The current Minister of Arts & Sciences:
What are the Arts & Sciences within the SCA?
When you walk out on the event field and you look around, you can’t help but see all the Arts & Sciences of the SCA being on display! It is in everything we do; the armor, clothes, weapons, banners, pavilions, etc., etc., etc. Chances are if there was an art or craft within Medieval period there is someone in the SCA doing it and here in the Principality of Cynagua we have some amazing people doing amazing things! So, welcome to the Cynagua Arts & Sciences page.
What does the Arts & Sciences Office do?
We are the cheerleaders for the Arts and Sciences (aka A&S) within the SCA. Our primary focus is to promote and encourage the artisans, craftspeople and newcomers alike to make and create all the things that make the SCA. Also, we fulfil the SCA’s 501 c 3 designation by educating people through their research and classes on Historical subjects.
At the local level, your branch officer is hosting classes, displays and competitions. They are your first contact with the A&S community. You want to learn how to do something? Talk to your local officer. They may know how to do it or they can find a person to either help you or get them to come and teach a class. Oh, and they get to brag to the Principality officer about what they are doing four times a year!
At the Principality Level, in Cynagua, the Principality A&S officer gets to set up classes at Spring Coronet and hold competitions at all four of the Coronet events. Beyond that the Principality officer gets to brag to the Kingdom Officer about all the cool things our branches are doing.
At all levels, we really would love to have deputies to help with all these exciting things and to train to become future officers. If you are interested in learning, come talk to us.
What is an A&S deputy?The A&S deputy assists the officer with setting up days of classes, competitions and demonstrations. Some are specifically training to take over when the officer needs to retire (generally, after 2 years), but many are just helpers. There are no limits on how many deputies an officer can have. So, check us out.
How do I become a part of the Arts & Sciences Community?
Do Arts & Sciences! That is all there is to it. However, it is even more fun when you do arts and sciences at events or meetings. And, still more fun when you teach your art or science to others at SCA sanctioned events. If you really want to shine, compete and display your arts and sciences at events
What is research?
Research is what you do to find your information on your art or science. Why do you think this thing is from the SCA period or would have been used by people in the SCA period? Your research answers this question. You look through books, websites, paintings, manuscripts and academic journals to find the evidence. Yep, research is you being a detective.
What is Documentation?
Documentation is just like it sounds, it is just writing down your research in a format that allows judges and audiences to see that where you got your information. It is like writing a high school research paper. You are saying, “Hi, I made this thing! It’s a cool thing. I found this 13thcentury picture/manuscript that shows that this thing was used. In this book, they tell us how this thing was made.” Not real hard, but you can talk to your local A&S officer or contact the Principality officer for more information about writing documentation.
We have four competitions at the Principality level every year. This year we are looking at household goods around the seasons.
Summer Investiture (July 13thYuba City, CA) –
Period Summer survival – make items that people in the Medieval/Renaissance period might use to survive a warm climate. How did Crusaders survive summer in the Middle East? How did the Turks, Arabs and Persians survive? Put your art, craft or skills to work creating these documentable summer survival gear. One page documentation is recommended. (research papers are welcome, please contact A&S a month ahead of time to arrange judging)
Peri-oid summer encampment/feast survival – Like the above, SCAdians need to survive our summers. Create something that might not be period, but rather doesn’t offend the eyes with modernity.
(note: needs to fit on ¼ of a standard table in a feast hall. Anything larger will need prior intent to the A&S officer, so we can plan with the autocrat)
October Coronet –
Period Winter prep – Winter is coming! OK, I had to use that 😉Anyway, we need to prep our halls and encampments for the chilly winter snows. Using your art, craft or skills create an item that would be used in the Winter months of our period. One page documentation is recommended. (research papers are welcome, please contact A&S a month ahead of time to arrange judging)
Peri-oid winter encampment/feasting – Like the above, SCAdians need to survive the chill of` winter. Create something that might not be period, but rather doesn’t offend the eyes with or covers the modernity.
Winter Investiture –
As we finish out our year of creating household goods, we now look to our feast gear and hall decorations.
