Message from Our CGW President

The Costumer’s Guild West (CGW) Board has been following all of the recent posts concerning Costume College and has been in contact with each other and other members to discussing the posts off line. Our next board meeting is January 12, 2020. At that time we will be able to discuss in person the concerns expressed and how we are going to proceed. The reason the discussion was curtailed online was that it seemed to be going in a circular manner, restating the same concerns and questions over and over and getting more hostile as it “grew”. The Board felt that this was almost to the point of turning into behavior that is not acceptable for this group.

Just as a note:

1) Costume College is a fund raiser for The Costumer’s Guild West. It is also the only fund raiser for the Guild.

2) The surplus from Costume College pay for the expenses of The Costumer’s Guild West, as outlined in writing each October at the annual meeting ( usually the first weekend in October and open to all members, including those calling in) and gone over verbally with time for question and answer at the meeting.

3) With the increased enrollment last year, the reimbursement paid out to teachers was increased by 50%. A chart of the increased reimbursement percentages based upon the number of hours taught was in each teacher’s packet. If there is increased enrollment again, that number can be increased again. (last year was the largest jump in enrollment in one year than any other time in the history of Costume College. 250 new people attended Costume College)

4) The Directors at Large are on the Board so individual members can reach out to them with questions, suggestions, etc and then these concerns/questions/ideas can be brought to the Board as a whole during the next meeting and discussed. The Board meets 7 times a year including the October Annual meeting. Basically every other month except for back to back months in September, October, and November. Information on how to reach a Director at Large is on the Costumer’s Guild West website and in the back of Squeals.

5) You are always welcome to contact any other of the officers if you find that more convenient. If they cannot answer a question, it will be passed to someone who can or brought up at the next meeting for discussion.

6) Neither the board or the committee, nor anyone else draws a salary from the corporation. It isn’t that we are just not paying teachers (other than a tuition reimbursement based upon hours taught), it’s that no one is getting paid in keeping with the volunteer and community nature of CGW and Coco.

7) I had planned on dealing with a different topic relating to the “how and why Costumer’s Guild West operates” in my President’s article each month. This will start after the January 12 meeting. I am more than open to members asking me to cover particular topics or to answer certain questions in my monthly President’s letter. My information is also on the Costumer’s Guild West website and in Squeals.

To encourage, nurture, and educate those who are creating and researching costuming arts including but not exclusive to historical dress, cosplay, and entertainment costuming, encompassed in a safe and supportive environment.

VISION: Why and How
Costume College is a welcoming and non-competitive environment where members share and disseminate information/skills. Our vision is to fill an educational void and encourage hands on learning in all aspects of the art of costuming.

Costume College® is an annual three-day costuming arts conference produced by Costumer’s Guild West, Inc. We offer lectures, workshops and demos on all things costuming: from general sewing (pattern grading, setting sleeves, etc.) to historical construction methods (corsetry, petticoats, etc.) to time period overview classes to science fiction/fantasy costume construction. All of our classes are taught by volunteers who enjoying sharing their knowledge on a particular topic. Teacher volunteers come from our membership, local costumers and costume designers, industry personal, costume related business owners, craftspeople specializing in costume related crafts, cosplayers, costume researchers, dress historians and sewing specialists. Invited guest teachers are usually experts in their field and are usually selected based upon their expertise tying in with the theme or bonus track for that particular year.

Along with the opportunity to learn new skills, we offer our members several social gatherings to show off their creations! We host a Pool Party, a Friday Social, a Gala Dinner & Dance, and an Afternoon Tea (the Gala and the Tea each have a separate admission).

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