Welcome to the website for the MidAtlantic Fiber Association (MAFA). MAFA is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose objectives are to promote education in the fiber arts; to plan, organize, and conduct conferences; and to facilitate communication among member guilds.
Infrastructure is not sexy. However, as everyone knows who has had to dodge potholes, deal with a bridge closure, or wonder when electricity was going to be restored, it is critically important.
For MAFA, conference years are thrilling — exciting, exhilarating, rejuvenating, and, for the organizers, occasionally terrifying. 'Off' years are quieter--more like a kiddie tram ride than a roller coaster. However, they are just as important to MAFA's work — perhaps even more so. These are the years in which the focus can be on the organization's infrastructure — what we do, how we do it, and even who we are.
There's no doubt that a central purpose of MAFA is to hold a conference every other year. Workgroups are already forming for the 2017 Workshop Weekend, and would be delighted for you to join them, in a leadership or supporting role. Use the links on the Contacts page to select a particular person or committee, or email the officers and we'll make sure your information is forwarded to the right person.
MAFA's other purposes, however, are too often eclipsed by the whirlwind activity and (let's face it) sexiness of the conference. From its very beginning, MAFA has also been a consortium of guilds, coming together to share ideas, solve common problems, and find ways to build both our local organizations and the encompassing regional one. Infrastructure.
- In this 'off,' even-numbered year, MAFA will be focusing on its somewhat neglected infrastructure. We are:
- Refreshing the website, with probable restructuring and redesign to happen in the future
- Developing our social media strategy and presence
- Scrutinizing our By-laws and Operations Manual and revising them so they make sense and will be useful guides going forward
- Creating a conference manual
- Seeking practical, scalable means by which all members of MAFA guilds — not just Reps — can discuss the issues that affect all guilds: outreach, programs, membership, volunteers. In the process, we hope to discover ways in which MAFA can better support its member guilds.
In order to achieve our goals, we need you. MAFA is a volunteer organization. It is its guilds, just as guilds are their members. There is no "them" — it's just us. Let's build something great together.
And who better? We are craftspeople. We know the pride and pleasure to be had in an even selvage, a balanced yarn, a perfect color match. We intrinsically understand the importance of infrastructure.
— Elisa Eiger
MAFA represents nearly 50 guilds from eight states and the District of Columbia. Our member guilds are located in NY, PA, MD, VA, NJ, DE, DC, NC, and WV. Individuals become automatic members through membership in a participating guild.
Associate membership is open to commercial enterprises, institutions, organizations, schools, and individuals not in affiliated guilds. Associate members have the same status as guilds, with the exception of voting.
Any organized guild of handweavers, spinners, or fiber artists in affiliated crafts that is located in the Mid-Atlantic region may be considered for membership in MAFA. Membership consists of timely payment of dues and entitles members to preferred enrollment in the biennial conference, the opportunity to apply for grants, and the ability to fully participate in MAFA-organized knowledge-sharing activities.
Each guild is allowed one representative and one alternate representative to participate in the two annual general meetings held in October and May.
Guilds, individuals, or organizations wishing to join MAFA should visit the Joining MAFA page (on the Guilds menu) for further information.