Latest News

MAFA Reps News: September/October 2017

What a great conference! A big thanks to Conference Chair Donna Mentzer and all her volunteers! There were 37 workshops, almost 400 students, 39 vendors. The planning committee is busy reading all the feedback forms to learn ways to make the next conference even better.

Reps’ Need to Know

Time to update your guild info.

Please send any changes to your reps and officers to the MAFA Membership Chair at membership@mafafiber.org. We need:

  1. Name and email address of the guild rep
  2. Names of guild officers:
    • President
    • Treasurer
    • Person in charge of your guild programs

If you’d like MAFA post your guild’s programs for the year on our website, please also send that info to the Membership Chair.

Next Reps Teleconference: Tuesday, October 10 at 7 p.m.

Make sure your guild has a representative dialing in to hear what your new board plans to work on in its upcoming term, as well as the date and location of MAFA 2019. (Dial-in number is 605-475-4700, access code is 6344163*.)

Can Your Guild Use a MAFA Grant?

Applications for 2018 MAFA grants will be due in January for projects taking place between March 2018 and April 2019. All guilds are eligible, but guilds new to the grant program are given priority. Award amounts vary depending on the project, but generally range between $500 and $1,500 with 50 percent of the grant award paid up front and the remainder upon receipt of a final report with photos.

Full selection criteria and a list of past grant projects are available on the MAFA website. 2018 application materials will be available in early November. For additional questions, please contact Grants Chair Mary Strouse at grantschair@mafafiber.org

New Board Takes Office in October

New MAFA officers were elected at the conference reps meeting. Incoming officers, along with the appointed members of the Board, are busy reviewing your suggestions for how MAFA can help the guilds. The new Board will take office beginning on October 1. New board members are:

  • President: Karen Miller (Foothills, VA; Blue Ridge, VA; Potomac, MD)
  • Vice-President/Communications: Charlene Marietti (South Jersey; New York)
  • Vice-President/Conference: Donna Mentzer (Lancaster, PA; Central Pennsylvania)
  • Secretary: Joan E. Martin (Chautauqua, NY)
  • Treasurer: Marla Campbell (Albemarle, VA; Whirling Whorls, VA)

Appointed members of the Board are:

New Membership Chair

Margaret Briggs, current MAFA representative of the Albemarle Handweavers Guild and the Whirling Whorls, has agreed to become our new membership chairperson and can be reached at membership@mafafiber.org. She takes over from our long-time Membership Chair, Dave Banks, who  has diligently kept track of our membership information for over 10 years! Thank you, Dave! Dave will continue as our webmaster, where he is also available to help guilds create and/or update their websites. He can be reached at webmaster@mafafiber.org.

Outgoing President’s Message from Elisa Eiger

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be the president of this phenomenal organization for the past two years.

My first note to you was about infrastructure. With the help of many volunteers, MAFA has modernized its by-laws, operations, and communications. We have adopted technologies that facilitate our mission–such as the one that sends this message to you and the one that allowed conference-registrants to see right away what workshop they were in and to monitor its enrollment. We have also re-evaluated our partnerships with other organizations, and have forged relationships with a new insurance carrier and a new corporate agent.

The most important alteration to MAFA’s infrastructure, however, is one that is difficult to quantify. With the changes in Board structure and improved communication mechanisms, MAFA is evolving into a more transparent, inclusive organization. More people are involved, and in earlier stages of planning. Diversity in geography, background, and interests create the dynamic tension that permits an organization to serve all of its stakeholders. And every member of MAFA is encouraged to contribute, in little ways, or in large. Please reach out and let us know how you would like to participate. Read the rest of Elisa’s message below.

The most important alteration to MAFA’s infrastructure, however, is one that is difficult to quantify. With the changes in Board structure and improved communication mechanisms, MAFA is evolving into a more transparent, inclusive organization. More people are involved, and in earlier stages of planning. Diversity in geography, background, and interests create the dynamic tension that permits an organization to serve all of its stakeholders. And every member of MAFA is encouraged to contribute, in little ways, or in large. Please reach out and let us know how you would like to participate.

I am grateful to members of the Board who served with me, and am awed by their energy and enthusiasm. As you know, many of them will be serving on the 2017-2019 Board. MAFA is fortunate to have such strong and dedicated leaders.

Karen Miller has been the most amazing secretary, and is going to be a phenomenal president. I appreciate in particular her organizational skills and level-headedness, as well as her kindness and patience in dealing with my panicked phone calls. She was at the core of all of MAFA’s undertakings, from the bylaws revision and other infrastructure initiatives, to co-chairing the 2017 Conference.

Charlene Marietti has changed the way MAFA communicates with its members and with the world. Her keen intelligence, analytic skills, marketing savvy–and ability to persuade some amazing volunteers to join her social-media team–enabled MAFA to build its presence in the fiber community.

Donna Mentzer accepted the challenge of conference coordination with indefatigable optimism. A consummate coach, she was always there for her team, cheering them on and inspiring them to greatness. And she did this while running a business and being in constant pain. Donna had her second hip replacement less than two weeks after the Conference, and is currently recuperating. Please send healing thoughts her way.

Marla Campbell takes over from Dina Callow, who bravely took on the role of treasurer when no one else would, has streamlined financial reporting and payments. She has watched over MAFA’s finances diligently, searched out ways for the Board to be better stewards of MAFA’s funds, unraveled some mysteries and clearly explained the way things work.

Mary Strouse assumes leadership from Carol Wood, who helped to create a understandable, replicable process for MAFA Grants and Fellowships. Mary has embraced her new role and is a vocal champion of this vital part of MAFA’s mission, in addition to being a helpful voice in Board discussions. I look forward to seeing how the Grants and Fellowships programs develop under her chairmanship.

Dave has been a core member of the MAFA management team for many presidents before me, and I hope many after me. He has worn two hats for over a decade, that of membership chair and webmaster. He is a font of useful information and insight, and is always there. (Literally. I’ve exchanged email with him at midnight, and Donna’s exchanged emails with him at 5 a.m.)

I deeply appreciate the help I’ve received from the other members of the Board during my tenure as MAFA president. There are also many, many other MAFA volunteers who have helped with infrastructure improvements and with running the conference. MAFA is an all-volunteer organization, made up of guild members and associate members. Together, we have done, and will continue to do great things.

MAFA Name Drafts

Dee Lande (Jockey Hollow Weavers, NJ) was inspired by the conference to create a set of name drafts for MAFA.

Watch the MAFA website and social media for .wif files of the drafts and a how-to article from Dee.

Guild News

Tapestry: You know the Basics! What’s Next? with Tommy Scanlin
The Triangle Weavers Guild of Chapel Hill, NC, is hosting a tapestry weaving workshop on September 29-30 and October 1, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Triangle Fiber Arts Center, Durham, NC. For advanced beginner and intermediate tapestry weavers, the workshop fee is $315. More information, including spaces available, at  http://www.triangleweavers.org/classes–workshops.html#classes201709tapestry. For questions, contact Phyllis Demko at phyllis626_at_outlook.com or 919-428-5730.