Period Feasting – Time to pull at your best! What will be in your hall when the King or Bishop come to dine? Using your skills, arts and crafts, create the accoutrements of luxurious living in the Middle Ages/Renaissance. One page documentation is recommended. (research papers are welcome, please contact A&S a month ahead of time to arrange judging)
Peri-oid feasting – bring your items that you have created to make your feast table and hall spectacular! It doesn’t have to be period, just doesn’t drag us back into the modern day.
(note: needs to fit on ¼ of a standard table in a feast hall. Anything larger will need prior notice to the A&S officer, so we can plan with the autocrat)
How to participate in Cynagua Arts & Sciences Competition
Participating in a competition is a fairly simple process. First, check the Competition Calendar in The Page to get your instructions (time limitations, themes, etc.). If the competition requires “documentation”, do some research on the topic, and outline a few pages of documentation. Complete your project and write up your documentation. If you have any questions about the competition, feel free to contact me. I’ll either answer your questions or put you in touch with a mentor to help you prepare.
A note on Documentation, keep it short, 1-3 pages is usually sufficient and about all the time judges have to read through. Don’t put your name on it; you will be assigned an entry number as these are anonymous entries when they are presented to the judges.
The format of Documentation:
What, When, Where, Who and How
An introduction to the topic.
A paragraph on how it was done in period.
A paragraph explaining what you did, what was different.
A conclusion that might include what you learned.
Attaching pictures/articles helps.
The format of Conjecture:
What, When, Where, Who and How applies here as well. A photo of your inspiration and details of how you got to your finished pieces from there.
Those who fight in the lists may drop off their A&S entries on Friday night for ‘early entry’. We will provide a storage space and have the entry forms ready any time after 6 pm.
The standard drop-off deadline is 1pm on the Saturday of the event (unless otherwise posted). The drop-off location is the Arts & Sciences pavilion, usually located on the eric (which is the oval field in the center of the event), and flies an A & S banner, so it’s easy to locate. All pieces submitted by the drop off deadline will be judged. To enter the competition, just sign up for each entry on the appropriate sign-in sheet. Your piece will be assigned a number-any work that isn’t numbered is considered to be a display piece only and will not be judged. All items may be picked up after 3pm. Judging sheets may be picked up after the results have been announced in court. If the piece is not picked up by the end of the event (when the A & S pavilion is taken down), it will be turned over to Lost and Found.
If there are three or more entrants in a competition, the winner is the entry with the highest score. If there are less than three entries, the winner is the entry with the highest score over 66% of the available points (currently the highest score over 35). If there is only one entry, the entry will be judged, but there will be no competition – however points will count towards the Lumen Cynagua.
About the Judges and Judging Sheets:
Every effort is made to find judges who are knowledgeable about the particular topic of the competition, but we are limited to those individuals present at the event and available at the time of the competition. Judges are asked to sign their names on the judging sheets, and all judging sheets are returned to the entrants. We consider judging forms to be private, so they will be returned directly to the entrant, and are not available for perusal by other entrants or by the populace. If the entrant does not pick them up, they can be retrieved from the A&S Officer at a subsequent event.
The A & S Token:
The winners of each competition are recognized in Court at the event and are rewarded with the A & S token. They are also recognized in The Vox in the Arts & Sciences column.
We always have table space and invite members of the Populace to display their arts & science projects, either completed or in process. This helps inspire others and demonstrates the talent that is Cynagua!
We have begun to hold workshops throughout the Principality and a full day of classes at the Spring Coronet. If you have a class that you’d like to offer to teach or ideas on classes you’d like to take, please send us an email!
A&S Champion – The Lumen Cynagua:
There is an annual A&S Championship competition that is only open to Cynaguans. The competition begins with Spring Coronet and concludes with Winter Investiture. The Lumen Cynagua Medallion is then presented to the A&S Champion at the following Spring Coronet. There are 8 Arts and Sciences competitions (4 arts and 4 sciences) held throughout this year-long period. A competitor must enter a minimum of four of these to be eligible. Multiple items may be entered in each category, however, only the highest score will count towards the Championship overall score. The A&S Champion is known as the “Lumen Cynagua,” representing the light of art and learning in the Principality. The Champion’s responsibility is to encourage participation in and an appreciation of the arts and sciences in Cynagua.