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Find a guild

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This is one place that seems to be keeping a list of the current guilds that are still alive and well.
If anyone knows of others, please post them.

Erica: it might be helpful to put links to lists of guilds at the top of the section on guild information - so that newcomers can check to see if there is a near by guild.

Here are three similar lists for the UK:

Society of Scribes

I hope others will provide information for the rest of the world.

Erica McPhee:
I would like to keep all of the guild information in one place (under this Board: Calligraphy Guilds).

At some point, I plan to re-organize this board by Country and then by State. So there is a topic for say Florida and then each guild is a comment).

Or, I will create a database which is a part of Flourish. I don't want to re-invent the wheel but I would like an organized, up-to-date resource that is easy for our members to search.

Can someone explain in simple terms (I'm a bit simple!) what the purpose of a guild is - in the context of calligraphy - if it is possible to be a member online only, and if so which is recommended for complete novices?

Many thanks in advance.

Good question - about being an online member of a guild.

This is from the New York guild:
Founded in 1974, and based in New York City, the Society of Scribes is a non-profit educational organization which promotes the study, teaching and practice of calligraphy and related disciplines.

The Society fosters the appreciation, understanding and acceptance of calligraphy as a fine art. It also encourages fellowship and the exchange of ideas through its speakers, programs, workshops, exhibits and publications.

This is from the Washington DC guild:
 Founded in 1976 by internationally known calligrapher Sheila Waters and a group of her associates, the Guild is a nonprofit organization that promotes all aspects of the lettering arts and related crafts.

There are other guilds in large and small communities. In urban areas, it is harder to find one conveniently located meeting place for monthly meeting. The Chicago guild has smaller study groups that meet in various neighborhoods, but they offer quite a few classes during the year where they bring in teachers from around the world.

Monthly meetings usually involve some education provided by locals and the cost of admission is covered by your yearly dues. Dues range from $15 -$35 (maybe higher these days) Weekend workshops are taught by rock stars who are brought in and the cost is more in the $100-$300 range. It depends on how many days the workshop is and where the teacher is from. Covering the cost of international transportation can bump prices.

My guild was founded by scribes in two communities (half hour apart) and we had 10 meetings per year, splitting them between the two communities. Our membership was around 100. Monthly meetings would draw about 30 people. We had several members who never attended, but paid their dues just to get the newsletters. Before the internet, most guilds put out a newsletter. The time and expense of those newsletters has cause many guilds to eliminate that component. I have not seen many of the most recent newsletters. I imagine the Washington DC guild is still putting out a fine publication that might be worth the price of joining, although, I am not sure what the cost of international postage would be.

In my small guild, we could manage one or two weekend workshops a year, where we brought in the rock star teachers. Our monthly meetings always included something educational. The mission statements of guilds tend to list education at the top of the list. Community between scribes is often mentioned. Many guilds also include community outreach and a popular way to reach out to the community is to have a yearly exhibit of artwork. Some guilds will have demonstration events where they letter on bookmarks or holiday ornaments.

Getting together with other scribes is for most of us - a wonderful thing - and I have often thought it would be fun to create an online guild. Maybe it could be done with Periscope or some kind of webinar. Maybe the idea is already percolating in Erica's head.

As I reflect on my years with my guild, I can get seriously mushy about the number of people who are my dearest friends who I met through the guild. I was very sad to see my guild fold up. Guilds are run by volunteers and when there are not enough people to do all the work, the smaller ones burn out. The larger guilds have all been thriving for many years. The Minneapolis guild deserves credit for creating the huge International Calligraphy Conference that is held each year - this year it is the Show of Hands conference. many ways, we already have an online guild here. We can cover most of the same objectives. There are lessons, learning, and sharing. With YouTube, IG, and Periscope there are options for online demonstrations. I imagine we could organize an exhibition. If the envelope exchangers wanted to post their envelopes in one place, that could become a nice exhibit.

One last variation on the guilds: in some states, there are several small guilds in small towns that are quite far apart. They coordinate for their workshops so that they can draw a large enough group to bring in the rock star teachers. Workshops in my smaller city drew people from communities that were 2-3 hours away that had their own guilds.

I hope others who have experiences with guilds will share. Some of my impressions and thoughts might be out of date.


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