On the fear of having to prioritize fighting over art

A question to the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White:

“I am both a fighter and an artist. I am aspiring to become both be a member of the Chivalry and of the Laurel. But people tell me I need to stop doing my art. They tell me if I am made a Laurel first then the Knights will not support me there. What’s the deal?”

A reply from the Minister:

Well. Where to start? Actually. That’s pretty easy.

These people are wrong.

First. You should do what brings you joy. If fighting and arting at the same time brings you joy then you should fight and art at the same time. If pursuing your goal of peerage makes you happy then you should pursue your goal of peerage.

Second. If the Royalty thinks you’re ready to join the Order of the Chivalry then they will offer you membership. Even if you’re already a Laurel, if the Royalty thinks you’re ready to join the Order of the Chivalry then they will offer you membership.

It is really as easy as that.

But, as with all things, it’s never really that easy. And it is always a bit more complicated.

These people are wrong. True. But, what else?

Working towards any peerage is hard. Working towards more than one peerage at the same time? Even harder.

Why?

Because there’s only so much time. Your attention will be split. You can’t help it. You’ll be practicing art when you could be working out at practice. You’ll be fighting in a tourney when you could be at showing at the art’s display. You’ll be teaching a class while you could be fighting for a war point.

You can’t be in two places at the same time. So that’ll just make it all harder.

Harder for you to gain your skill as a fighter. So then harder to prove to others of your skill as a fighter. And then even harder to build relationships with those people.

Harder isn’t a bad thing. And longer isn’t a bad thing. You just need to realize that it will be longer and harder. And that’s okay. As long as that’s your goal.

Remember.

You should do what brings you joy. If fighting and arting at the same time brings you joy then you should fight and art at the same time. If pursuing your goal of peerage makes you happy then you should pursue your goal of peerage.

If you don’t mind how hard it is or how long it takes? Then you can do both at the same time.

But if part of your goals of peerage have a time frame? Then you could consider focusing on one or the other.

And really?

Just have fun.

Work on your goals. Improve your skills. Teach what you’re learning to others. Build relationships with the people who are working on the same goals. Support each other in those pursuits. Serve where you may and volunteer for your groups.

Those are the things that will help you on your path of becoming a Peer.

Remember… Have fun! Learn! Teach!

Your Servant to Command,
~p.w.

On entering A&S competitions when you feel you won’t win

A question to the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White:

“I’d like to try doing an A&S project for competition, but I’ve learned enough to know that the materials I can afford or find right now are not perfect. Should I enter even if I might not do well?”

A reply from the Minister:

Yes!

Why? Because you said you’d like to try a competition.

So, yes! Please!

Try!

You know what I’ve learned in my time working on arts and sciences projects? Projects are not really “perfect” in the first place. We’re always learning.

We’re finding out ways to better execute our entries. Or we are discovering new avenues of research. Or our skills get better. Or we’re finding new ways to challenge ourselves.

I think many of the people who enter A&S Competitions, or who display their work, could readily tell you many of the ways that they think they could make their work better. And that includes when they would be making substitutions for materials due to cost or access.

That’s okay! That’s a way we could improve. So, enter that competition. And be ready to learn.

Start by reading the rules of your competition. Understand how it is scored so that you know what to expect. Ask questions if you need to. Say up front in your documentation that you’ve made substitutions and why you’ve made them.

And the? Be prepared to not get points for that part of your score. That sounds reasonable, right?

That’s okay to not get all of the possible points. Why? Because you already know why you are received that part of your score. You know it isn’t something personal. And you know it isn’t about the work you’ve done and what you were able to achieve with your work. Because you already have that understanding with your materials. Or, really, any part of your entry that you know you’re still working on to improve.

Instead of focusing on the points, put your focus on that reason that you’re entering.

What’s your goal?

Do you want to teach through your entry?

Then make sure you’re spending your time and effort on your display and your documentation and your conversations with people. Make the most of those teaching opportunity.

Do you want to learn by entering?

Then make sure you’re spending your time and effort asking questions. Then, work or listening, understanding, and taking notes on what to work on. Have conversations with people about your opportunities for growth.

