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Letters from the Director & President – February 2021

Kat Cole 2020 SNAG Board

Kat Cole, Managing Director

Dear SNAG Members,

Moving into 2021 the SNAG Board of Directors has again had to make strategic decisions to ensure a stable future of the organization. As of January 31st, 2021 I have resigned as President and have been asked to become Interim Managing Director.

This shift has come at an important time when as an organizing body, SNAG is in great need of the strongest possible management on all fronts to successfully follow through with important initiatives, programs and implementing a new conference format.

I will fulfill this part-time role for the next several months as the Board seeks a qualified candidate to take on this as a full-time position and lead SNAG through the next phase of strategic planning. Thank you to John Garbett for all his hard work these last months in this role, and I appreciate his renewed focus as Director of Advertising and Production.

Patricia Madeja has graciously volunteered to step into the role as President until the next election in May 2021 — a sincere thank you to Patricia. We are also happy to welcome Nicole Jacquard officially back onto the board until May to assist in the Managing Director search. If you would like more information on this call for applications please email for details.

Overall, I am honored to have been SNAG’s President and to have served the membership through a difficult year. I am also quite humbled to be asked to take on the interim Managing Director role in our organization, and appreciate the trust the Board has put in me. As we launch ourselves into this new year with renewed vigor, I hope that you all stay safe, healthy, and connected.


Kat Cole, Interim Managing Director


Patricia Madeja

Patricia Madeja, Board President


Dear SNAG Members,

It is with great pleasure that I say Happy 2021 to the entire membership!

It goes without saying that 2020 was an incredibly hard year for so many in our community, across the country, and around the world. Events over the past 12 months have touched so many people; personally, professionally, emotionally, as well as financially. With the fresh new year, I want to acknowledge that SNAG continues to strive for diversity, racial equality and social justice while endeavoring to have underrepresented people join our community. The SNAG Board and Staff also recognize that small independent businesses, individual artists, educators, as well as the nonprofits that support them, continue to struggle, and navigate these difficult times — many have even closed their doors. As we move into 2021, we are definitely facing a continuing battle on many fronts. However, because of these trying times, there have been many new initiatives that have brought the membership together through virtual exhibitions, get-togethers, and other unique programming.

As the new Interim President of our nonprofit that is truly member-driven — I would like to extend a heartfelt THANKS to each and every one of you who generously left a portion of your conference fee, and who donated to the 2020 Annual Appeal!! Because of your generosity, our annual appeal was a success and we were able to exceed our goal by $1,000. Giving to organizations that can easily disappear in these highly sensitive times is absolutely critical. With your donation, you have proven to be a dedicated member and giving truly is the key to the longevity of our organization and to securing the future of SNAG.

So again — thank you. Your donations have played a key role in helping us move forward. And if you have not had the chance to donate, we encourage you to do so at whatever amount is comfortable for you. All donations are greatly appreciated and have a direct impact on SNAG.

I also want to thank Kat Cole for her service and incomparable leadership as President.  She has strategically led this organization and the Board at a most difficult time. In her new role as Interim Managing Director I am confident that with her guidance and commitment, SNAG will be well positioned to lead the metals community for the next 50 years.

Looking toward the future, there are several exciting things to report:


WE ARE SNAG: Anthology, an online catalog, is accepting submissions — please participate. Intended to highlight SNAG members, this is a great way to have your work shown to our community and beyond. Know of someone who is not a member but wants to participate? Encourage them to JOIN! The deadline for the online exhibition is midnight (11:59:59 pm) MOUNTAIN TIME February 28, 2021.


SNAG Virtual is being finalized and more information will be announced soon. We will be launching three new programming categories: Workshops which will provide skill or process-based education in support of the studio practice; Craft Labs will continue to address topics relevant to professional development and business practices such as branding, marketing, sustainability, or grant writing; Voices will provide lectures and conversations from various individuals who are makers, curators, and researchers in the field. Check here for updates.

Nominations and Elections

With the recent election in the United States, the world has witnessed the importance of voting and how fragile democracy can be. Becoming an active member of the Board gives you a voice in shaping the future of this organization. As a member of SNAG, please consider running for one of the several positions opening up. The Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC) is looking for individuals to serve on the Board, and as the President. We have an open call for nominations and self-nominations. There will be a Zoom meeting on February 20th at 4:00 pm EST  for anyone wanting more information about SNAG Board service. Please contact the Chair of the NEC, Sharon Massey, for more information. Duties and responsibilities associated with the governing roles can be found here.


As we plan for the conference in June, we are excited about the direction planning is taking for our first-ever hybrid conference with both virtual programs and in-person events in Philadelphia. More details will be available in March. Check here for updates on the 2021 conference program.

Educational Endowment Scholarship

Our mission as an organization continues to support efforts to cultivate Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion. I am happy to announce that two new funding opportunities are being added to our Educational Endowment Scholarship program. It is essential to identify and support underrepresented craftspeople, and SNAG is dedicated to championing education and enrichment for all. Check here for updates on eligibility and how to apply.

Finally, as we start this new year and we look toward the months ahead, there will be more struggle. However, the SNAG Board and Staff is committed to the future of the organization and is diligently working toward the time when we can physically come together again and share all the things we love to make, talk about, and what has consistently made our organization an open, sharing, and caring community.

