Outreach

An important aspect of the guild’s mission is to educate the public about fiber arts, and one of the ways we do that is through fiber arts demonstrations at various festivals and fairs.  These are opportunities to bring out your wheel, portable loom, knitting, or any other fiber art that you enjoy, and share your love of your craft with others!

For anyone new to the whole demo thing, here are some details that may help you in deciding if you’d like to join in:

  • You only need to bring whatever you would like to work on and show to the passing visitors at the events! I will be responsible for all of the set up and take down. Sometimes a few people will volunteer to come early or stay late to help (and you know who you are…thank you, thank you!!) But it’s not required. I bring tables, chairs, rugs and usually water bottles. If you have a comfortable folding chair you like, feel free to bring it. Some locations I bring tents and set them up, others we may be inside a building or the event organizers supply the tents.
  • You don’t have to stay the whole day! ​If an event is all day, I usually ask volunteers to sign up for a half day shift. You would be welcome to demo the whole day, but again, it isn’t required. I want you to have as much fun at an event as the visitors we are demonstrating for. If you decide to hang out all day, you will have the flexibility to demo for a while, go and enjoy the event, then come back and demo some more.
  • Be prepared to do plenty of explaining! Outreach is part of our mission to educate the public about the fiber arts and as a demonstrator, you will be asked plenty of questions. You don’t have to be an “expert” you know more about your fiber than most of the visitors do, so just share that with them.
  • You don’t need to wear period clothing! There are currently no events where we are expected to dress in anything other than our normal everyday clothes.
  • I’m very mellow and easy to get along with 🙂 So don’t be afraid to ask questions. I want to help you have a great experience!

I will ask you to let me know if you plan on coming to a particular event. The logistics of where to park or unload equipment, as well as any other event specific information will be emailed to volunteers a few days before the event. Many have entry fees and if you are on the list as a volunteer, the fees are usually waived. Plus it’s nice to know how many to expect and at what time of the day you plan to be there.

Some of the events we typically participate in are listed below.  If you’d like to demo, please email me and I will provide you with details:

Highland Sheep Shearing
Mid-April, at James Monroe’s Highland near Charlottesville. This is an outdoor event under a tent, very low key but fun! The organizers are very flexible and love for us to be there!

Powhatan’s Festival of Fiber  
Last weekend in April, in Powhatan, VA. This is a very well run festival with lots of great vendors!

Fluvanna Old Farm Day
First Saturday in May, in Palmyra, VA. It’s outdoors and a tent will be set up for the guild.

Albemarle County Fair
Late-July, at Highland, near Charlottesville. The fair actually runs to 9pm, but we only demo from 10-6 each day, and this is an inside event for us. They have an air conditioned building we will be set up in which is wonderful in the heat of July. I also have a golf cart to ferry you and your equipment to the building and back to your car.

Flock n Spiel
Early-September, just South of Charlottesville. A fun day full of learning, shopping, and animals hosted by Lower Sherwood Farm.

Fall Fiber Festival and Montpelier Sheep Dog Trials
First weekend in October, at Montpelier Station, VA (near Orange). We will demo spinning, weaving, fiber prep, knitting, rug hooking, CSMs, and much more! To volunteer to help with demos or setup, please email Margaret at craftdemos@fallfiberfestival.org.

Thank you in advance for sharing your skill and time to help promote the fiber arts!

Kimberly Radcliffe
CVFG Outreach Chair
outreach@cvfg.org