Do you want to win?

Okay. Well. Maybe in that case you wouldn’t want to enter. Yet!

Wanting to win is okay! That’s not the issue. But. Instead? You might want to do another project that could get you closer to the score that could help you win. Or, you might want to wait to enter this project when you can get the more appropriate materials that would help you out with that score.

So, please!

Come. Enter. Share your work.

Enter and display works in progress. Share works that are not perfect. Share works that are your first attempts. Share works that need improvement. Share works that you think are your best efforts.

We want to see all of it!

Remember… Have fun! Learn! Teach!

Your Servant to Command,
~p.w.

On the “wow” factor of competition entries

A question to the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White:

“I’d like to try entering King’s and Queen’s A&S Championship Competition, but I’ve heard that only “wow” entries do well. I really like to more narrow my focus and go really deep into my chosen subject. Should I enter even if I don’t have a “flashy” entry?”

A reply from the Minister:

I’m not surprised to read this question. It is a common comment for people to make. And, like many misnomers, it gets repeated and then spread as if it is a fact.

While you may regularly hear it said by others, let me clearly state that this isn’t the case.

This is likely an issue of perception versus reality. Perhaps people are remembering competitions from the past.

Perhaps people are thinking this happens with local events so that must be the same thing that happens at a Kingdom competition. Or maybe it is something altogether different yet leads to the same misconception.

Let me explain why this is not what is going on at the Kingdom competition.

King’s and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Championship Competition uses a rubric to identify the top entrants.

That rubric scores entries based off of certain criteria, including:

Complexity
Materials
Methods
Historicity
Sources

(https://moas.eastkingdom.org/cms/?page_id=514)

This means that there is actually a bias towards well-researched, exceptionally executed, and challenging entries.

This judging process is specifically designed to help judges avoid being distracted by “flashy” portions of an entry.

It’s not that that isn’t welcome. We love seeing pretty entries. By all means smother something in gold and silk and pearls. But! You better make sure it’s all historically appropriate. Because what gets us excited is well-made historical items and research. We are just as excited about a wall of bricks as we are excited about a page from a book of hours.

Still don’t believe me?

Look at our current A&S Champions. They both had research entries that were basically cardboard tri-fold presentations of the research they’ve been working on. Think more like a science fair presentation than something flashy.

Many people would have easily walked by their entries and missed them as something boring. This wow factor was all in the research they’d done.

They won because they specifically went narrow and deep into their subjects. The rubrics helped identify them as competitive entrants otherwise they might have been missed.

I hope that gives you some reassurance that King’s and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Championship Competition is not about “wow” factor.

Now, there may be some truth to the entry with a “wow” factor winning other competitions.

This might happen where the winner is chosen by popular vote (a popularity contest). Or it might happen in competitions where there are not published judging expectations and guidelines. Or maybe it could happen when the winner is chosen as a Champion for an individual person. A “flashy” entry might do well in these competitions.

What we have seen happening is that many local groups are stepping away from these kinds of competitions and are starting to use the Kingdom rubrics in order to give entrants more balanced feedback.

So. Back to your question.

Please enter in King’s and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Championship Competition! You’re doing work we’d love to see!

And for everyone else, please avoid spreading misconceptions. We are trying to create an inclusive experience that also encourages excellence and research.

Remember… Have fun! Learn! Teach!

Your Servant to Command,
~p.w.

On the relationship between research and A&S recognition

A question to the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White:

“I was told I’d never be given an A&S award or get A&S recognition unless I do research. Is that true?

A reply from the Minister:

There are lots of versions of these kinds of comments people make. You can pretty much plug and play. Here’s what I mean:

“You’ll never be a ‘Silver Brooch/Maunch/Laurel’ unless you ‘teach/research/compete/travel/publish’.”

I’ve heard these kinds of comments too. It happens. Early on I’ve probably also said something very similar to other people.

First?

Let’s all agree to stop using the word “never” when we’re trying to help each other.

The SCA is a place full of individual growth and personal achievement. Let’s give people the opportunity to learn.

Next?

