touch.

 

He is warmth. He is hospitality. He is the light.

 

Spring – Maitresse Sabine de Kerbriant I was given 30 minutes to prepare a contrafact (new lyrics set to an existing melody) on the theme of spring. For the tune, I chose “Douce dame jolie,” written ca. 1350 by Guillaume de Machaut. The original song is a virelai with a repeated refrain, with that structure partially mimicked here.

That fair and tender season
When leaves beyond all reason
Sprout green towards skies above
And all hearts turn towards love

So joyful we will be
While we may
While the flowers bloom so free
To welcome the new day
We will sing
And dance in revelry

Think kindly of me is my plea
So all the world may well see
That you and I share one heart
And never more will part

So joyful we will be
While we may
While the flowers bloom so free
To welcome the new day
We will sing
And dance in revelry

That fair and tender season
When leaves beyond all reason
Sprout green towards skies above
And all hearts turn towards love

Summer – Lady Lillie von der Tann Lady Lillie presented an original song she had composed about the battle with the heat at this past Pennsic War.

The blazing sun beats down upon
My fencer’s mask and sword
With one last drink I head boldly
To meet my last reward
When fighting’s done, I know I’ll end
With bruises, stiff, and sore
Tis now I keep within my heart
Why we go out to war

Chorus:
For to war, war — on we must go
To strike our foes a mighty blow
Or to be felled down, like falling snow
But the sun, the sun, is our worst foe

I gasp for breath, what do I find?
An oven’s scorching heat
It washes over me and fails
To cool my fiery cheeks
My jerkin clings fast to my limbs
My pants unto my seat
I know now that my moistened death
By boiling I will meet

Chorus

At last the marshals call a hold
But say to my dismay
“The sun’s too hot — you’ll roast alive.
No more we’ll fight today.”
A groan from fencers one and all
Our grief it does convey.
I must return to camp but swear
We’ll fight again next day.

Chorus 2x

Autumn – Maestro Orlando di Sforza

Autumn Sonnet dedicated to Her Most Royal Majesty, Queen Anna

Wilted willows sway, shamed to raise their eyes.
Ivy bearded birch shakes his woeful head.
The frowning oak glares as all ’bout it dies,
Grave to know all the world shall soon be dead.

The quiver of ochre and scarlet leaves,
Frightened of their inevitable fall,
On the barest breath of blustery breeze
Each tree expecting soon to lose them all.

Alone and defiant she stands, complete.
The slender ginkgo slips her golden gown
Now naked, with amber folds at her feet,
Her gilded dance done as the sun goes down.

Let us shine like her, brazen in bold show,
Defying death’s touch with our auric glow.

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Filed under: Bardic Tagged: Bardic, champions, King and Queen's Champions

King’s and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Champions

Tue, 2017-02-14 18:20

Eager to participate in the Barony of Concordia’s traditional mid-February blizzard, 26 artisans descended on Scotia, New York to show off their diverse talents at King’s and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Championship.

A portion of Lady Sofya’s display of her work creating several 16th Century Zimmara (loose overcoat/gown)

The competition consisted of two phases. In the first phase, 7 teams of 3 judges each spent up to 45 minutes discussing an artisan’s project with them, and then retired to render scores via rubrics and to fill out feedback forms so that artisans could walk away with advice. After the first judging phase, the top 5 (well, in this case, 6!) would go on to an interview phase with Their Majesties, Their Highnesses, and the judges. The Queen’s Champion was the winner, and the King chose his Champion from among the field.

An illustration of a plant, part of Lady Raziya’s entry creating a style guide for how plants were drawn in different periods

The entrants were:

Lord Agapios Cargos
Alexandria Guyon de Champagne
Lady Cassandra Arques
Baroness Charitye Dale
Don Christoffel d’Allaines leComte
Master Donovan Shinniock
Magister Galefridus Peregrinus
Lady Irene von Lassan
Lady Isabella d’Allaines le Comte
Master Jean-Paul Ducasse, Baron of Concordia of the Snows
Lord John Kelton
Lady Judith bas Rabbi Mendel
Baroness Katheryn Fontayne
Lady Katrusha Skomorokh
Lady Lada Monguligin, Vicereinne of Ostgardr
Lady Alys Treeby
Lady Sofya Gianetta di Trieste
Lord Lorenzo Gorla
Lady Mýrún Leifsdóttir
Maestro Orlando di Sforza
Lord Padraig Ó Riain
Lady Raziya bint Rusa
Herrin Rosina von Schaffhausen
Lady Ruadhnait inghean Ruaidhri
Lady Tola knitýr
Lady Yzabel du Perche

Baroness Katheryn’s entry included this dress, dyed using natural dyes in a dye oven she built

We had quite the slew of judges as well:

