07 March 2011


In my profile, I mention that I am a member of the Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance. So, what is SEFAA?

SEFAA is a 501(c)(3) organization that is seeking to establish a fiber arts center in the Atlanta metro area. SEFAA hopes to open a space this July which would include three artist studios as well as meeting, classroom, workshop, and exhibition space.

The long-term goal is that fiber groups in Atlanta would have a dedicated communal home space. Beyond just having a place to meet or hold classes, we would work towards owning our own property that is adjusted for our needs. For example, there would be adequate lighting. (How many of you have tried to knit or embroider in a dark hall?) Perhaps we would share some expensive equipment, such as a digital projector for PowerPoint presentations. We might eventually have library space and a dye kitchen. Heck, we might even have a little storage space for things like our convention booth materials.

But most importantly, we would have a place where fiberistas would interact. We would see what other groups are doing because we would be sharing meeting, classroom, and exhibition space. We would be building a large community of interrelated artist. Really, how many fiber groups could there be in metro Atlanta, I hear you ask?

Current SEFAA Member Organizations:
Atlanta Knitting Guild
Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild
Dogwood Chapter of the Embroiderer's Guild of America
East Cobb Quilters' Guild
Gwinnett Basketweavers Guild
Peach State Stitchers Chapter of the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework
Peachtree Handspinners Guild
Surface Design Association, Georgia Chapter
TASA - Textile Appreciation Society of Atlanta

As a past president and past librarian of Atlanta Knitting Guild, SEFAA is an important project and dear to my heart. If you've never been on the board of a guild, you'd be surprised how tricky it can be, both politically and financially, to have to rent third-party space month after month for a meeting. And when the space isn't your own, you can't adjust it to meet your needs. I'm sure most AKG members have no idea how big and wonderful our library is because we can't house it where we meet. I'm very proud that AKG was one of the founding organizational members of SEFAA and that AKG has continued to provide both fiscal and volunteer support.

There is a core group of (mostly) women who have done a tremendous amount of work in the last two years just to bring the organization into existence as a 501(c)(3). Now it is time to raise money to rent our first community home space. So, what can you do? Well, you can send a donation. (And, yes, I've done that already. Gotta walk the walk here.) You can become a member. (Yep, done that, too.) You can attend a workshop. (Done that twice. The Peruvian hat was at a January 2011 workshop on Ethnic Textiles with Gail Goodwin.) And SEFAA still needs volunteers both for long-term commitments or short-term projects.

For information on how to donate (by check, Paypal, or Crowdrise), how to become a member, or how to get the latest information on events and classes (blog, Facebook, Twitter, Ravelry group), please follow this link to SEFAA's home page. And if you attend STITCHES South, be sure to look for the SEFAA booth in the market.


sefaa said...

Thanks for the wonderful writeup Jolie! We appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

I used to be part of a theater group that struggled for years with the problem of not having its own space for setbuilding, props storage etc. Best of luck with this project.

-- Jolie said...

It hadn't occurred to me that a theater group would ever have problems of this sort -- I guess I always thought theaters have their own storage space.

I'm excited both by the opportunity to have a dedicated home and a chance to interact with the other groups. I attended a SEFAA fundraising kickoff a couple weeks ago, and it was very inspiring to see the wide variety of textile work displayed on the attendees. I expect this collaboration will be a creative boon to us all.