I would give people the benefit of the doubt. I would hope that they mean well. I would try to hear the constructive part of the comment – trying to let me know that there is something else I could work on – instead of the parts that sound like I’m not good enough or that I’ll never meet my goals unless I change.

That’s hard to do.

It’s hard to hear when you already think you’re on the right track. It’s hard to hear something like this when you think you’re already doing those things that they are now saying you need to do. It’s hard to hear when you’ve already jumped through a bunch of hoops and now this person is telling you that you need to jump through more hoops.

Next?

I’d remember something. The only people who give Kingdom awards are our Royals. They decide. Not the person giving this kind of the advice. The Crown does. And even in the rare circumstance that a King or Queen would say something like this they hold their office temporarily. The next set of Royals may have completely different expectations. You may not “have to” do anything other than be patient.

So then “You’ll never get an A&S award unless you do research” becomes more like “I don’t think you’ll ever get an A&S award unless you do research” because that person is not making the decision anyway.

Or it becomes “I personally wouldn’t recommend you for an A&S award unless you do research” because that’s something about which the person can actually make a decision.

Or something like “I think the other people I’ve seen who get that award do research so if you want that recognition too then it could help to do what I’ve seen them do too.”

You can’t control what people tell you. They’ll make mistakes. They may un-intentionally hurt you. Try to forgive them for doing that. You can even try and let them know what they’ve done with their choice of words.

But you can try and change how you hear their words. Considering trying to hear the constructive parts of what they’ve suggested and put aside the less helpful parts.

And, on top of all that, remember to talk to people. Lots of people. All sorts of different kinds of people. Give yourself a chance to hear feedback from lots of sources and not just one. That will help you gage the kind of feedback you are hearing.

Remember… Have fun! Learn! Teach!

Your Servant to Command,
~p.w.

Postscript: There’s also a whole different conversation about what is “research” and what people are looking for when they encourage you to do more of it. This reply focused more on a certain kind of unsolicited advice or a kind of poorly worded advice. I could write lots more on “research”. (So I will!)

On the relationship between the A&S Minister and the A&S Champions

A question to the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White:

“How do the roles of the A&S Minister and the A&S Champions interact? Since they are both tasked with promoting the arts & sciences in the Kingdom?”

A reply from the Minister:

You’re exactly right. The A&S Minister and the A&S Champions are both tasked with promoting the arts & sciences. So how do we work together?

Let’s start with looking at what our roles are. We can begin with a description of the office and positions from Kingdom Law:

The Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences:

  • Acts as advisor in all matters pertaining to the Arts and Sciences within the Kingdom to The Crown and subjects of the Kingdom, and supports study in those areas.
  • Supervises the Lesser Office of Chancellor of the East Kingdom University.
  • At the request of The Crown, works with the Kingdom Chamberlain to coordinate and supervise the creation of regalia.

What does all that mean?

There are the simple parts of helping The Crown, helping the Chancellor, and helping the Chamberlain.

There’s also the administrative part of helping all of the local and regional A&S offices and the Kingdom Guilds. That means being a resource for them as well as supervising reporting and activities.

It does not mean the office is “in charge” of any and all arts and sciences that happen in the Kingdom. The office is charged with supporting those activities as best it can.

The King’s and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Champions:

  • Defend the honor of The Crown.
  • Advise and assist The Crown in the organization of the tournaments to choose their successors.
  • Further the practice of their arts throughout the East Kingdom.
  • Serve as members of the Royal Household, and attend The Crown in court.
  • Have the right to bear the regalia associated with their positions.
  • Provide to the Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer a written estimate of costs uniquely related to the organization of the tournament to choose their successor.

What does all that mean?

There are the more ceremonial parts of serving The Crown. They may attend The Crown in court or in other services. They may travel with The Crown to events.

They may provide specific functions and services as requested. For example they may create special pieces of regalia or largess. They may be asked to represent the East as A&S entrants at Pennsic War or other wars. They may also initiate individual goals or challenges for the position and for the Kingdom in order to support the community.

It does not mean these positions are “in charge” of any and all arts and sciences that are related to The Crown. These positions are charged with supporting those activities as best they can as directed for The Crown and for The Kingdom.