Mistress Ose Silverhair
Mistress Heather Rose de Gordoun
Mistress Pagan Graeme
Mistress Eleanore MacCarthaigh
Master Erhart von Stuttgart
Mistress Amy Webbe
Lady Kataryn “Kit” Mercer
Mistress Renye Wurm
Baroness Bronwen Rose
Sir Zhigmun Czypsser
Mistress Brunissende Dragonette de Brocéliande
Master Angus Kerr
Duke Kenric aet Essex
Master Philip White
Master Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova Sviatoslavina vnuchka
Mistress Angharad verch Rees
Master Fridrikr Tomasson
Asa in Svarta
Mistress Nest verch Tangwistel
Mistress Sylvia du Vey
Mistress Aildreda de Tamworthe

The room was packed full of incredibly diverse art, ranging from focused research on historic combat techniques to an actual working boat. Artisans spent the day talking to judges, to other artisans, and to enthralled members of the populace seeking to enhance their knowledge of period practices.

Magister Galefridus’s entry included couscous and stew cooked in a special pot

A full gallery of all entrants and their exhibits can be found here, courtesy of Baroness Cateline la Broderesse.

There was also a Youth Arts and Sciences display! Several young artisans of the kingdom put their work on display, and received an extraordinary response from the populace. So great was the volume of attention that the judging teams assigned to talk to them could not physically get to the table to talk to them – there were so many people clamoring around already!

Illumination in the children’s A&S display, painted by Emma Lovell

Mosaic tiles in the children’s A&S display, created by Caleb Patrasso

As the dust settled, 6 artisans emerged as the finalists. They were:

Magister Galefridus Peregrinus
Lady Lada Monguligin
Baroness Katheryn Fontayne
Lady Sofya Gianetta di Trieste
Lady Tola knitýr
Lady Raziya bint Rusa

Lady Lada’s documentation for her entry, concerning early Russian illumination

The room was cleared, and the six artisans waited by their projects. Their Majesties and Their Highnesses, accompanied by their Champions and a handful of retainers, sat with each artisan. They spoke about their project and enlightened their audience, and then spoke with passion and inspiration about what they would bring to the position of Champion.

Lady Tola’s entry was comprised of two embroidered purses and one knit purse

After consultation, Their Majesties chose Lady Sofya Gianetta di Trieste as Queen’s Champion of Arts and Sciences and Lady Raziya bint Rusa as the King’s Champion of Arts and Sciences. There was much rejoicing!

Lady Sofya is chosen is Queen’s Arts and Sciences Champion

 

 

Lady Raziya is chosen as King’s Arts and Sciences Champion

Master Magnus and Mistress Elysabeth would like to thank all the entrants for showcasing their amazing talents, and all the judges for their tremendous service.

Photos courtesy of Caitline La Broderesse

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Filed under: Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, champions, King and Queen's Champions, Kings and Queens Champions

The East Choses New King’s and Queen’s Bards

Tue, 2017-02-14 11:35

The outgoing bardic champions address the crowd assembled

On a day befitting the name of our hosts, Concordia of the Snows, thirteen exceptional performers assembled to vie for the positions of King’s and Queen’s Bards.  The competition consisted of three rounds, with each performer given a total of 15 minutes to use over all three rounds (with extra time available for the finals at their Majesties’ discretion).

The competitors were:

Countess Chatricam Meghanta or “Megha” (aka Marguerite inghean Lochlainn)

Mistress Elizabeth Elenore Lovell

Mistress Judith Fitzhenry, called the Uncertain

Lady Lilie Dubh inghean ui Mordha

Lady Lillie von der Tann

Lady Lorita da Siena

Maestro Orlando di Sforza

Lord Robert of Anglespur

Maitresse Sabine de Kerbriant

Lord Sean O’Morain

Lady Solveig Bjarnadottir

Jarl Valgard Stonecleaver

Mistress Ysemay Sterling

In addition to Their Majesties Brion and Anna, the judges for the competition were Mistress Alys Mackyntoich (Queen’s Bard), Lady AEthelflied Brewbane (King’s Bard), Master Grim the Skald and Master Michael of York.

Bards waiting their turn to perform

The first round performances ranged from period documented pieces to SCA folk songs, poetry and prose, and even instrumental music combined with vocal song.  The competitors did not make the task of deciding who should advance to the second round easy on the judges.  After much debate, eight performers were asked to return to offer a second piece.  They were:  Countess Megha, Lady Lillie, Lady Lorita, Maestro Orlando, Lord Robert, Maitresse Sabine, Lady Solveig and Mistress Ysemay.

Once again, the performances were stellar, and selecting four to advance to the finals was not easy.  Ultimately, Countess Megha, Maestro Orlando, Maitresse Sabine and Lady Lillie were asked to offer a third performance.

Countess Megha performing her first round piece.

