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Volume 2 * Issue 5 * Fall 2011

From the Chair

As the year winds down I would like to make sure that the IAGSDC® can communicate with you and your club effectively and deliver information that you find helpful to your clubs and our activity.

At the Executive Board meeting during our annual convention, club delegates expressed concerns with information from the IAGSDC® not getting to the clubs. There are several reasons that could be leading to this breakdown, which the officers and our webmaster have been working to resolve.

Our first concern is always with clubs having the correct contact information on the IAGSDC® website. It is necessary for clubs to check and update their contact information and delegates on an annual basis since those contacts need to communicate with their club's members. You can see your organization's contacts in the club's fast facts section on the IAGSDC® website, these include your President, Treasurer, club delegates and the main contact. Your club's main contact can update the club information once they log in to the website.

The second issue that we ran up against were duplicate profiles for members. The officers worked to eliminate duplicates within the system and contacted many members to find out which profile was the most current email and information. Though we made great progress, there are still many duplicates in the database. Individual clubs can look at their membership lists on the IAGSDC® website and identify members with multiple profiles. We would like the clubs help on contacting those members and having them contact either the webmaster or an IAGSDC® officer to merge information into a single profile.

Lastly, to streamline our email system the officers will be using new email addresses specific to their role. All the new addresses will end in @iagsdc.net. To make sure all email being sent from the IAGSDC® gets through your email systems, please create a filter in your email server so our emails don't get redirected to your spam or trash folders. Below you will find links to instructions for creating filters on common servers or check with your email service to find out how to create one. It is of the utmost importance that all of your club contacts create an IAGSDC® filter so that any time sensitive information gets to your club.

I hope that by taking these steps, it will increase the consistency of contact with you and make sure that important information and documents get delivered to your clubs.

Thank you
Robert Hazen
IAGSDC® Chair

2015 IAGSDC® Convention

We are sorry to announce that the 2015 New York bid for the IAGSDC annual convention has been withdrawn. The clubs and club delegates have been informed of the situation and the officers and delegates will be working together over the next few months to find a solution.

In preparation for the the 2012 Annual Delegates meeting, clubs and delegates should be aware that convention bids for 2015 and beyond may be reintroduced for approval. The St. Louis convention committee has taken steps with their host hotel to hold dates over Memorial Day 2015, but they will not be able to secure those dates without a vote of the delegate body in July 2012 or with an alternative voting process of the club delegates. There is a post in the convention section of the IAGSDC® Dish! bulletin board if you would like to take part in the discussion.

We are looking for positive actions in moving forward with the planning process. The IAGSDC® wants to make sure that we have a convention and that everyone will be able to participate and have fun, no matter where we go.

Have Passport! Will Travel

It is important to take steps now to acquire or renew your passport or passport card if you plan on traveling to Vancouver for the 2012 IAGSDC® Convention. As some of you may know, Canada is not in the United States! The processing time for passports can vary and you may wait longer the closer you get to the summer travel season. You may go to a local post office or apply online but there will be documents that you may need to take with you. Check the following website for official information and frequently asked questions. www.travel.state.gov/passport

The 29th Annual Convention



Friday, June 29, 2012 to Monday, July 02, 2012

Hyatt Regency Vancouver
www.danceupastorm.ca
Featuring:
Anne Uebelacker, Vic Ceder, Todd Felleggy, Michael Kellogg, Barry Sjolin, Saundra Bryant, Barry Clasper, Bronce Wise, Mike Desisto.

Starting Club Archives

Archiving is all about creating a trail, of sorts, that tells the story of the club. Saving things for club scrapbooks may not be a high profile job, but it pays off in keeping the memory of the club alive. Time does march on! Perhaps the most important attribute of an archivist is attention to detail. The person responsible for archiving must constantly be on the lookout for new material. Board members and people on planning committees may not think to provide copies of minutes, event flyers, etc, and so it becomes the archivist's job to look for those items. It's best if the archivist has been around for awhile, knows the history of the club, and has proven that he/she will stick with the job. He/she must ask, what will the club want to know in the future about what we're doing now? What makes a particular event interesting, and how can I capture that? Who were the organizers? Who participated? Was there publicity? Were photos taken? What mementos can be kept? Was there a follow up report? Were thank you notes sent to callers? On occasion I have thrown something away, only to realize that that item needed to be saved in the scrapbooks. I've learned to think twice!

Of course everything that is kept must somehow be organized, so organizational skills are also needed. What has worked for me is to put everything into 3 inch 3 ring binders, in chronologic order. That makes it easy to include items that come along after the fact-and they always do! Occasionally I have had to re-spread documents from book to book to absorb new material. Rainbeaus is now working on binder #43, so we're filling more than one binder per year.

Creativity is also a plus. Several years ago Rainbeaus had a club member who was artistic and liked to scrapbook in a big way. She cut individuals and groups of individuals out of photographs and added colorful adornments, short quips, etc. Those pages are fun to look thru, but I know they took much time to assemble ... You have to enjoy scrapbooking as an art form. For many years I printed my photographs and put them in Print File plastic pages. Now, our club photographer prints photos "9 up" on a page and places them in top loading page protectors. The pages are light weight and easy to flip thru. I think photographs are what interest people the most when we put our scrapbooks on display-usually at our anniversary dances.

