The Ministers of Arts and Sciences are vital to ensuring that the SCA fulfills its goals both for its members and in public outreach. It is through the office of the MoAS that records are kept and activities held that are critical to the SCA’s tax status as a non-profit educational organization. The functions of a Minister of Arts and Sciences (MoAS) are not as clear-cut as some of the other officers’ jobs in the SCA. MoASes don’t have to meet the legal duties of offices like Seneschals and Exchequers, perform record keeping and administrative function like the Ministers of the List (MOLs), or guide in the process of developing coats of arms and provide ceremonial support like the Heralds. Nonetheless, the office of MoAS is central to the SCA’s purpose as a non-profit educational group.
Local Group MoAS
Not every group has a MoAS, but most do. This person is an officer of the group and is expected to attend local officer’s meetings and participate in the group’s A&S community. To achieve this, the MoAS has three roles: as advocate for partitioners of pre-17th century arts and sciences (A&S), as a resource for information about arts and sciences, and as an administrator and organizer of activities. Please note that none of this requires that the MoAS actually be a practitioner of the arts and sciences. The office is about the willingness to assist others to achieve their aspirations, not one’s own artistic prowess.
- As an advocate, a MoAS is expected to know what is going on locally with A&S activities. If the MoAS sees development among the local A&S practitioners, he/she/they should make an effort to let others know about it, especially if there is a local system of A&S recognition. This can also mean making recommendations to A&S orders (Pearls, Laurels) or asking the Crown to recognize A&S achievements (Coral Branch). You don’t need to know about the art, just to put forward the name and accomplishments of the person. In Atlantia, anyone can recommend another for their singular contributions to any aspect of life in the kingdom. You don’t need to be proficient in the area for which you are making a recommendation. The point is to ensure that the Crown and the Orders are kept informed. (See kingdom awards page.)
- As a resource for information, a MoAS is expected to be willing to reach out to other MoAS, A&S order members, and/or the kingdom as a whole to find answers to questions and help A&S practitioners find what they need. This may be in finding, sharing, and maintaining records of subject matter specialists, and/or written and/or online resources. This can be a joyful and fulfilling exercise in building knowledge and finding creative solutions, and forging friendships.
- As an administrator and organizer, a MoAS is expected to assist in the running of events, in particular the A&S portion of activities if there are any. A MoAS is responsible for determining formats and getting space allocated at events. At an event, the MoAS is responsible for getting entrants checked in, and, when necessary, arranging for judges. A MoAS will ensure that all the proper forms and materials are available, including prizes for challenges and contests. In this, the local MoAS can consult with the Contest Deputy for the kingdom MoAS.
Every group in Atlantia has its own history and culture. Some are heavily into the arts and sciences – and some of these can be quite discipline-specific like cooking, fiber arts, or performing arts. Some are oriented toward service such as sponsoring kingdom-level events or supporting youth activities. Some are deeply involved in martial arts which tend to specialize in areas like heavy weapons, rapier, or historical martial arts.
As such, the role of the MoAS can vary a good deal. In the first instance, the path can be easier. For the second two, a little creativity may be needed to find the right balance. The MoAS in service-oriented groups can find ways to encourage sponsorship of A&S challenges and contests, and/or the production of prizes. A MoAS in a group with a lot of martial activity can encourage the development of pageantry and infrastructure to enhance the atmosphere at events and improve appearance on the field. Importantly for the latter two, a MoAS can offer alternative activities to those not as interested in the larger group focus.
An official MoAS must be a currently paid member of the SCA. He/she/they must be warranted by the Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences (KMoAS) and also approved by the local seneschal, and baronage, if appropriate). Deputies to local MoAS do not need to be warranted. A warrant is good for three years and renewable indefinitely. All MoASes are required to submit a quarterly report by the announced due date (April 15, July 15, October 15, and January 15). There is a standard report form available to do this.
Some offices require that the candidate complete a training course. The MoAS does not, but it does require that the candidate be familiar with the MoAS Handbook.
The MoASes of Atlantia as a whole meet once a year at Kingdom Unevent the first weekend in December. The Kingdom MoAS (KMoAS) may occasionally call a meeting in the interim to discuss issues as they arise. These meetings are now held virtually rather than in person.