As is traditional, each finalist was given a challenge based on the performance resumes they had turned in at the beginning of the contest.  Countess Megha was asked to prepare an inspirational speech on the subject of Winter.  Maestro Orlando was asked to offer an Elizabethan monologue on the subject of Autumn.  Maitresse Sabine was asked for a contrefacte (new lyrics added to existing music) on the Spring.  Lady Lillie was asked for a song on Summer.  They were given 30 minutes to prepare.

Maitress Sabine in the first round.

All four finalists rose to the challenges before them with passion, vigor and excellence.  Maestro Orlando presented an original Shakespearean sonnet that he had written in 30 minutes.  Countess Megha used her 30 minutes to adapt an existing period Indian poem about the rainy season and the generosity of Kings.  Maitresse Sabine wrote and sang new words to go to the period tune E, Dame Jolie by Guillaume de Machaut.  Lady Lillie presented an original song she had composed about the battle with the heat at this past Pennsic War.

Baroness Arlyana Van Wyck took videos of the final performances, which can be found at the public links below:

Megha

Sabine

Orlando

Lillie

At the end of the day, Queen Anna chose Maitresse Sabine as Queen’s Bard and King Brion chose Countess Megha as the King’s Bard, with much acclaim all around.

Maitress Sabine is named Queen’s Bard

Countess Megha is named King’s Bard

Maestro Orlando was inducted into the Order of the Troubadour based in large part on his performances during the competition.

Maestro Orlando is inducted into the Order of the Troubador

Mistress Alys and Lady AEthelflied thank all the competitors for their hard work, passion and willingness to perform, as well as the people of Concordia of the Snows for putting on a splendid event.

Article written by Mistress Alys, photos by Cateline La Broderesse.


Filed under: Events Tagged: Bardic, bardic champions, champions

Ædult Swim Class Schedule

Mon, 2017-02-13 13:14

From the Aethelmarc Gazette

“Prince Timothy recently shared the tentative schedule of rapier and cut & thrust classes planned for Ædult Swim 2017 on the AEthelmearc Rapier Army Facebook page. The free event will be February 18 and 19 at Milton Shoe Factory 700 Hepburn St. Milton, PA 17847”  ….. to read more click HERE

 


Filed under: Announcements, Events, Rapier

SCA Inc Announces Position Opening: Society Exchequer

Mon, 2017-02-13 12:08

The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is seeking candidates for the position of Society Exchequer. This position reports to the SCA Corporate Treasurer.

Duties and responsibilities:

  1. Track and review quarterly reports on Kingdom accounts
  2. Review Financial Policies and submit to the Board for approval
  3. Report quarterly to the Board and the Corporate Treasurer.
  4. Conduct training of Kingdom Exchequers.
  5. Maintain the various exchequer handbooks/manuals as scheduled.
  6. Work with the Tax Specialist in maintaining exchequer reporting forms.
  7. Review and process requests to open or change bank accounts.
  8. Monitor use of Paypal and the training by Paypal specialist.

Preferred Skills:

  1. Moderate to expert MS Excel proficiency.
  2. Moderate MS Word proficiency.
  3. Good communication skills.
  4. Previous experience as a Kingdom Exchequer required.
  5. Bachelor’s degree in accounting preferred.

Prior experience as an exchequer in the SCA is required; prior Kingdom Exchequer experience is highly desired. Working knowledge of SCA’s accounting procedures is necessary. Individuals with accounting backgrounds or training are highly desired. Dependable email access and dependable phone access are required for this position.

The Society Exchequer receives a stipend for their services and will receive a 1099 for tax purposes. Work load will vary but expect to put in an average of 15 hours per week.

Interested applicants should send a letter of interest, together with modern and SCA qualifications, via hardcopy to:

Renee Signorotti
Society for Creative Anachronism
PO Box 360789
Milpitas, CA  95036-0789

Courtesy copies should be provided via email to:
resumes@sca.org
treasurer@sca.org.

The deadline for applications is April 1, 2017.
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc.  Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.


Filed under: Announcements, Corporate, Official Notices

EK has new King’s and Queen’s Bardic Champions

Mon, 2017-02-13 09:31

There were 14 competitors across all skill levels! From this field two were victorious.

Chatricam Meghanta (or Megha), (who bears a striking resemblance to
Countess Marguerite inghean Lochlainn), is the King’s Bard

Maitresse Sabine de Kerbriant is the Queen’s Bard.

Congratulations to all!


Filed under: Arts and Sciences, Official Notices

Polling Deadline – TODAY

Sun, 2017-02-12 17:53

Responses to the first poll of Their Highnesses Honig and Ioannes need to be sent before midnight tonight, Sunday, February 12, when the polls close.

