First off and most importantly: if you are getting this message today, that means you are a valued SNAG member and I cannot express enough how happy and grateful our whole Board of Directors and staff are to have you with us! Thank you! Advance warning: This is going to be a longer-than-usual letter. Important changes are currently being made at SNAG and I encourage you to pull up a chair and get informed.
At the board’s last meeting, we looked at one of our major membership benefits: Metalsmith magazine. In our most recent survey, over 46% of you said you joined or belonged to SNAG because you want to receive our magazine; you like its quality and overall effectiveness as a tool to communicate what metals is and can be. Thank you for responding with your interesting and encouraging comments! We read them all.
We also recognize, however, that every good thing needs to continually evolve and get better; nothing should ever be taken for granted. That means that our wonderful magazine needs to continually evolve and adapt to changing landscapes within the world of jewelry/metalsmithing as well as the publishing world itself. The board has looked at the revenue and subscription number trends as well as growth potential. Many options for change were discussed to keep the magazine what it is and to make it better while remaining profitable.
The board of directors decided to restructure current operations of Metalsmith (but not alter the content focus itself) AND to add a new companion publication, Metalsmith Tech, to our portfolio of membership benefits. Metalsmith Tech will focus on technical processes, educational topics, professional development information, and usage of new tools and supplies — all things you have asked for in past surveys. Starting in 2018, Metalsmith Tech will automatically be sent to all members and subscribers! Be on the look-out for it.
What else is new?
We will be shelving the annual “Exhibition in Print” issue. This publication has often been misunderstood and therefore a little problematic for us as an organization. Though it has its admirers, we also received feedback from dissatisfied readers about its content.
Our staffing model for Metalsmith will change. The board is interested in elevating the current part-time contract Metalsmith editor position to a full-time staff position and having a single editor oversee both Metalsmith and Metalsmith Tech. Due to the redefinition of that position, our current Editor, Suzanne Ramljak, has chosen to step aside and pursue other opportunities. After over 16 years as our Editor, we thank Suzanne for all her many contributions and accomplishments, her hard work and dedication to SNAG and to Metalsmith. Her last issue will be, vol 38 no. 2, and she will end her tenure as Metalsmith Editor on March 31, 2018.
This means we will be advertising for a new Editor to come on board and oversee our publications as well as our expanded website. Advertising for the position will begin shortly and we hope to hire a new editor by November 1, 2017.
With the change in editor also comes a change for our Editorial Advisory Committee. The board has redefined this committee as the Metalsmith Magazines Committee which will focus on both magazines holistically, examining the editorial, advertorial, as well as the financial aspect of Metalsmith and Metalsmith Tech. A copy of this new charter can be found here.
As a result of these changes, the Board of Directors has created a new mission for Metalsmith and a mission for Metalsmith Tech. Those can be found here.
The transition in focus, leadership, and content will continue to advance our organization’s mission and support documenting the current state of jewelry/metal art and craft. Metalsmith and Metalsmith Tech will be the resources that continue to inspire our field. We look forward to it!
Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts, comments, or questions about these changes or any other matters on your mind. I look forward to hearing from you!
Society of North American Goldsmiths