That brings me to my last point: I recommend that club archivists look for opportunities to share their work. The more scrapbooks are seen, the more people will appreciate the history of the club, and in turn, the more they'll feel a part of it and take ownership. In a broader sense, I believe scrapbooks demonstrate the community building we are able to accomplish thru gay square dancing.

Here is a list of items I save:
  • Minutes from board meetings, planning meetings and the like
  • Club financial reports
  • Club newsletters
  • Club membership lists
  • Class open house flyers
  • Class lists
  • Event flyers
  • Event schedules
  • Event attendance lists
  • Event buttons or dangles
  • Thank you notes, sent or received
  • Holiday greeting cards, sent or received
  • Correspondence (snail mail or e-mail) among club members that announces events, recognizes contributions, honors someone, contributes to decision making, etc
  • Anniversary dance programs
  • Convention programs
  • Post cards from places visited with dancers
  • Newspaper clippings that feature club members (whether dance related or not)
  • Any mention of the club in local glbt publications
  • Any mention of the club in local straight square dance publications
  • Obituaries of club members and others important to the club
  • Copies of certificates of special recognition
  • Souvenir items (e.g., a bowling score sheet from a club night at the bowling alley, tie-dyed paper towels from a tie-dye party, the Varsity diner hat from the city tour of Atlanta, etc)
  • Photos, photos, photos!
Have fun with it ... There are no deadlines for this job!

Karl Jaeckel
Rocky Mountain Rainbeaus

Bylaw Changes

At the IAGSDC® executive board meeting (aka the "delegates meeting") in Atlanta, I stood up and asked the attendees to consider a future change to the IAGSDC® by-laws. My goal was to start and thought process and a discussion at home within IAGSDC® member organizations.

My proposal didn't include specific language at the time, I was just raising the topic for thought and discussion. The gist of what I had to say was that we should consider adding bi-sexual, transgender, queer and questioning (or some other similar wording) to our by-laws.

Lavender Country and Folk Dancers (as an example)
Here was LCFD's reasoning behind the change:

"Transgender" is probably self explanatory for most of us: as our community has evolved, trans issues and trans people have become more and more a part of how we see ourselves as a community. "Queer" is perhaps less obvious, given both relatively recent and more distant history.

"Queer" has been used as an insult and a threat for a long time, and for many of us, those are its most resonant meanings. Then in the '80s and '90s it was taken up by some of us as an in your face expression of defiance, and while it had the advantage of being gender neutral, it was really the defiance that was central to its meaning. And at that time, people who didn't like the term could quite understandably say that it wasn't needed, since gay, lesbian, bi, and/or trans already covered all of us.

But now there are folks who are making it clear that's not true, people who do identify as "queer," for whom "gay," "lesbian," "bi," or "trans" don't adequately name our sexual diversity. (One example: if there aren't just two genders, "gay," "lesbian," "bi," and "straight" can't cover all sexual orientations.) And, to the considerable enrichment of our dance community, these folks have become an important part of our community. "Queer" is no longer only a defiant version of LGBT, but has a meaning and constituency of its own.

Recognizing that, and recognizing how important this group of people is to who we are and are becoming, we wanted to acknowledge that in our bylaws.

It is time to update the language of our by-laws to better reflect 21st century nomenclature and thoughts on inclusiveness of the true diversity and welcoming nature of our Association and our member clubs.

The IAGSDC® and our member clubs have always been open and welcoming to whomever wishes to dance with us. However, someone looking at our by-laws today would find them sounding rather dated and un-inclusive of the full spectrum of LGBTQ* participants. We can and should do better.

The acronym "IAGSDC®" is well recognized and well established so I don't propose that we change the primary name of our Association. Instead, we should just expand on language elsewhere in the by-laws.

Article I might read:
The name of this Association shall be the "INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GAY SQUARE DANCE CLUBS, An LGBTQ* Organization". (LGBTQ* shall be used to refer to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning)
Article II might be enhanced to split Section B into two
B1) To welcome all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or Questioning people and their friends to our activity. B2) To enhance the image of LGBTQ* people, especially in the international square dance community.
Elsewhere, everywhere that the by-laws currently use the word "gay", we should substitute "LGBTQ*"
Section 2, E should read:
Has membership open to anyone regardless of race, religion, ethnic background, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Let's start a discussion and have specific language for the by-laws changes ready for a vote by next year in Vancouver!

Yellow Rocks,
Andy Shore

Feedback

This electronic edition of the IAGSDC® Newsletter has been emailed to all those who have an email address on file with IAGDSC®. Please feel free to forward it to those who may be interested.
Email any feedback to: IAGSDC® Newsletter. Suggestions for content and/or if you would like to write an article for future issues, may also be submitted by email in text format. Thank-you

Brian Smith
IAGSDC® Newsletter Editor

The IAGSDC® Board

Chairperson - Bob Hazen
Vice-Chairperson - Keith Gehrig / / Secretary - Michael Spayd
Treasurer - Michael Pemberton / / Club Liason Officer - Phil Davis

Contact Information

International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs
P.O. Box 9176
Denver, CO 80209-0176
For more information on the IAGSDC®, please go to the interactive web site at:www.iagsdc.org

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