 


Filed under: Uncategorized

Board of Directors Announces Position Opening: Corporate Treasurer

Thu, 2017-02-09 00:34

The message below was published Tuesday, February 7th via the SCA Board of Directors Announcements email list (announcements@lists.sca.org)

The Board of Directors is accepting applications for the position of Corporate Treasurer.  This is a part-time, stipend position, which requires approximately 5-10 hours per week except when finalizing the yearly budget.

Applicants must be available for at least the October quarterly Board Discussion Session (typically held on Friday), in addition to the October Board meeting (typically on Saturday).  Additional traveling may be required.

Skills:

1)  Working knowledge of basic financial spreadsheet program (QuickBooks or other);

2)  Experience with managing budgets and financial forecasting, including tracking and analyzing variances;

3)  Basic suite of office communication skills – spreadsheets, presentations, Word, etc.

4)  Preference for degree in accounting or finance.

Duties of the Treasurer

Maintain knowledge of the organization and personal commitment to its goals and objectives.

Work with the Society Exchequer, the Vice President for Corporate Operations and the outside accountant to ensure all financial filings are maintained.

Work with the Society Exchequer to ensure that our relationships with third party financial vendors (i.e. banks) are maintained.

Understand financial accounting for nonprofit organizations.

Work with the President and the Vice President of Corporate Operations to ensure that appropriate financial reports are made available to the Board on a timely basis.

Prepare and present the annual budget to the Board of Directors.

Develop and maintain internal control policies, guidelines, and procedures for activities such as budget administration.

Work with the Society Exchequer, President and the Vice President of Corporate Operations to maintain and improve internal control policies, guidelines and procedures for PayPal.

Analyze the financial details of past, present, and expected operations in order to identify development opportunities and areas where improvement is needed.

Evaluate needs for procurement of funds and investment of surpluses, and make appropriate recommendations.

Ensure development and broad review of financial policies and procedures.

Maintain current knowledge of organizational policies and procedures, federal and state policies and directives, and current accounting standards.

Interested applicants should send a letter of interest, together with modern and SCA qualifications, via hardcopy to:

Renee Signorotti
Society for Creative Anachronism
PO Box 360789
Milpitas, CA  95036-0789

Courtesy copies should be provided via email to:
resumes@sca.org
treasurer@sca.org.

The deadline for applications is April 1, 2017.
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc.  Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.


Filed under: Announcements, Corporate Tagged: corporate, corporate announcements

Arts & Sciences Research Paper #17: You Won’t Believe How They Went!

Wed, 2017-02-08 16:49

Our seventeenth A&S Research Paper takes a turn to the lighthearted, and comes to us from Mistress Aildreda de Tamworthe of the Barony of Carolingia. She offers a tabloids-eye view of some of the more ghastly deaths of the medieval period – not necessarily to be considered for our lunchtime readers! (Prospective future contributors, please check out our original Call for Papers.)

You Won’t Believe How They Went! Five Strange and Terrible Medieval Ends

Who is this? Read on to find out the unbelievable truth!

Nothing in his life / Became him like the leaving it.
– Wm. Shakespeare, Macbeth (1605), I.iv.

A person can achieve historical notoriety in many ways; brave deeds, terrible deeds, happy or cruel accidents of birth and geography, or even a greatly distinctive appearance. But one certain way to be remembered for posterity is to die in some memorable fashion. Today, the East Kingdom Gazette brings you five tabloid stories from history, wherein we learn of some of the more notorious exits of the Middle Ages. Please note that some are quite gruesome!

(NB: Like all good stories, these have been embroidered in the telling and the recollection. We have endeavored to provide the true tale in every case.)

Contents
Sigurd Eyesteinsson – Karma Bites Back
Martin of Aragon – No Laughing Matter
The Bal des Ardents – Practice Safe Cosplay!
Hugh Despenser – There’s No Outsmarting A Wolf
Charles of Navarre – The Cure Is Worse Than The Disease

Sigurd Eyesteinsson – Karma Bites Back

Sigurd (? – 892) was the Earl of Orkney in the latter half of the ninth century. Known as Sigurd the Mighty, he was a fearsome figure in the conquest of those northern Scottish isles by the Norwegian Harold Fair-hair. During one of the episodes of that invasion, Sigurd challenged a local chieftain, Maelbrigd the Buck-Toothed, to a battle with forty men on a side. Thinking to be crafty, Sigurd instead brought eighty men to the fight, winning it handily through superior numbers.

But in a strange twist of justice, Maelbrigd got his revenge. Sigurd struck off his foe’s head as a trophy and tied it to his horse’s saddle, thinking to display it as a mark of his prowess. As he rode, though, the head swung forward and the prominent teeth that gave Maelbrigd his nickname gouged a scratch in Sigurd’s leg. And as any playground veteran knows, the human mouth is a most unsanitary place – the scratch festered and quite soon Sigurd developed a gangrenous infection that killed him outright. Treachery does not pay!

