19:14:01 EDT
Sunday, August 22, 2021

WCG Workshops have been temporarily suspended until at least January 2022.


Free public programs, lectures, online demonstrations, topical presentations, calligraphic conversations, outreach activities, and so on have not. Our goals for continued member education haven’t ceased. In fact, we’re trying to circle back and do more for our members, including providing online resources and promoting the art and services of our members.

The temporary suspension of workshops was not a light decision, as it is one of the sources for income to maintain the Guild. It is a tasking endeavor that requires many hands and copious hours to create the illusion of a seamless event, and it sometimes comes at the expense of other offerings or funds. Moreover, independent instructors, conferences, and other guilds are now competing in this educational space, and we are deliberating how to provide value other than subsidizing costs.

Our intent is to make the Guild sustainable, and ideally grow. WCG has obligations to its membership, and while attendance is often high at workshops, the numbers show it isn’t necessarily the members that are in the majority. We would like to repurpose the guild resources to benefit all of you more directly.

I’ll be blunt. We need volunteers across the board. We need people to chair committees. Currently we are short-handed, and there is much to do because existing volunteers stepped down after the May elections

With vacancies for both Workshops Chair and Workshops Registrar needing to be researched, addressed, and filled, the Guild feels that we should also look towards the positive and take this additional time to revisit and restructure what workshops should be offered, what they will be like, how to manage them better, and develop a consistent repeatable process, for us and for instructors.

We do feel at this time with Covid continuing, especially with its Delta variant, in-person workshops will not be feasible until late next year. I’m just as disappointed as you. We have had good experiences and feedback in offering online classes via Zoom, but when Covid restrictions are lifted, we’d like to make them an addition-to rather than instead-of. There is no substitution for classes wherein an instructor can observe a student and offer direct correction and guidance.

We thank you in advance for your understanding while we work this out. It is important for us to find the right replacements and to train them in how to set up workshops behind-the-scenes. If you’d like to help, we welcome the extra hands — no experience is necessary, we’ll help train you in what’s needed in requirements for the Guild’s functioning.

Again. Workshops are not going away. We are restructuring them. Education is not going away. Programs, lectures, etc. will continue.

 

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Let us take this moment to properly thank Kacie-Linn Engle and Janice Reyes for their exceptional efforts during this pandemic era in finding talent, as well as to all the hidden support staff and volunteers working behind the scenes. The learning curve was extraordinarily steep as they and the rest of the Workshops Committee transitioned to online instruction and learning on such short notice.
 

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If you have any feedback or suggestions for the Board as we go forward, we're open to receive it. It doesn't matter if you are a beginner, a seasoned professional, or perhaps even an instructor that is interested in teaching for the Guild... we'd love to begin this conversation with you. Above all, if you can help, even a little, please ask what you can do to get involved.

You can write me at [email protected] with any thoughts you may have.

Thank you,
Tamara Stoneburner 

 

 


19:14:01 EDT
Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Looking ahead...with concern - April/May 2021

The WCG needs your help now to keep us from facing a major calamity next Spring. On the surface, our leadership seems secure: for this year’s voting on June 24, we have candidates for each of the Guild’s five elected positions (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Member-At-Large).

However, in Spring of 2022, there will be vacancies in all of these positions. The incumbent officers will be stepping down—most of them after having served three years (two years longer than a normal term).
We are asking members to volunteer sooner-than-later to prepare to lead the Guild next year. Without immediate action, the best-case scenario in 2022 would be to have new officers with no leadership experience in the Guild. The worst case would leave the WCG without any leadership at all, having to consider the process of dissolution of the Guild.
I have an appeal and proposal for you. While we are continually grateful for the financial support you provide through membership dues, we desperately need members to step up and serve. I am looking for volunteers to create and fill what I’m calling “shadow positions.” You would not have to go through the elective process. You would attend the monthly Zoom Board meetings, get to know current Board members, be privy to the inner workings of the Guild, and learn how matters are discussed and decided. You would hold full advisory status without the burden of making the final decisions or shouldering any of the accountability. The result, ideally, would be a group of people who would feel comfortable leading the WCG into the future and be ready to run for office next year.

All we require is several hours of your time each month (from August to May) in order for you to learn the ropes.

The Guild needs to stay strong and build on its history and reputation. Our Board has worked very hard these recent years—and especially through the pandemic—to bring our members quality Zoom workshops and Scripsit and Bulletin publications. We maintain the Zapf Educational Scholarship, the Graceful Envelope Contest, and exhibits and virtual galleries of members' artwork. We curate an incredible book library, publications archive, and collection of printed and original artwork.

This appeal is for you even if you are not in the Washington metro area. We’ve been operating a majority of our executive business virtually. Yes, we’d prefer local volunteers with first-hand knowledge of the Guild’s activities. But that landscape is changing rapidly, and we need to entertain the possibility of having out-of-area officers if they have the proper training and enthusiasm. To ‘shadow’ the President and Vice-President positions, it would be recommended and helpful if you have been local-area members of the Guild for at least two years.

Please contact me at [email protected] if you have a sincere interest in volunteering for one of these positions. None of us wants to leave the Guild in the lurch in 2022—unprepared and abandoned, creating a potentially dire situation.