Now how do these roles interact?

The A&S Champions are not officers of the Kingdom A&S Minister. They do not report to the Kingdom A&S Minister. They are direct servants to The Crown.

They do partner directly with the Kingdom A&S Minister on many projects.

The biggest project they all work together on is creating a successful and meaningful King’s and Queen’s A&S Championship competition that promotes teaching and learning in addition to excellence and research. They also work on a number of projects through the year.

If you’d like to help with any of the projects that we are focusing on, remember:

  • Volunteer.
  • Share your ideas.
  • Hold us accountable.

Let’s work together!

Remember… Have fun! Learn! Teach!

Your Servant to Command,
~p.w.

On the relationship of the Bardic Arts to Arts & Sciences

A question to the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White:

“Is Bardic considered part of the arts and sciences? If so, why did you give more attention to King’s and Queen’s A&S Champions than you did for King’s and Queen’s Bardic Champions? Why doesn’t Bardic get more attention?”

A reply from the Minister:

There’s a lot here. So, please give me some time, and I will answer your questions.

So, yes! Bardic is absolutely considered part of the arts and sciences.

I think I see why you ask this. I’ll come back to that in a moment because I want to address this more.

The A&S Office in the East Kingdom has an extremely flexible and welcoming concept of what we consider A&S activities and studies. As long as you are focusing your efforts and studies on pre-1600 studies then we’re looking at that work as relevant our organizations goals to promote the arts and sciences.

Your work doesn’t have to be perfectly researched or exactly reproduced. You can be a beginner or a master. You can be a performer. A cook. A fighter. A researcher. A teacher. And more.

We really just want people to be having fun, learning, and teaching. If people are doing those things then we will consider A&S in the East successful.

Now, for this first question. I think the second question tells me why they first was asked.

People may feel that I did not support or promote, as the Kingdom A&S Minister, the King’s and Queen’s Bardic Champions as much as I did King’s and Queen’s A&S Champions.

You’re right.

You may not know why that happened. The roles for these two competitions were not the same for the Kingdom A&S Minister.

This will be a reminder for some of you and new to others.

Historically, the current Champions were tasked with running the competition to choose their successors. That means people who were selected based off of their artistic abilities were now also tasked with an administrative expectation that may not be within their skill set or interest. After I accepted my position as Kingdom A&S Minister, I offered that the A&S Office could take over the administrative responsibilities of running both of these Championship competitions. The A&S Champions accepted this offer.

I certainly understand why they willingly passed over the work. There was a lot of it. And it is fairly complex. A&S Championship comes with three different rubrics. Lots of entrants. At least three judges per entry. Vast diversity within the kinds of entries submitted. Extensive documentation on top of the actual entry. Even with the help of the Champions themselves, two deputies, and additional assistance it was a lot.

We also had a good deal of public relations to manage. At least the three previously held A&S Championship competitions had difficult interactions during some part of the competition. We wanted to avoid that.

This meant that you would have seen a great deal of announcements from the A&S office as we worked through all of this together.

Contrast that with Bardic Championship. This competition has been run successfully in mostly the same format for years. There was little that needed to be changed or managed. The number of entrants is limited and the judging team is much smaller. And the arts involved are much more narrowly focused. It is a completely different job than the A&S Championship competition.

The Bardic Champions handed all of this expertly while at the same time even supporting us for the A&S Championship competition.

So, yes, while I promoted and supported both Championships, I was more directly and visibly involved with one of them because that was my responsibility.

I’m really very proud with what we were able to accomplish with both of these competitions this year.

Now there’s one last question you asked. “Why doesn’t Bardic get more attention?”

I think much of this question was based off of the King’s and Queen’s Bardic Championship so let me start there.

The bardic community has its own Champion roles. That’s pretty neat. Right? There’s not another reoccurring field specific artistic championship role in the East. We don’t have a Kingdom Scribe. Or a Kingdom Cook. Or a Kingdom Brewer. Or the like. Even though these are highly visible and much cherished arts whose labors are frequently used by the Royalty. But we do have two Champion roles for bards. That’s a big deal.