Sigurd’s tale may be found in The Orkneyinger Saga.

Back to Top

Martin of Aragon – No Laughing Matter

King Martin I of Aragon. Altarpiece of San Severo, Wikimedia Commons.

King Martin of Aragon (c. 1356-1410), like so many of his contemporaries, had a court fool to entertain him when he was disconsolate. One evening, after eating an entire goose at the dinner table, King Martin was suffering from indigestion and called for his fool, one Borra, to ease his distress. When the fool entered the room, the King asked him where he had come from, and the fool said “Out of the next vineyard, where I saw a young deer hanging by his tail from a tree, as if someone had so punished him for stealing figs.”

Succumbing to this wordplay, whose subtle humor has no doubt been muddied through time and translation, King Martin is said to have laughed so heartily and so long that he indeed died of laughter. The question of whether or not this is a tale drafted by the cook to divert attention from the goose is left to the interested reader.

King Martin’s tale may be found in Dr. Doran’s The History of Court Fools, 317-318.

Back to Top

The Bal des Ardents – Practice Safe Cosplay!

The Dance of the Wodewoses, British Museum, Harley 4380, f.1

In 1393, a masquerade ball was held in Paris by Isabeau, queen to Charles VI. As a bit of fun, the young King and several of his friends decided to dress as wild men, costuming themselves in linen soaked in resin that was stitched all over with loose flax, so that they would appear fierce and hairy. In a crowded ballroom where the only source of light was from flame, what could possibly go amiss?

The young men disported themselves crudely, making obscene gestures and howling and spitting curses at the assembled nobility. (It may be noted that the entire affair was instigated by one Huguet de Guisay, a cruel and arrogant young man who, among other things, used to hunt peasants with arrows from his castle walls.) They thought themselves safe because they had forbidden anyone carrying a torch to enter the hall while they were at sport. But the king’s brother, Louis d’Orléans, defied the ban and came close to a masked reveler, ostensibly to learn his identity.

Unsurprisingly, a stray spark fell onto the highly flammable costume and instantly the dancer was in flames. Rushing about, he set many of the other “wild men” on fire, as well as other guests; the King was saved only by his aunt, the young Duchess of Berry, who threw her skirts over him to protect him. The quick-thinking Ogier de Nantouillet jumped into a vat of wine until the flames were all extinguished, and also survived.

The other young men all perished from their awful burns, most of them slowly and painfully. The odious de Guisay lingered the longest, cursing the dead and the living for three whole days before he died. There are no reports of his death being haunted by the spirits of arrow-filled serfs.

The story of the Wild Men may be found in Froissart’s Chronicles.

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Hugh Despenser the Younger– There’s No Outsmarting A Wolf

The Execution of Hugh Despenser the Younger, from Froissart’s Chronicles. Bibliotheque Nationale MS Fr. 2643, folio 11r

It is almost always a perilous thing to be a royal favorite. It is an especially perilous thing to be the favorite of a weak king who already has many enemies. Hugh Despenser the Younger (c. 1286 – 1326) was much beloved of King Edward II of England, and in his position of royal chamberlain, soundly proved the old adages about power going to the head – he even once reportedly said that he regretted that he could not control the wind! Indeed, Dispenser was so unpopular with everyone but the King that there was even a strange and curious plot wherein aggrieved courtiers enlisted the purported magician John of Nottingham to kill him (and the King) by sticking pins in their wax effigies.

We have no record of any discomfort from pins or effigies. But what we do know is that Edward’s Queen Isabella, nicknamed the “She-Wolf”, harbored a deep enmity toward Despenser, not least because he tried to have her murdered! When the Queen and her co-conspirator, Roger Mortimer, staged a very successful French-funded rebellion against the King, Despenser was captured and jailed. Knowing he was unlikely to escape with his life, Despenser tried to starve himself to death before his trial but was unsuccessful, coming quite alive to the trial and his almost immediate execution.

Here we learn that it can be exceptionally hazardous to try and fail to murder a wolf! Thanks to Jean Froissart’s love of a gory tale, we have a vivid account of Despenser’s death – he was bound to a ladder in the public square, where his genitals were cut off and burned before his eyes, his entrails slowly pulled out, and then his heart cut out and thrown into the fire. Once he was finally dead, his body was beheaded and quartered, and his severed head mounted on the gates of London. Who’s the apex predator now?

Hugh’s tale may be found in Froissart’s Chronicles.

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Charles of Navarre – The Cure Is Worse Than The Disease

The Death of Charles of Navarre. From Froissart’s Chronicles. Getty Ludwig XIII.7

Charles II of Navarre, called the Bad (1332 – 1387) was an exceptionally slippery character in a century that is rife with examples of diplomatic shenanigans. Consummately committed to his own best interests, he maneuvered throughout the Hundred Years War, regularly switching sides, sowing chaos, and on one occasion even throwing open all the prisons in Paris to create a state of anarchy.

