There are many many aspects to this job - my least favorite memory is of loading the back of my van with a stack of 6 ft folding tables to haul to a workshop. (I'm getting too old to do all that heavy lifting!) I found it maddening and frustrating to try to find affordable places to hold workshops. (With city budget cuts, few rec centers have hours that work, and library space is expensive! I still wonder what other non-profit arts organizations do.) I didn't so much care for dealing with the logistics of workshops, but luckily, that part of the job was fairly concentrated in time.
But there were so many parts of this job that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love organizing information, so the computer part of the job was easy and fun to do. My absolute favorite memories are of hosting weaving teachers. I liked it so much that I hogged that aspect all to myself - never did ask anyone else in the guild to host a teacher during my stint. I was sure that if folks found out how much fun it was, they would want some of the fun for themselves. :-)
I'm all for taking on those big guild jobs when you've got the time and energy. For the first 15 or so years I was a member of my guild, it was important to me to work hard to help it survive and thrive. Now I'm in a phase of my life where my energy is committed to family things that need my time and attention, but I hope eventually to get back to doing more volunteer work with the guild.
So here's my Top Ten List of Good Reasons to Be Program Chair and Host a Visiting Teacher for your Guild:
- As program chair, you get to pick the programs which most interest YOU.
- When you host the teacher, you often get to take the workshop for free.
- You get extra time to peruse the teachers samples or notebooks.
- Weaving and spinning teachers are usually very funny people who like to laugh and are fascinating to talk to.
- In the future, you get to drop the names of folks who are big fish in our small pond.
- You find out hints and ideas of what other guilds are doing that might help your guild.
- You get to hear the stories behind the making of the beautiful garments and jewelry that the teacher wears.
- You add to your pool of people you are delighted to run into at the next Convergence.
- You can get sneak peeks of upcoming articles, or new workshops.
- And perhaps my favorite of all - fiber teachers often bring the COOLEST hostess gifts!!!
Unfortunately, I did not get to take her workshop (it was a Sun-Mon workshop, and on Sunday 9/11 I sang the Mozart Requiem and I couldn't get Monday off work.) But I so enjoyed getting to know her, and she gave me this absolutely beautiful towel.
So if you've got the time - definitely consider working on your guild's program committee. And if you've got the space - by all means offer to host a teacher. It is truly a delight!