As part of its mission as a nonprofit educational organization, the SCA has developed a practice of holding displays, challenges, and contests (DCCs) to help artisans and craftspeople share their skills and knowledge, and to advance its mission to educate about pre-17th century history.
Most A&S displays are structured to allow those who see them to offer tokens of appreciation to the artists and craftspeople whose work is presented. However, unless specifically allowed by the rules of the display, no comments are given. In cases where the populace is permitted to leave comments, those who display are allowed to specifically decline to receive commentary. The person in charge of the display should be aware of those who do not want commentary and ensure that it does not receive it.
A&S challenges tend to be idiosyncratic. The challenger may or may not declare a winner, but if one is to be named, it is by criteria and a process that is the responsibility of the challenger to make it clear and publish it in advance.
If you are holding a DCC – especially a larger one – it is a good idea to fill out an event form (.dot) afterward and turn it into the Deputy for Contests and/or the Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences. Having a record of the activity can be useful in determining how to make future improvements.
If you have not run such an activity before, you should consider the following checklist for information that the event form will ask for:
- The name, date, and location of the event;
- The name and contact information of the local Minister of Arts and Sciences and anyone who assisted with the arts and sciences activities at the event;
- The type of activities held – classes, contests, exhibitions (displays) – and any categories for the activities;
- A copy of the Entrants’ Roster (PDF);
- A copy of the Judges’ Roster (PDF);
- Winners of the arts and sciences contests (and Honorable Mentions, if applicable);
- Comments about the activities, judging, or entrants, and any recommendations;
- Any problems that occurred during or after the event, and their resolutions.
At the kingdom level, there has been a long and evolving effort to try to standardize and make comprehensible the judging process. The latest judging form was in 2019 and includes a rubric to try to give both judges and entrants a consistent guide to ensure fairness and good communication.
If the DCC is being held online, or if some portion of its will involve pictures of entrants’ work, the entrant must fill out a release form. The release form used is on the SCA corporate website. Go to the SCA page for document resources and page down to the section for Arts & Sciences.