We were actually concerned that performing artists may feel left out of the A&S Championship so we worked hard this past year to promote the inclusion of the performing arts in the A&S Championship and created a performing arts specific rubric so that people could participate. That meant that bards had two different paths to serving as a Royal Champion.

Another point to recognize is that the Royals were able to participate in much of the Bardic Championship. That means that at least half of the people who entered the Bardic Championship had the direct opportunity to perform for the King and Queen. Now, that was not the same for the A&S entrants. Although the King and Queen attempted to see all of the displays they could not make it to all of them. And they certainly didn’t get time to really pay attention to people as closely as they were able to watch multiple performances. They made their best efforts but only the very top scorers were able to get the same attention that all of the first round bardic performers were afforded.

I point these items out because the bards in the East hold a special place within the Kingdom. The role of performers is widely appreciated and support is frequently given by the populace and Royalty alike.

Want bardic to get even more attention? I support that! I support more recognition for everyone, not only bards, and not only in the arts and sciences, but all throughout our organization. I’d say by this point it is well known that I heavily advocate for sharing the word fame and increasing the renown of people we admire are respect.

So please help bring more attention to the bards. As a community performers are well positioned to do this. Using your skills to promote others naturally not only lifts them up but also demonstrates the value of the bardic arts.

To close, thank you for asking these questions.

I believe I understand why they have been asked and I hope that I have been able to answer your questions. While my intention was not to have a community feel ignored I see that it is fully possible and reasonable for people to have felt that way.

My apologies to any of those individuals.

I hope that knowing more of the circumstances will reassure you that the A&S Office is fully committed to supporting our Kingdom’s efforts researching and recreating *all* historical arts and sciences.

Remember… Have fun! Learn! Teach!

Your Servant to Command,
~p.w.

On hosting A&S and/or Bardic Championships

A question to the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White:

“Why was A&S Championship and Bardic Championship held together again? Can we have these two events separate next year? Can they be combined with other events?”

A reply from the Minister:

Let me be direct.

The A&S Championship and Bardic Championship were held together because the Kingdom only received one bid.

One.

That one bid offered to hold both championships for the Kingdom. So the Royalty accepted it. Because there were no alternative options.

The Kingdom was grateful to even receive that one bid. Why? Because the other championship events had trouble getting even that much.

Yes, these events can be held separately next year. And yes, they can be combined with other events. And yes, they may be held together again.

But that’s all up to you.

Why?

Because the Kingdom is dependent on groups volunteering to hold these events for the Kingdom.

If you want to see something different, then please volunteer to create something different, or, then please support other people to help them organize something different. Be the change you are asking for.

Remember. You can work with your local branch, or, you can work directly with the Kingdom. Recent changes to Kingdom Law means that non-branch groups of people can submit bids to organize events.

So?

Speaking of next year?

We are just a few months away from when bids are due to the Royalty for both A&S Champions and Bardic Champions in 2019. (That goes for other Championships, too!)

The Royalty may accept bids for a combined A&S Champions and Bardic Champions event or as separate events.

A combined event provides a number of benefits to the Kingdom:

For entrants:

  • Brings the arts together more across disciplines fostering community
  • Increased exposure to larger populations and audiences
  • Helps make both Champions competitions more of a destination event

For volunteers:

  • Minimizes the burden of the Crown for Royal Progress
  • Opens up the Kingdom planning calendar
  • Relieves the weight on groups needing to host Kingdom events
  • Limits the number of volunteers needed by hosting only one event

We know that there are potential challenges, too:

  • This could split Royal attention between the two activities
  • Space limitations for both kinds of entries
  • Scheduling difficulties between the two championships
  • Individual conflicts of interest between people who would like to judge and/or enter both activities

We have successfully managed good experiences at the last two combined A&S Champions and Bardic Champions event. We would be happy to do that again. We would also be happy to make other arrangements.