The Deputies of the Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences are there to assist him/her/them as required. Every KMoAS has a roster according to the needs of the office. Mostly these are for administrative purposes. The current administrative Deputies are:
- Contests Deputy – in charge of the Tempore Atlantia (three times a year at 12th Night, Spring Crown, and Fall Crown) and Cultura Atlantia (Spring Coronation and Fall Coronation).The Deputy should ensure that materials and information about kingdom level contests are current, as well as to assist contest organizers and entrants at the local level.
- Northern and Southern Regional Deputies – are the eyes and ears of the KMoAS and a conduit for information from the kingdom to the local level. They should be familiar with the groups in their region and be there to answer questions from local MoAS. On occasions, they may be asked to be a ceremonial stand-in for the KMoAS.
- Emergency Deputy – should the KMoAS be unable to continue in his/her/their duties, the Emergency Deputy steps in until a permanent replacement is found. The KMoAS should keep this person informed of important details like passwords to the MoAS accounts.
- Chancellor of the University – this office is one of the most demanding in Atlantia and is mandated in kingdom law. As such, the selection involved the Crown as well as the KMoAS. The Chancellor is responsible for running the University of Atlantia and ensuring that it happens on the three dates reserved on the Kingdom calendar in February, June, and September. The Chancellor has his/her/their own staff which includes the important office of the Registrar. The University is a beloved institution which has been around since Atlantia was a Principality.
- Editor of “The Oak” – This person is responsible for The Oak – the kingdom web platform and newsletter focused on the A&S community. The Editor may have Deputy editors to assist with soliciting and preparing materials for publication.
- Guild Liaison – This person is responsible for developing and maintaining a list of the guilds active in Atlantia–both official and unofficial. He/she/they are also tasked with finding and vetting social media groups and other resources on the internet that may be useful resources for discipline-specific information useful to SCA participants.
Note also that there are discipline-specific or special purpose deputies that are more of an ad hoc appointment. At times there is a need for the KMoAS to coordinate with communities of artisans in specific areas of research and construction. At other times there is a need for someone to lead up a special project like a big revision of the MoAS Handbook. These are at the discretion of the KMoAS and may be added or removed as needed.
An official Deputy MoAS must be a currently paid member of the SCA. He/she/they must be warranted by the Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences (KMoAS). No other approval is required. A warrant is good for three years and renewable indefinitely. All Deputy MoASes are required to submit a quarterly report by the announced due date (May 15, August 15, November 15, and February 15). There is a standard report form available to do this.
Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences
The Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences (KMoAS) is selected by the Crown and must be warranted by Them and the Society Minister of Arts and Sciences. The warrant is for three years and can be extended for one year. The KMoAS reports to the Society MoAS quarterly (March 15, June 15, September 15, and December 15).
The KMoAS is a Great Officer of Atlantia. As such, the KMoAS is required to swear fealty at the start of each new reign. The KMoAS participates in meetings of the Great Officers and in Curia.
The KMoAS is required to maintain an accurate roster of MoAS across the kingdom and provide it to the Crown at the start of each new reign. This includes monitoring the submission of quarterly reports and informing the Seneschal if groups appear to be having trouble getting reports in on time. As part of this, there is an official MoAS mailing list that needs to be audited from time-to-time to ensure that only current MoAS or appropriate persons are receiving official communications.
The KMoAS is responsible for ensuring that the content on the kingdom website pages from the MoAS are current and accurate, and also the entries for the Regnum and The Acorn.
The KMoAS is responsible for giving the kingdom Chronicler monthly content for the kingdom newsletter The Acorn, if needed. This content usually talks about the upcoming cycle of major A&S events and changes in KMoAS deputies.
The KMoAS is involved in the annual Kingdom A&S Festival in providing assistance to the event hosts and the Order of the Laurel in running the Personal Pentathlon and Youth Triathlon.
If there is no Contests Deputy, the KMoAS is responsible for running the Tempore Atlantia and the Cultura Atlantia.
The KMoAS has oversight of the contests for Kingdom Notables. The Notables are responsible for running the contests to select their successors, but the KMoAS should ensure that these are held in a timely manner. The KMoAS should also check that entries on the kingdom website related to the Notables are current.
The KMoAS is nominally in charge of official Guilds, but are independent in their membership and function. Mainly, the KMoAS should periodically check that Guilds remain active and are appropriately listed on the MoAS website pages.
The KMoAS is a sounding board for the concerns, ideas, and aspirations of the A&S community. The office holder should be open-minded, thoughtful, and responsive to any and all who have questions.