Spend the weekend—or spend a day—with fiber artists from around the world at MAFA 2023

MAFA 2023 is not only about the weekend-long workshops and shopping in the Marketplace. Other highlights will include:

For members of the public: The Marketplace and Exhibits are open to the public. In addition, you are welcome to attend the Open Studio Tour on Saturday evening to see examples of the work that has been done over the weekend.

Stay-over option for day trippers: Day trippers not taking classes, and who don’t want to drive home after a day of fiber activities, may register for Friday and/or Saturday night stays.  Click HERE for costs and more detailed information. Those who can’t attend the full weekend are encouraged to volunteer to help the vendors or to monitor the exhibits during open hours.

Find the Marketplace vendor list and demonstrations schedule here.

MAFA 2023 Schedule

A downloadable schedule PDF will be available shortly before the conference.

** Open to the public

Thursday, June 22
Noon - 6:00 p.m.Check-in at Registration,
Submissions accepted for fashion, art, hat, and towel exhibits,
Move in to dorms and classrooms
The Marketplace. 'Ville Courts, Student Memorial Center (SMC)
Noon - 6:00 p.m.Marketplace Open**The Marketplace, SMC
5:30 p.m - 7:00 p.m.DinnerUpper Deck, Gordinier Hall
7:15 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Opening Session, Keynote Address, and Fashion Show
Supported by Heddlecraft
Reighard Multipurpose Room, SMC
8:30 p.m. - 10 :00 p.m.Dessert Reception
Supported by Yadkin Valley Fiber Center
The Galley, SMC
Friday, June 23
6:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.Morning Coffee
Supported by Frances Irwin Handweavers
West Dorm Lobbies
7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.BreakfastUpper Deck, Gordinier Hall
8:15 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.WARP (Weave a Real Peace) meeting**Atrium, SMC
9:00 a.m - 12 noonWorkshopsClassroom buildings, SMC
Noon - 1:30 p.m.Lunch - Guilds Networking by StateUpper Deck, Gordinier Hall
Noon - 9:00 p.m.Marketplace and Exhibits Open**The Marketplace, SMC
1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.Workshops
5:00 - 5:15 p.m.Yoga Break
Supported by Sunnyside Weavers
Atrium, SMC
5:15 - 5:30 p.m.Yoga BreakAtrium, SMC
5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.MAFA Grants Q&A Session**Atrium, SMC
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.DinnerUpper Deck, Gordinier Hall
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Shop 'til You Drop** - shopping, vendor demos, door prize winners announcedThe Marketplace, SMC
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Fashion Exhibit**
Supported by Long Thread Media
The Marketplace, SMC
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Hands On: The Art of Making Fiber Art Exhibit**
Supported by Central Virginia Fiberarts Guild
The Marketplace, SMC
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Mad Hatter Hats Exhibit**The Marketplace, SMC
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Kitchen Towel Exhibit**
Supported by Long Thread Media
The Marketplace, SMC
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Free Your Mind Interactive Exhibit** with Theda Sandiford
Supported by Touchstone Center for Crafts
The Marketplace, SMC
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Book Signings**The Marketplace, SMC
7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Sheep and Wool in Story and Song** with Martha Owen and Melissa Weaver
Supported by Jockey Hollow Weavers Guild
The Marketplace, SMC
8:45 p.m.Viewers' Choice awards announced for Exhibits; Tuition Door Prize winners announced**The Marketplace, SMC
Saturday, June 24
6:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.Morning Coffee
Supported by Potomac Fiber Arts Guild
West Dorm Lobbies
7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.BreakfastUpper Deck, Gordinier Hall
7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.MAFA Representatives BreakfastUpper Deck, Gordinier Hall
9:00 a.m - 12 noonWorkshops
10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.Marketplace and Exhibits Open, Vendor Demos**The Marketplace, SMC
Noon- 1:30 p.m.Lunch - Birds of a Feather Guilds NetworkingUpper Deck, Gordinier Hall
1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.Workshops
5:00 p.m.Kitchen Towel Exchange
Sponsored by Long Thread Media
The Marketplace, SMC
5:00 - 5:15 p.m.Yoga Break
Supported by The Fuzzy Ear
Atrium, SMC
5:15 - 5:30 p.m.Yoga Break Atrium, SMC
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.DinnerUpper Deck, Gordinier Hall
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Open Studio Self-guided Tour **Breidenstine, Hash, Luek, McComsey, SMC
9:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.Pick up fashion, art, and hat exhibit entriesThe Marketplace, SMC
Sunday, June 25
6:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.Morning Coffee
Supported by Handweavers of Bucks County
West Dorm Lobbies
7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.BreakfastUpper Deck, Gordinier Hall
8:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.Pick up Box LunchesLobby, Gordinier Hall
7:30 a.m - 9:00 a.m.Early Dorm CheckoutWest Village Dorm
9:00 a.m. - 12 noonWorkshops
Noon - 2:00 p.m.Check Out of Dorms & End of ConferenceWest Village Dorm

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MAFA 2023 Special Events

Opening Session, Fashion Show, Keynote Address with Suzi Ballenger on The Rhythm of Making: Observation, Inspiration, and Creativity

Sponsored by Heddlecraft
ArrayJoin us to kick off the 2023 Conference! We will have the Fashion Show of selected pieces from the Spotlight on Fashion Exhibit, and a keynote address by fiber artist and teacher Suzi Ballenger.

