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J. Fred Woell: An American Vision

The SNAG Board is pleased to present this feature documentary by Richard Kane about the history and significance of J. Fred Woell, a metalsmith, jeweler and political artist. Woell made satirical commentary on the dark side of history. Woell had profound beliefs in our democratic ideals yet saw the flaws in our politics. An inspiring, humble and humorous artist and teacher, Woell opened the door to seeing anew. Originally scheduled to be shown at the SNAG conference, this documentary will be available online for limited screening and will be free to all SNAG members. Please also join us for a panel discussion and Q&A with the filmmaker Richard Kane, Woell’s wife Patricia Wheeler and metalsmith Eleanor Moty.

Online Screenings – June 25th and 27th
Information on how to view the film has been emailed to members. If you have not received this information please contact us.

Panel Discussion | Q&A – June 28th at 4:00 pm Eastern
Panelists: Richard Kane (filmmaker), Patricia Wheeler (Woell’s wife), Eleanor Moty (metalsmith) and Moderated by Nicole Jacquard.
Zoom link has been emailed to members. If you have not received this information please contact us.

DVDs of Documentary
Copies are available for purchase at SNAG//SPACE for Institutional use, Library use and Personal/Home use.

Handouts from the 20th Century
A Collection of Teaching Aids Created and/or Gathered by J. Fred Woell During his 20 Years of Teaching are also available to purchase at SNAG//SPACE.


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Annual Membership Meeting

SNAG’s Membership Meeting, normally held in person during the annual conference, will now be a virtual meeting on Saturday, August 29th, 2020. Additional details will be posted here and sent out to the membership soon.

Online voting will take place in August. Voting information will be available here and will also be sent out to the membership starting late June.

We look forward to seeing our members virtually this summer!


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Halstead Design Challenge: CONNECTION

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The 2020 Halstead Design Challenge online exhibition and sale is here!

The theme for the 2020 challenge, CONNECTION, was inspired by the city of Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love.

Be sure to check out the amazing creations. All purchases support the makers and SNAG.

Thank you to Halstead for partnering with SNAG on this annual event.


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Letter from the President – May 2020

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Dear SNAG Members,

It’s the end of May. This past weekend would have been our conference. In a normal world, we would be in Philadelphia wrapping up our 50th-anniversary celebrations and experiencing the fantastic face-to-face community event that our hard-working staff and volunteers put together.

Sadly, this is not a normal world. Like so many arts non-profits, SNAG had its ongoing financial struggles. The conference was such a large part of our budget that the annual success of the organization was very much beholden to the success of the conference. The Executive Director and the Board all understood that having to cancel about 60 days out would be catastrophic. For the organization to continue, major financial cuts would have to occur. A budget was created by the Executive Director and presented to the Board’s Executive Committee via email on April 12. After discussion, the budget was taken to the full Board for a vote on April 23. The budget, which included eliminating the ED position along with staff and programming cuts, was unanimously accepted. At that point, the Board began to consider the various programming options to keep SNAG open.

With the mounting costs of refunds and the day-to-day cost of operation, further cuts were required. Having to let go of hardworking dedicated SNAG staff has affected me deeply. These are individuals who have worked hard for this organization, and they are people I greatly respect.

Since that time, the Board has been working to find a way to keep the organization moving forward. We have consulted a number of professional voices offering different perspectives on how to create a new, more financially viable model for SNAG. They have presented a range of possibilities that we have been discussing.

Sustainability for the future of SNAG was our original goal for 2020. But the acceleration of change, maintaining the organization, and finding a path forward has not come without significant stress. Doing all of this has put a strain on my professional obligations, affected my family considerably, and negatively altered my personal well-being. As a result, I will not be able to continue as president of SNAG. I am appointing Kat Cole as Interim President with the Board’s approval, to finish my term until an election can take place for a new President. Kat is a celebrated jewelry artist and has been a vital member of the board since 2015. She is taking on the Presidency under unprecedented circumstances and I have every confidence in her ability to lead then board with fresh eyes towards a new future.

The foundation has been set and the board, staff, and members all want to see this historic organization thrive. Consider the things that you value about SNAG? Think about how the whole community can step up and continue the mission of inspiring creativity, encouraging education, fostering community, and finding new ways to collaborate and work together.

Sincerely,
Brian Ferrell


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Letter from the Board – May 2020

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Dear SNAG Members,

We hope this finds you and your loved ones safe, healthy, and maybe even embracing a bit of mandatory downtime.

As you read this, you are very well aware of the impact COVID-19 is having on businesses — especially small businesses and nonprofits-in addition to individuals. SNAG is not exempt from feeling the economic impact. For the past couple of years, the Board of Directors was working to improve the long term financial stability of the organization. Before the pandemic was declared the organization was just breaking even, but canceling our annual conference has taken a significant toll.

We are writing to let you know that we have been working very hard behind the scenes to come up with a plan to keep SNAG moving forward during these challenging times. In order to keep SNAG solvent, the Board of Directors had no choice but to implement significant cost-cutting measures. We assessed staff positions, programming, and considered recent membership feedback on what you value most about the organization. Multiple scenarios are being explored in great detail to determine the best path forward.

As we look back at our first fifty years and consider how we can best assure our future, we have faced challenging decisions. Like many similar organizations, over the last few years, we have overextended and grown much larger than is sustainable, especially during this pandemic. As part of this streamlining and reorganization, we have found it necessary to eliminate both the Executive Director and Director of Education positions.

In the coming weeks, we will share more with you about our decision making process, restructuring plan, and details on what you can expect from SNAG in the coming days, weeks, and months. We want to hear from you, and hope many of you will reaffirm your commitment to the organization by lending your continued support and time as a volunteer.

Additionally, we started the process of refunding conference fees. We are offering additional ways to use that refund to buy books, renew your membership, or gift a Metalsmith subscription. We hope you will consider these new options! The refund process is going to take us some time but please know that we will process your refund as soon as we can. Please be patient with us.

Overall we value the strong sense of community within our organization, and your support is vital to ensuring SNAG’s survival. Our hope is that we will come out of this as a stronger, more robust community of artists, designers, makers, educators, curators, retailers, students, writers — all the unique individuals that are SNAG. Out of chaos can come innovation. We look forward to celebrating our perseverance and determination when we are able to meet again face to face.

Sincerely,

Board of Directors – Society of North American Goldsmiths

Brian Ferrell
Emily Stoehrer
Kat Cole
Michael Brehl
April Wood
Ke-Hoo Yuen
Becky McDonah
Dominique Bereiter
Elizabeth Shypertt
Pat Madeja
Terri Baybutt
Diane deBeixedon
Anne Havel
Nicole Jacquard