MoAS Office Sponsored A&S Classes/Consultation Tables (Nov./Dec.)

Greetings! Coming up over the next few weeks the MoAS office will be offering several classes and consultation opportunities, both at events & online. These are designed for & open to absolutely ANYONE who is interested in learning more about A&S in the society & the East Kingdom.More detailed information about these opportunities is included after the schedule below. Please e-mail if you have questions or wish to host an A&S table or class at your event. We will update this list on our website and send out announcements as other opportunities are scheduled.
Thank you,

  • St. Eligius, 11/16
    • Floating Consultation Table, Master Galefridus Peregrinus & Master Onora ingheainn Ui Rauric. (A signup sheet will be available at the registration desk the day of the event and consultants will meet entrants at their display tables.)
    • EK Rubric Class, Mistress Elena Hylton, 11am-1pm
    • Consent in A&S: Giving an Recieving Feedback, Mistress Elena Hylton 1:30-3pm
  • Online Class, 11/21 (Thursday), 7:00-8:30pm
    • East Kingdom A&S Rubric, Mistress Elena Hylton & Mistress Lissa Underhill. (A web link will be sent out prior to the online event.)
  • EK University in Runtallan, 11/30, 10:00-11:00am
    • A&S Panel, Mistress Alisay de Falaise. Led by the MoAS deputy for Tir Mara, Mistress Alisay welcomes all who have questions about A&S in the Society and Kingdom. If you can not attend the panel at this time, Mistress Alisay invites you to approach her with your questions/concerns at other times during the event.
  • Bhakail Yule, 12/14
    • Consultation Table, 11:30-1:30 (Library), Mistress Lissa Underhill & Mistress Margaretha La Fauvelle
    • EK Rubric Class, 12:30-1:30 (Library), THL Mariette de Bretagne & Mistress Lissa Underhill

What is an EK Consultation Table?

The EK Arts and Sciences Consultation tables are provided to allow everyone the opportunity to meet with experienced artisans to discuss A&S within the SCA. These tables are designed to help artists of the Society further their own journey on their chosen A&S path, discussing and getting advice on project scope, documentation, research, and potential pitfalls of present and future projects. The consultation tables bring together a network of artisans who can support all types and stages of projects, from beginning to advanced. The tables are a safe space to discuss your ideas and get advice! Even if you never plan to enter a competition, the consultants at the tables are here to help you improve and advance your art.

What is the EK Rubric Class?

In an attempt to familiarize more people with the scoring rubric used for Crown’s Arts & Sciences Champions, we are holding workshops designed to give both potential judges and artisans a more thorough understanding of the rubric and how it is used to score A&S projects. However, artisans not interested in competing in Crown’s A&S may also benefit from learning more about expectations for high level A&S competitions in the society by reviewing the rubric. All are welcome and encouraged to attend these classes.

Question for the A&S Minister: On effective communication when giving and receiving feedback in the Arts & Sciences.

Recently, the MoAS office has debuted a class called Consent in A&S: giving and receiving feedback. At the moment, we are still working on piloting that class a bit more before we make the notes from it publicly accessible online. However, I wanted to take a question that came up at one of those classes and discuss it here, as I think it provides a good example of what the class is trying to help with.

Novice Artisan: Asks a more experienced artisan if they should do X, Y, Z project for an upcoming competition.
Experienced Artisan: Advises them to do a different, more traditional, project instead.
Novice Artisan: Initially very excited about their project idea, our artisan is now upset/discouraged when they were told it might not be the best idea to pursue it.

This type of interaction may seem familiar to you. If you are involved in the Arts and Sciences, you may have had a similar interaction yourself, or heard of someone who has. While we want every artisan to come away from any A&S interaction with a positive feeling, sadly this does not always happen.

However, it is not necessarily because someone was being purposefully mean or hurtful. Instead, misunderstandings can and often occur because of unclear communication and because two people have different perspectives on the same event.
For example, each artisan in the above example has a slightly different perspective on what just happened.

Experienced Artisan: Likely believes that the novice artisan is primarily focused on doing well in a competition, and was providing feedback with that idea in mind.
Novice Artisan: Wants to share their work, but is less concerned with winning or scoring well, and more concerned with trying new ideas that people will find interesting and worthwhile.

To try to get both of these artisans thinking on the same page with each other, it can help if they each remember two specific communication strategies:
1) Repeat what you “think” you heard.
2) Ask for, or offer, specific goals.

The experienced artisan might benefit from saying something like: “What I’m hearing is that you want to enter a competition and do well, is that true?” or they could ask a more broad question, such as “What are your goals in completing this project?”
The novice artisan might benefit from saying something like: “What I’m saying is that, while I want to show my work off in a competition, I am more concerned with trying a non-traditional project and sharing it with the sca community.” or, they could say, “I hear you telling me to do a more traditional A&S project even though I told you specifically that I did not want to do that. Can you instead try to help me structure the project I want to do so people get value from it, and find it interesting? I’m ok with the fact that it won’t score as well the competition?”

If the artisans in this conversation are able to correct each other openly and honestly, they will be more likely to end up working towards the same goals. If the artisans in this conversation are able to start out with a more specific focused question or goal in mind, miscommunication will also be less likely to happen in the first place.

This type of open and honest communication is not easy. It is a lot of work, and a lot of courage. But it can be hugely beneficial to individual artisans, and to the reputation of the arts and sciences as a whole.

Ultimately, giving and receiving feedback in A&S are both hard things to do. Please do your best to treat each other with compassion.

My thanks to Mistress Elena and Master Philip for their help with this question.
-Lissa (EK MoAS)