The Opening Session will be followed by a dessert reception in The Galley.

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Fashion, Fiber Art, Hats, and Towel Exchange Exhibits

Join us for the fashion show and exhibit, fiber art exhibit, NEW hats exhibit, and our ever-popular kitchen towel exchange. Exhibits will be open all day Friday and Saturday. Find info about all the exhibits and the towel exchange on the Exhibits and Exchange page.

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Free Your Mind – Interactive Microaggressions Project and Exhibit

2023-exhibits - Free Your Mind_Theda Sandiford scaled 1Free Your Mind is a public textile art project aiming to collect, exhibit, embed and release personal narratives about microaggressions in a multi-sensory installation facilitated by artist Theda Sandiford. Find the exhibit on Friday and Saturday in the Marketplace. Details here.

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Friday Evening in the Marketplace – Shop ’til you Drop, Book Signing, and entertainment

Shop ’til you Drop
On Friday evening the Marketplace is the place to be! Join us to visit your favorite vendors, see vendor demonstrations, check out the exhibits and music while you shop. We will announce the winners of door prizes, including gift certificates from MAFA 2023 vendors, and other fiber businesses, craft school tuition winners, as well as exhibit Viewers’ Choice awards.

Book Signing
Many of our instructors are authors! Have your favorite books signed in the Marketplace.

Sheep and Wool in Story and Song
Conference-Master - MAFA_19_MarthaMelissa_EDA003Martha Owen and Melissa Weaver Dunning, accompanied by Martha’s banjo, will delight their audience with songs and tales of sheep and wool. Learn a waulking song, join in the chorus, or just listen and laugh at some crazy tales from Scotland, Ireland, and Appalachia.

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Open Studio Tour, Saturday Evening

The self-guided Open Studio Tour takes place on Saturday evening and is an opportunity to see what has been happening in the other classes over the weekend. You can chat with the instructors, and get lots of great ideas for workshops for your guilds. In the past, many participants have been able to visit every studio, but as the conference has grown in size, it has become necessary to plan visits more carefully, recognizing that there simply won’t be time to see every single classroom. This event is open to the public as well as to members who can’t attend the full weekend. *New* this year we plan to record a tour of all the classrooms, and post it on our YouTube channel.

To organize your walkabout, click here for a handy guide to workshop locations and room numbers and here for a campus map. (2023 handout and map links will be available shortly before the conference and will be in the conference totes for attendees.)

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Yoga For Crafters, Friday and Saturday afternoons

Sponsored by Sunnyside Weavers

No downward dog here! Craftsperson and yoga instructor (and MAFA instructor) Gigi Matthews will lead us through a gentle style of yoga where breathing is the foundation and the movements can be done from a seated position. Gigi will help us relax those tired muscles through movements that reduce the effects of prolonged sitting and neck stress, in late-afternoon sessions. Learn more about Gigi on her website. And here’s a teaser video from Gigi:

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Morning Coffee in the Dorm, starting at 6:30 a.m.

Morning coffee will be an open, informal gathering time before classes. Grab your favorite cuppa in the West Dorm lobbies, and catch up with old friends and new.

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Networking Lunches

On Friday, we’ll group tables by states, so you can meet members of your neighboring guilds at the State Guilds Lunch  It’s a great opportunity to talk about sharing visiting instructors, local exhibits and festivals, and co-hosting events.

On Saturday, find tables for guild leaders for the Birds of a Feather networking lunch. Meet your peers, discuss guild leadership issues! Guild officers as well as guild Programs/Workshops, Newsletters, Website/Social Media, and Outreach coordinators are welcome.

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Informal Get Togethers

Commuters and day trippers will find the commuter lounge located in the SMC Atrium adjacent to the Student Information Desk and convenient to the Marketplace vendors and activities. In addition, there are meeting rooms on each floor of the dorms that will be open for meeting spaces. There are also other meeting areas, including the seating areas near each main entrance to the dorm towers; the SMC Atrium; and the large Galley area. And of course, there will be areas in the Marketplace for relaxing, chatting and spinning.

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Help! There’s no downtime in the schedule!

There’s lots to do at the conference, so pace yourself. You may not be able to attend every gathering. That’s OK. Save some time for shopping, for sitting and chatting with old friends and new. This year we are adding a few special interest group gatherings. We wouldn’t expect anyone to attend them all!

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