Late in life, Charles was severely debilitated by many illnesses and in such a state of decrepitude that he reportedly could not move his limbs. (Froissart claims that this was because of the “viciousness of his habits”.) His physician recommended that he be wrapped up from head to foot in linen cloths that had been thoroughly soaked in brandy. (Again, what could possibly go wrong?!) To ensure a tight and enveloping fit, the cloths were sewn into place by an attendant; but when she moved to remove the end of the thread with a candle, as was her usual habit, the thread caught fire and the entire covering was instantly in flames.

Another version of the story locates the source of the flame in a pan of hot coals that was being used to warm the invalid’s bed, but the end of the story is the same – Charles the Bad died in horrible agony from terrible burns, lingering almost an entire fortnight until he succumbed. Naturally, popular sentiment attributed the gruesome death to Divine judgment; how else would such a Bad king end?

Charles’s tale may be found in Froissart’s Chronicles.

We hope you have enjoyed this small diversion into some of the more lurid corners of history!

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Filed under: A&S Research Papers, Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, Arts and Sciences

Birka Unofficial Court Report

Wed, 2017-02-08 13:05

Evening court at Birka. Photo by Mistress Brita Mairi Svensdottir

On 28 January, AS LI, Their Majesties Brion and Anna did hold a Royal Court in the Barony of Stonemarche at A Market Day at Birka.

Their Majesties were not only attended by Their Highnesses Tir Mara, Ioannes and Ro Honig, but also by a number of visiting royals.  This included:

Her Majesty Margerite of the Kingdom of Aethelmearc
Her Majesty Xristina of the Kingdom of Ealdormere
Their Majesties Yehuda and Hrodir of the Kingdom of Northshield
Their Highnesses Konrad and Aibhilin of the Kingdom of Northshield
His Highness Antonii of the Principality of the Mists

Their Majesties held several courts during the day.  In the morning, they presented the following awards:

Helena Lundonie, Award of Arms
Scroll by: Onóra ingheann Uí Rauirc

Brian of Stonemarche, Silver Wheel
Scroll by: Marrieta Charay

Peter de Bracebridge, Silver Tyger
Scroll by: Shadiyah Al-Zhara Words: Arthur de Beaumont

Svend de la Maison Al-Karakal (of House Al-Karakal), Order of the Tygers Combatant
Illumination: Ellesbeth Donofrey
Calligraphy: Jonathan Blaecstan

Tobijasz Bogdanovitch, Order of the Tygers Combatant
Scroll by: Heather Rose du Gordoun

Trentus Nubianus, Order of the Tygers Combatant
Scroll by: Shadiyah Al-Zhara Words: Arthur de Beaumont

Hrafn Bonesetter, Presentation of the Shield of Chivalry

Kenneric Aubrey, Silver Rapier
Scroll by: Shadiyah Al-Zhara

Their Majesties further sent on vigil the following individuals:

Emengar la fileresse, Vigil to consider joining the Order of the Laurel

Sigurthr Vigurhafn, Vigil to consider joining the Order of the Chivalry

Kennimathor sent on vigil. Photo by Mistress Brita Mairi Svensdottir

Kennimathor Geirrson, Vigil to consider joining the Order of the Chivalry

Their Majesties suspended court.  Later, they reconvened to present to the Children in attendance the toybox, and they themselves spoke to the youths about what it is to be the Crown of the East.

Her Majesty attended the fashion show, where she opened court and presented the following award:

Seigine Ruadh Friseal, Silver Crescent
Scroll by: Vettorio Antonello

Their Majesties, and the various guest royals in attendance, held court once more in the afternoon.  Their Majesties Brion and Anna presented the following awards:

Murighall O’Riein, Silver Brooch
Scroll by: Aesa Lokabrenna Sturladottir Words: Aislinn Chiabach

Vopiscus Rufus, Award of Arms
Iillumination: Sarah Davies of Monmouth,
Words & Calligraphy: Nest verch Tangwistel

Bess Brechin, Silver Wheel
Scroll by: Triona Maccasky

Lucie receives her writ. Photo by Mistress Brita Mairi Svensdottir

Lucie Lovegood, Writ for Pelican
Scroll by: Kayleigh MacWhyte

Aikaterine FitzWilliam, Seamstress to the Crown

Adrienne d’Evreus, Maunche
Scroll by : Isabel Chamberlaine Words: Aneleda Falconbridge

Sylvia du Vey, Golden Lance
Scroll by: Rhonwen glyn Conwy

Osmond de Berwic, Silver Crescent
Scroll by: Fiona O’Maille ó Chaun Coille

Richard Crowe, Silver Crescent
Scroll by: Kayleigh MacWhyte

Cellach Dhonn inghean Mhic an Mhadaidh, Queen’s Order of Courtesy
Scroll by: Aesa feilinn Jossursdottir Translation by: Kirsa Oyutai