To submit a bid, please follow the Kingdom Event Bid Process found at:

http://seneschal.eastkingdom.org/docs/eventbidform.php

For potential hosting groups, a few notes:

  • You will not be responsible for the organization of either Champions competition regardless of if they are combined with each other, another event altogether, or held by themselves.
  • Good event spaces for Bardic Championships will have a large hall for bardic performance, space for a Royalty room, a populace room, and changing rooms.
  • Good event spaces for A&S Championships will have a large hall for A&S displays and a separate room for judges. There should also be space for a Royalty room, a populace room, and changing rooms. There should also be easy access for unloading display materials from the parking or unloading area into the display area. A&S display areas should provide ample space for entrants. They should have good lighting and space so they do not have to yell over each other. They should also have easy access to water and restrooms.
  • Good event spaces for a combined event will have the above attributes as well as enough separation from the other combining event that there is enough space allowed for both activities.

Remember… Have fun! Teach! Learn!

Your Servant to Command,
~p.w.

Reflecting on this years Arts & Sciences Championship

A question to the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White:

“So, how did the A&S Championship go?”

A reply from the Minister:

For the most part? I think really very well.

(Hint! I am going to save what I am most proud of for the end!)

I am enormously pleased of all our entrants.

There are so many of you that jumped out of your comfort zone to compete. Thank you for showing for the first time. Some of you said “never again” after difficult competitions in your past. Thank you giving us another chance. Some of you display untraditional arts and sciences. Thank you for showing up with something new and different and exciting.

Lots of you really prepared for this event. We noticed. The level of research and craftsman ship was high. Thank you for working with the rubric in advance. Thank you for attending the competition preparation sessions. Thank you for attending one of the A&S Consultation Tables.

Sure, these things may have helped you with your scores. They also helped you make better displays. They made you better researchers. They made you better teachers. It paid off in the experiences you had with everyone at the event. You helped people to learn. That matters more than a score in my opinion. So, thank you for that.

I am so appreciative of all our judges.

We think we significantly improved in our overall results over the past years. What does that mean here? More people had a positive experience. Less people ended upset and frustrated. Overall satisfaction with the competition is higher that past competitions. More fun. More learning. More teaching.

So many people responded well to your feedback and input. Because so many of you volunteered we were better able to balance your schedule. That gave you a chance to spend more time reviewing with artisans and to then give more meaningful constructive feedback. Thank you for being present. Thank you for caring. Thank you for trying your best.

Let me add a specific thank you here to our shadow judges. Last year we only had a few who were learning about this process. This year? Most every team had someone shadowing through the judging process learning about how to critically examine entries and constructively give written and verbal feedback. It was really inspiring to see so many people stepping up to join the ranks.

It has been a pleasure to work with Mistress Sofya Gianetta di Trieste, past Queen’s Champion of Arts and Sciences, and Mistress Raziya bint Rusa, past King’s Champion of Arts and Sciences. They have been a joy.

I am excited to continue this work with Lord Doroga Voronin, new Queen’s Champion of Arts and Sciences, and Lady Elena Hylton, new King’s Champion of Arts and Sciences. They are already settling into the role with zeal.

Also?

I am extra grateful for my Special Deputies, Mistress Elysabeth Underhill and Master Magnus Hvalmagi, who managed so much of this process. I asked them to work on a few things to make all this happen:

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

They did all of these things with better results than I could have ever hoped. The Kingdom as a whole has benefited from their strong work here.

Now, then…

What am I most proud of?

We asked for people to tell us what they needed. We asked for them to tell us when something wasn’t right. We asked them to tell us what wasn’t working. We asked them to tell us when they needed help.

And they did.

Here’s the deal. We failed some entrants. Simply put we didn’t give some of the entrants the best experience possible. Some we were able to solve for before the competition was over. Some we were able to work through during the day of the event. Some we have been able resolve after the fact. Some we are still working though.

How do we know? Because they told us.

I am most proud that over the last year we’ve been building trust and confidence with the people who want to participate in the arts and sciences so that they could tell us the good AND the bad.

That’s how we learn. That’s how we make things better.

That constructive feedback is so valuable on BOTH sides of the table. They came to us with a chance to improve how we work with participants. They didn’t vent publically on the internet. They spoke privately with their friends and mentors. And then they worked with us.

