A Message about Convergence® amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
(March 20, 2020)
As a member organization, all of us at the Handweavers Guild of America, Inc. (HGA) - Staff and Board - are keenly aware that without you we would not exist. You, our members and supporters, are HGA. And you have been heavy on our minds as we look to HGA’s future in a new world living with the COVID-19 virus.
We are concerned about your health and the health of our organization. For the past few months HGA's Board of Directors and Executive Director, Elizabeth Williamson, have been diligent about reviewing medical reports, listening to daily briefings, and trying to distill a huge volume of information. Most of all, we want to make educated and thoughtful decisions, since it will affect us all: staff, Board and our membership.
Our first priority is protecting HGA's staff. Without our staff our organization would not be able to function. This week we have been transitioning operations to a remote work model for their safety. With many organizations doing the same thing there is a backlog to upgrade our phone system and to put the technology in place that will be needed to run HGA efficiently. For the time being, we only have one staff member in the office each day to answer phones and process mail. All other staff are working from home and responding to emails. While we adjust, please be aware the staff may be slower to respond. We anticipate the transition should be complete within 2-3 weeks.
Our second priority is Convergence®. We’ve been preparing for this conference for more than two years and have been so excited about seeing everyone in Knoxville. We don’t know what the future will hold, and Convergence® is still more than four months away. We are trying to remain positive. Watching recent events unfold has filled us with concern for the conference, but more importantly concern for the health of our members. The Board has discussed our options and, for the present, has decided to proceed with Convergence® as scheduled for July 24-30, 2020 in Knoxville, Tennessee. While we would never want to put any member in harm’s way, we hope you will stay the course with us for the present time. However, if you feel uncomfortable we certainly can understand and ask that you please refer to our cancellation policy*.
We are so very grateful for the continued support we have received from you all. The COVID-19 virus has affected us all in some way or another. Please be assured that we continue to assess, re-evaluate, and modify our plans with the health and safety of each one of you in mind. When the board reconvenes on April 20th we will reassess the situation and provide you with another update.
Thank you again for your support, your concern, and your help as we make our way through these uncertain times. We will get through this together.
On behalf of the HGA Board of Directors,
HGA Board President
Convergence® is heading to the Smoky Mountains for 2020! HGA is excited to announce Convergence ® will be in Knoxville, Tennessee July 24-30, 2020 at the Knoxville Convention Center. Keep checking back to this website, watch for announcements in Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot and look for emails with more information about Convergence® Knoxville 2020. Save the Date!
Welcome to the ultimate international fiber art experience: Handweavers Guild of America, Inc.’s (HGA) Convergence® conference! We’ve planned an exciting week of activities and events. Join fellow fiber art enthusiasts in the immersive Convergence® experience:
Feel inspired by exhibits featuring the work of artists from around the world
Indulge in seminars and workshops taught by prestigious and innovative leaders in the fiber arts
Build your community with old friends and new at the fashion show and various special events
Embark on a tour to private artist studios and behind-the-scenes textile experiences
Roam the fiber art marketplace shopping for the latest tools, materials, yarn and more
Join us for the HGA’s 2020 Convergence® in Knoxville!
First-time visitors are typically amazed by all Knoxville has to offer. In this one, unique location, mountains meet music… art meets adventure… culture meets cuisine… and no one meets a stranger. The pure walkability of downtown allows people to explore and discover vibrant murals, local music, historic sites, art museums, parks, greenways and more. With its sophisticated mix of culture and cuisine, served up with genuine hospitality, Knoxville will surprise you.
- Knoxville is conveniently located just off I-40 and I-75, just minutes from I-81
- Knoxville is within a day's drive of half the continental U.S.
- Knoxville boasts 120 daily flights from more than 20 nonstop destinations from McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS), 12 miles from downtown.
Convergence® will be held at the Knoxville Convention Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. Additional Sessions will be held next door at the Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park: Downtown Knoxville Hotel.
New for 2020:
- Meals: Share stories of your Convergence® adventure as you dine with old friends and new. Tickets for the Fashion Show and the Keynote both include dinner. You may also purchase a meal plan for additional meals so you may stay close to the fiber action.
- Skein Competition: Spinners enter your work to be judged and placed on exhibit in the Marketplace.
- Panels: Each afternoon we offer an informational panel on opportunities for artists and crafters. Learn from those who have done it. A special evening panel will take place Sunday when Cathryn Bergeman moderates a panel on her graduate thesis topic: The Handweavers of Modern-Day Southern Appalachia: An Ethnographic Case Study. Admission is included with the purchase of a CVP or Day Pass.
- Silent Auction: HGA has some fiber goodies we’ve collected. Get in on the action and join us in the Marketplace and place your bid. All proceeds benefit HGA’s Fiber Trust.
- Thread Talks: Share with our audience your story or one of your fiber art experiences.
Social Media Links
Convergence® is organized and sponsored by the Handweavers Guild of America, Inc., (HGA) under direction of HGA’s Convergence® 2020 Steering Committee; with support from many volunteers, including guilds and businesses, who have given their time and talent, and with help from the City of Knoxville.
Notice of Filming and Photography
When you enter a Handweavers Guild of America, Inc. (HGA) event or program, you enter an area where photography, audio, and video recording may occur. By entering the event premises, you consent to interview(s), photography, audio recording, video recording and its/their release, publication, exhibition, or reproduction to be used for news, web casts, promotional purposes, telecasts, advertising, inclusion on websites, social media, or any other purpose by HGA and its affiliates and representatives. Images, photos and/or videos may be used to promote similar HGA events in the future, highlight the event and exhibit the capabilities of HGA. You release HGA, its officers and employees, and each and all persons involved from any liability connected with the taking, recording, digitizing, or publication and use of interviews, photographs, computer images, video and/or or sound recordings. By entering the event premises, you waive all rights you may have to any claims for payment or royalties in connection with any use, exhibition, streaming, web casting,
televising, or other publication of these materials, regardless of the purpose or sponsoring of such use, exhibiting, broadcasting, web casting, or other publication irrespective of whether a fee for admission or sponsorship is charged. You also waive any right to inspect or approve any photo, video, or audio recording taken by HGA or the person or entity designated to do so by HGA. You have been fully informed of your consent, waiver of liability, and release before entering and attending Convergence®.