Cellach Dhonn inghean Mhic an Mhadaidh, Silver Crescent
Calligraphy: Robin dit Dessaint Words: Edward Grey of Lochleven
Stained Glass: Marguerite de Gui

Catrin receiving the Tyger of the East. Photo by Mistress Brita Mairi Svensdottir

Eginhard d’Aix la Chapelle, Silver Crescent
Scroll by: Alisay de Falaise
Latin: Sergei of Havre des Glaces and Steffan ap Kennydd
English: Kirsa Oyutai

Catrin o’r Rhyd Fôr, Tyger of the East
Scroll by: þóra Eiríksdóttir  Words: Aneleda Falconbridge

Emengar la fileresse, Laurel
Scroll by: Rhonwen Glyn Conwy  Words: Nicolette Bonhomme

Sigurthr Vigurhafn, Chivalry
Stone by: Kenric aet Essex

Kennimathor Geirrson, Chivalry
Scroll by: Edward MacGyver dos Scorpus Words: Aneleda Falconbridge

Additionally, their Majesties recognized both those new to the SCA, as well as those who have been around for 25 years or more.

Knighting of Sigurthr. Photo by Lord Brendan Crane.

Their Majesties thanked the Birka Staff for all their hard work.  They also went on to thank those who had worked on the EK Calendar, and thanked the artists, including Lisabetta Medaglia, Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova, Vettorio Antonello, Katrushka Skomorokha, Elizabeth Elenore Lovell, Ursion de Gui, Agatha Wanderer, Eloise of Coulter, and Kayleigh Mac Whyte

Thus did end the Court of their Majesties, Brion and Anna.

YIS,
Malcolm Bowman, Brigantia Principal Herald

PS – Thank you to the Heraldic Staff for the day!  Gwenhwyfar Dinas Emrys, Aneleda Falconbridge, Ysemay Sterlyng, Marian Kirkpatrick, Audrye Beneyt, Kirsa Oyutai, Lucien de Wyntere, Donovan Shinnock, and Gypsy.


Filed under: Court

Making Yours the Social (Media) Event of the Season

Sun, 2017-02-05 14:42

Republished from a blog post by Olivia Baker (Kate Crandall). Used by permission.

Making an event happen, I mean really happen, is not simple or intuitive. I’m not talking about being an event manager or event steward, here. I’m talking about event promotion. I’m talking about getting your event in front of people who wouldn’t see it without the power of the internet. Now, take away any possibility of an advertising budget. Now add in the additional hurdle of being a group of medievalists.

This is what we, in the SCA face on a daily basis. We have grand thoughts and ideas. We have things we think others will be excited about, but we don’t always understand how best to get the word out to others about them.

Please note, not everything in this post is pertinent to every event. Some event stewards and social media deputies may choose to only implement one or two of the suggestions. However, even one or two of them is better than doing no event promotion at all.

Let me start with a bit of background. Mundanely, I am a small business owner. I began 14 years ago with some cake pans and a website. I started reading and learning and learning and reading. I began to optimize my website for search engines. I eventually learned how to promote my business through various free media outlets. From 2015 – 2016 the gross sales for my business nearly tripled due to optimization and social media promotion. I also did event promotion for Wars of the Roses in 2016, hosted by the Barony of Concordia of the Snows in the East Kingdom. Our attendance was nearly 150% of the previous year’s attendance (there were several other factors including weather and a new site, but the event promotion was also involved) I would like to share some of the knowledge that is applicable to the SCA with any and all who may be interested in promoting their own events.

There’s some terminology I’ll be using throughout the blog. Below are some definitions to help get you through the basics. Please take note, these are basic definitions and are not necessarily a complete explaination of each item. If you would like additional information, there are many resources available on the internet.

  • Server – this is where the data for your website will be stored, making it accessible to internet users
  • Host – to store data on a server
  • Platform – program that allows you to develop your website
  • Domain – the specific address for a website (www.eventname.org)
  • Public Domain – copyright-free media

Throughout this post, I am making an assumption that your local group has the following:

  • Group (barony, shire, canton, etc) website
  • Group Facebook page
  • Group Twitter account
  • Group Google + account

If you do not have any of these, discuss with your local group the best way to implement them. Don’t forget to consult and follow the Society Social Media Policy as well as your Kingdom policy, if applicable, while doing so.

Now, let’s get into the actual event promotion. As an event steward (or social media deputy, if applicable), the first thing to do is to determine if your event should have a website. Ask yourself the following:

  • Is my event a niche event, such as an immersion event, or an event aimed at a very specific group of members?
  • Am I expecting at least 100 attendees?
  • Is my event a Kingdom- or Society-level event?

