Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society recognition for weekly groups

I’m delighted to say my two weekly groups are now affiliated to the Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society (CLAS).

I have been a member of CLAS for some time and read in this year’s AGM agenda that the organisation was changing the way it runs its affiliated groups.

The changes include removing the geographical context of groups and adding special interest groups and micro groups of up to 12 members.

CLAS extends range of affiliated groups

In her report to the AGM, Barbara Alldred, regional affiliated group officer, said “a few tweaks and changes” were required as the traditional structure of groups changes.

“Affiliated groups are vital,” she said. “Not only do they provide an excellent range of courses delivered by excellent and highly skilled tutors, but they also encourage and nurture beginners, they organise social events for members to meet and share their enthusiasm for calligraphy and [mount] exhibitions around the country, which are always a joy.

“It has therefore been deeply saddening to see some of our long established and renowned groups disband and disappear from the calligraphy scene.

“The reasons for this are many and varied and it is a sad fact that many groups are experiencing some of the same problems faced by them.

“The common factors seem to have been lack of volunteers to take up key roles in their society and a fall in numbers of members returning to in person workshops post-Covid.”

Affiliated groups have always been autonomous, setting their own protocols and ways of working, with a committee and various officers taking on different roles such as chair, treasurer, secretary and membership secretary.

However, several small groups already exist with one or two people organising their group activities and a new category of Micro Group has been set up for groups of 12 or less.

Special interest groups could include bookbinding, illumination, Art Deco, heraldry, family trees and so on.

I got in touch with Barbara to see if my weekly groups would qualify for this new affiliation, particularly as the north east’s CLAS regional group, Northumbrian Scribes, folded last year, along with York Calligraphers and Exeter Letterers.

I’m delighted to say she replied with a hearty yes and I look forward to promoting the work of CLAS as it celebrates its 30th anniversary.

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