Best wishes to you all for a brighter 2021!

Stay Healthy and Stay Safe!

Patricia Madeja, Interim Board President

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Letter from the President – July 2020

Kat Cole 2020 SNAG Board

Dear Fellow SNAG Members,

It was just over a month ago that the Board of Directors appointed me as Interim President, a position I am honored to step into despite current challenges. The global pandemic and our ongoing financial instability has affected our organization in significant ways, forcing us to make tough decisions in an uncertain world. The expediency of these decisions were made in an effort to keep the organization operational so that we can continue to serve our membership and community.

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank the board members who recently completed their terms: our Secretary for the past 7 years, Becky McDonah, Emily Stoehrer, board member for 3 years, Dianne DeBeixedon, who has graciously agreed to stay on the board for an additional year, and former President Brian Ferrell who needed to step away after our difficult spring. I would also like to thank Andrew Kuebeck for serving as the Nominations and Elections Committee Chair and welcome Sharon Massey to the Chair position on the NEC. Thank you April Wood for stepping into the Secretary position, and I am pleased to welcome Anne Havel back to the board for a one year appointed term. Keeping institutional knowledge at this time is critical for the success of the organization and we look forward to the upcoming newly elected board members joining us in the fall.

In addition, SNAG is overdue to acknowledge, with appreciation, former staff who have served our organization. Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith, who served as SNAG’s Executive Director for 6 ½ years, Kristin Mitsu Shiga, our Education Director for 2 years, Kinszia Erikson, our Arts Administration Intern for 3 years, and Alejandra Carrillo-Estrada, our Conference Planning & Education Intern for 1 ½ years. SNAG truly appreciates the time and dedication that each of these individuals has given to our community and I wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

For the last two months, the SNAG staff and board have been working to reorganize around a much smaller budget and staff in order to continue to provide the programming and magazine that our membership values. We are giving member updates through our weekly Riveting News emails and I would like to highlight a few of our current projects:

  • Instituting new committees to assist staff and programming. This includes new Social Media and Communications, Grant Writing, and Publications Committees. Interested in volunteering?
  • Releasing the Jewelry and Metals Survey Volume 3 digitally to all of our members. Coming soon! Plus we are taking pre-orders for print copies and offering a special rate to bundle it with Volumes 1 and 2. Learn more
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Dialogues for members, staff, and board to have conversations around diversity and equity in SNAG and opportunities to improve. Dates to be announced here

For the first time in our history, the annual Membership Meeting, usually held at the conference, will be held virtually on Saturday, August 29th. We are planning presentations on programming, financials, the future of our annual conference, and the newly elected officers will be announced. This meeting is the best platform for you to stay informed and involved about what is going on with the organization and I encourage you to attend.

During a time when many institutions are closing their doors permanently, the measures that have been taken in recent months have allowed SNAG to avoid bankruptcy and provided the possibility of a stronger, more sustainable future. However, the board and staff cannot do this alone. SNAG is a member-driven organization and we need your help in order to survive and thrive. This means financial help — both the board and staff realize this request for support is coming at a time when most people are hurting financially. However, IF you can help, please consider making a donation today. Any amount is helpful and greatly appreciated in order for your organization to get through this difficult time. Thank you to all of our recent donors.

In closing, I would like to also mention that this global crisis has touched each and every one of us. Members have lost loved ones, jobs, and financial security. For those who have felt the biggest blows — our thoughts are with you, and we are all very much looking forward to when we can join together again and celebrate the field, and each other. I would also like to say that during these challenging times please reflect on what is important to you. What is meaningful and valuable to you. I encourage everyone to stay active in what you believe in and invest in the people and organizations you care about.

I hope this finds you all well, safe and healthy, and I look forward to seeing you at the Membership Meeting on Saturday, August 29th.


Kat Cole
Interim President
Society of North American Goldsmiths

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Board Members Speak: Kat Cole

Kat Cole photoWhat brought you to wanting a board position?

I had several conversations with colleagues who were volunteering for SNAG in some way or another and the value they got from donating their time, and began to feel like it was time to step up.  I also wanted to closer connection with the field and knew being a more active member could do that.

What are your plans for board participation (your committee assignment, fundraising project, etc.)?

I am a part of the Fundraising, Programming, and Finance committees.  Each of these positions has given me a valuable look at the dynamic components in play in an organization as large and diverse as SNAG.  I have a very deep appreciation those people that have donated their time all these years to keep SNAG going and growing.

What exciting, interesting, confounding things are you doing right now (in your life other than being on the board)?

I am broadening my studio practice to include more large scale wall work, the shift in scale and site are totally confounding and challenging!

Can you share an anecdote of a fun or meaningful SNAG experience for you (something that happened at a conference, an interaction with another member, an opportunity that occurred through SNAG)?

I think SNAG is very important for young professionals to be a part of.  I know it can be a financial challenge but networking and being active in our community is essential.  I got my first major gallery representation from a portfolio review I had with a gallery owner at a SNAG conference.  It has been one of the most valuable relationships I have made professionally, and it was entirely due to SNAG and the programing they offer.


SNAG would like to take this opportunity to recognize our Corporate Members for their support: Aaron Faber Gallery, Halstead, NextFab, and Pocosin Arts.

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