If you answer “yes” to at least one of these, you should consider creating an event website. If you decide to proceed with an event website, do you want your website to be an “official” website, where you can put all of the necessary information, that will be hosted on your Kingdom’s web server (this may not be applicable in all Kingdoms – contact your local or Kingdom webminister for more information)? Or would you prefer to have your site hosted on a private server?

If you would prefer an “official” website, contact your Kingdom Webminister to determine which programs are compatible with the web server. If this sounds like gibberish to you, that’s okay! Don’t be overwhelmed! Your webminister will help walk you through what you need to know.If you would prefer an “unofficial” website, there are multiple platforms that allow you to host your site without paying hosting charges. I highly recommend Google Sites, as there are many free templates, and it’s relatively simple to apply a specific domain to your website.

PICTURES!!! You want pictures! All of the pictures! If your event is a niche one-off event, find pictures applicable to your event. If you’re doing a viking event, find some public domain images of vikings and viking settings. If your event is a fighting event, work with a known photographer and get permission from them to use their photos on your website. The #1 rule to promoting your event is pictures. To reiterate, PICTURES!!!

Also, you want your website to be “mundane friendly.” If you use a lot of SCA terminology, have a New To the SCA? page that explains what the heck you’re talking about.

Once you’ve created your website, make sure your event announcement on the Kingdom list of events is updated with your website. Be sure to put your domain multiple places in your announcement. More often than not, people will skim the announcement looking for specific information. You want people to see your website and go there…and see pictures! (see what I did there?)

While we’re on the subject of Kingdom announcements, if your event is worthy of a webpage (see the 3 questions above), and you are located within a couple of hours of another Kingdom, get your event up on the other Kingdom’s event listing as well. Often, people are interested in traveling to events in other Kingdoms. Your event may be just the thing to get them there.

The next step is to create an event on your social media pages. Google + and Facebook both allow you to create events. Make sure to put a picture on the event page that will catch the eye. Also, make sure your event website is very easily found on the page. Next, invite all friends you think may be interested in attending. Share your events with your local group, surrounding groups, and your Kingdom group. Encourage others to invite their friends to the event as well. The more invitations that go out, the more people see your event. Additionally, be sure links to all of your social media sites are on your event website.

Now, for many events, particularly those hovering around the 100 person range, this is enough. However, if you’re really interested in getting attendance, the next steps are crucial.

At least once/week, create a post in the social media event pages sharing specific information. Are you having merchants? Highlight a merchant or two each week. Are you having court? Share the time court will be expected. Are you having dayboard? share a sneak peek of the dayboard menu (2-3 items are plenty). With each of these, make sure you include a photo and a link to the website. When you share your post with the Local and Kingdom groups, they are far more likely to be read if they have a picture, than if they do not.  If you do not have a Social Media Deputy in your local group, ask for a volunteer to handle these posts for you, as the task can become cumbersome when you’re handling organizing the entire event.

Timing for these posts is also important. Posting at 6am or midnight doesn’t do you much good. Very few people will see it. You want to post during peak times: 8am, 12:30pm, 5:30pm, 8pm. Think about the times you’re online the most: maybe before work, during your lunch break, after work, after dinner. These are the best times to post and get your post seen. Optimal time is from around noon – 6pm. These are the times you want the bulk of your posts to go out.

If you’re interested in getting a large amount of newcomers find out if your local community has a community calendar that will allow you to add events. Many newspapers and local publications will offer these free to the community. Get your website on there! If you do this, please make it VERY clear that we are unable to accept credit cards at this time (if applicable).

This is the next big thing: get social media support from your local group members! When you share the event post on your personal page, local group page, and kingdom page, the exposure is limited. However, when others share the post on their personal pages, they significantly increase the chances of your post being seen by others. The more your posts are seen, the more intrigued and excited people will get about your event.

The closer you get to your event, the more you want to post. If times change, post about it. If you’re going to have visiting royalty, post about it. If the weather looks like it’s going to be amazing, post about it. If it’s going to rain, post about it, reminding people to bring an extra pair of socks or two. Anything that may affect your potential attendees deserves a post.

If your event is a recurring event, be sure you have someone in charge of taking quality photos for next year’s event promotion. Also, if you are able, have someone in charge of on site social media updates (don’t forget the pictures!). Twitter is a particularly good platform for this. This may seem like a waste of time. I assure you it’s not. Many people who were unable to attend this year will see the fun people are having and will be more likely to attend the following year.

When I say, “Event promotion is not simple or intuitive,” I truly mean it. There is a lot of information and it is not the easiest to manage. However, once you get the hang of it, it becomes much easier. I wish you the best of luck with your future events! If you have any additional questions on event promotion, I’m happy to share all of the knowledge I have in the area!

Bonus: Did you notice I used this blog post for event promotion? No? Look again!

 


Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: event planning