Welcome to the web site for the Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association (MAFA). MAFA is a non-profit organization whose objectives are to promote education in the fiber arts, to plan, organize, and conduct conferences, and to facilitate communication among member guilds.
MAFA represents nearly 60 guilds from 8 states and the District of Columbia in the Mid-Atlantic region. 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 or related fiber activities located in the Mid-Atlantic region may be considered for membership in MAFA. Membership consists of timely payment of annual dues and entitles members to participation in the biennial conference, the MAFA newsletter, and the opportunity to apply for grants, which support mini-conference venues.
Each guild is allowed one representative and one alternate representative to send to the two annual general meetings held in October and May.
Guilds, individuals, or organizations wishing to join MAFA should go to the Joining MAFA page for further information.
The MAFA Board has approved the following grants through its Member Guild Outreach Program. Congratulations to the successful applicants. Additional information on these projects will be posted once they have been completed, and another round of grant funding will be announced in the future.
Looms for Kids' College, Fiberarts Network (WV) - The fiber education program will be expanded through the purchase of additional looms and accessories, and through scholarships for participants. Classes cover actual weaving techniques, including planning projects, warping, weaving and finishing options.
West Virginia Fiber Festival, Morgantown Fiber Guild (WV) - The guild will design appropriate materials and will make all publicity arrangements for the West Virginia Fiber Festival, to increase attendance and participation in festival activities.
Judith MacKenzie Spinning Workshop, Southern Tier Fiberarts Guild (NY) - Internationally-recognized hand-spinning guru Judith MacKenzie will come to the guild s venue for a two day workshop to improve attendees spinning skills, and give a talk on hand-spinning for weaving.
FROM THE PRESIDENT'S DESK
Here we are, into February already. For snow lovers (like me) it is a glorious day with 6 inches of new snow and clear streets.
I'm pleased to report that, at the Board meeting on January 9, the Grants Committee presented the Board three grants that the committee recommended be supported. Information on the Guilds and the programs for which they were awarded grants will be on the website shortly.
In mid-January I accompanied our Vendor co-Chairs, Donna Mentzer and Sara Bixler, to Millersville University to choose the Vendor Hall for our 2015 Conference. It is a very large space with easy load-in facilities important for the Vendors. There will also be ample space for a project that I would like to propose.
The title of the project is "Our Favorite Fibers and What We Like to Make with Them." This project will take the form of a Guilds Exhibit adjacent to the Vendor Hall. Guilds are invited, encouraged, maybe even begged, to decide on an item and the fiber from which it is made. Then the guild must work as a team to produce an exhibit that embodies their idea. For example, cotton tea towels a dozen or so different ones might be one guild's exhibit. I know Blue Ridge Guild did a fantastic study a while back with coverlets. Perhaps they would like to show off a couple of those.
There is history to this project. There were guild exhibits at nearly every conference I attended at Bucknell University in the 1990s. The logistics will be that each guild will need a coordinator for their exhibit and someone at the conference to set it up. In addition, we will need an overall coordinator for this project. It promises to be lots of fun and will encourage others to widen their horizons. And remember, white oak strips are also a fiber.
Last but certainly not least, the deadline for instructor proposals for the MAFA 2015 Workshop Weekend has arrived. Our Education Chair, Beth Wilson, has collected a very impressive list of potential instructors. Now she has the fun, and challenge, of choosing from myriad proposals. Contracts will go out just as soon as the particular classes are chosen and, at that time, we will also be able to post names of instructors. Look for them in my next letter and on the new MAFA 2015 Workshop Weekend website.
Yes, we now have a website dedicated strictly to the Workshop Weekend. Check it out!
Happy Fiber February,
LATEST MAFA NEWS--NEW OFFICERS ELECTED
MAFA elections have been completed and the following officers elected:
Hagerstown Weavers Roundtable
Central PA Guild of Handweavers
Blue Ridge Spinners and Weavers Guild
Morgantown Fiber Guild
Chautauqua County Weavers Guild
Blue Ridge Spinners and Weavers Guild
Immediate Past President
Central PA Guild of Handweavers
MAFA Conference Weekend 2015
The MAFA 2015 Workshop Weekend will be held at Millersville University, Millersville, Pennsylvania, July 16-19, 2015. Vendor suggestions or requests for our MAFA 2015 Workshop Weekend are now being accepted by our Vendor Chair, Donna Mentzer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAFA Membership Renewal Forms and Dues
Dues are now due for 2013-2015 for new guilds and for guilds that did not renew their membership in 2012. Go to the Joining MAFA page to download your form!
Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+)
The Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+) was founded on a single simple premise: people caring for one another during tough times. Building upon the grassroots gesture of passing the hat at craft shows for artists dealing with emergency situations, CERF+ created an ongoing pool of funds that are available to professional craft artists when they suffer career-threatening emergencies. In addition to the financial assistance, they help acquire donated goods and services for beneficiaries from individuals, organizations and businesses. CERF+ also provides resources for artists, including a new tool just announced: The Business Insurance Guidebook for Artists distills the key points of business property, liability, and disaster insurance into a pocket-sized booklet.
Thanks to the generosity of MAFA guilds and individuals interested in helping fiber artists with emergency needs, CERF+ now has a Fiber Arts fund. The Harmony Weavers Guild, which led the initiative to get this fund established with $2000 in donations, encourages MAFA guilds to continue donating to this fund, to ensure funds are available if a fiber artist has an emergency situation.
You can learn more about CERF+ here: http://craftemergency.org.
MAFA By-Laws May 2012 (pdf version)