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 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,