Some of these entrants plan to stop competing. They are looking to display and teach and demonstrate instead. Some of these entrants are already planning their next competition piece. And some have volunteered to become judges and help make things better from the other side.

All of these things are admirable solutions. We are excited to support these entrants, and all of our entrants, in whatever way they plan to pursue their studies.

What’s next?

We are learning from this feedback.

We’ll capture and continue the parts that we did right, such as the A&S Consultation Tables, advance publication of the rubric and rules, and overall communication efforts.

And we will focus on improving on the rest for example we hope to improve judges training and calibration.

If you’ve like to help with any of these efforts please let us know.

I know. That was such a short question! But as always I had so much to say in reply!

Remember… Have fun! Learn! Teach!

Your Servant to Command,
~p.w.

What to expect at the King’s and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Championship

A question to the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White:

“What should I expect out of King’s and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Championship this weekend?”

A reply from the Minister:

Are you entering?

Then don’t panic or stress out! You should expect a lot of good fun. You’ll want to show up early, go through event registration, then go through entry registration, and finally set up display space. An hour of your day will be focused on the judging experience. You’ll have a panel that talks to you, reviews your entry, steps away to finalize your score, and then comes back to you for feedback. The rest of the time we hope you have lots of good conversations with everyone else attending. Enjoy yourself! And please, remember to stay hydrated and to eat!

Are you judging?

You’re in for a long day. A good day! With lots of good conversations! But long. We know. And we very much appreciate the work. You’ll also want to get there early. Start by going through event registration and then go through judging registration. Then you’re going to need to pace yourself as your go through the judging experience with each of the entries we assigned you. Enjoy these conversations and the partnership you build up with your panel members. And take care of each other! You also need to make sure to eat and drink throughout the day!

Are you attending?

Thank you for coming! You have an excellent opportunity for lots of learning! Please be aware that the entrants may be eagerly waiting for their scheduled judging time and may need to prioritize those conversations for about an hour. The rest of the time? Please talk to them! They are hoping to have lots of good conversations throughout the day. That means talking to you! So, ask them what inspired them or surprised them or what they thought was hard to accomplish. They will share!

For everyone:

Please thank each other. Especially our event staff and organizers!!

There are a lot of people that have come together to make this day possible. Be kind and understanding of each other. Some people may feel stress or frustration during the day. That’s okay! You can help by giving a smile or a word of encouragement to each other.

At the end of the day we’ll learn who the new King’s and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Champion are. We’ll be happy for those two people! Congratulate them!

Please also congratulate all the other artisans who entered and met many of their own goals for the day. There’s enough joy and pride to go around to everyone!

Remember… Have fun! Learn! Teach!

Your Servant to Command,
~p.w.

Approaching difficult or problematic research topics respectfully

A Missive from Master Philip White, East Kingdom A&S Minister.

Within our organization, we encourage in-depth exploration of history through researching and recreating the arts and sciences.

In some cases, individuals may choose to investigate potentially unpleasant or difficult avenues of research. These works could be challenging due to both an historical context (violence or adult content for example) or due to awareness of modern sensibility (symbols co-opted by hate groups such as the swastika for example).

Individuals may also utilize historical resources and extant materials that have become available through problematic means (archaeological finds or colonial acquisitions for example) or that have been published with a contemporary bias (revisionist histories for example).

To set expectations, these artisans are asked to approach their research and work with special care.

They are expected to remain aware of potentially offensive symbolism or messaging within their works and to treat their research and reproductions with sensitivity and understanding (symbols co-opted by hate groups such as the swastika modified into another motif for example).

They are expected to present these materials with proper context and framing so that their historical use and purpose can be understood while trying best to avoid offense and misunderstandings (thorough documentation and explanatory display for example).

This means that a member of the populace may come across publications, displays, classes, competition entries, or other related educational opportunities that may contain materials that are upsetting to participants or viewers.

We ask that everyone, both the artisans and the populace, approach each other with kindness and courtesy.

Should any aspect of the arts and sciences present any individual with any concerns then please contact me directly at moas@eastkingdom.org.

Remember… Have fun! Learn! Teach!

~p.w.