A message from Deborah Boschert, SAQA Board President
With both disappointment and excitement, the SAQA Board announces that our 2022 annual conference originally scheduled to be held in St. Petersburg, Florida in April will become a virtual event. We will definitely miss connecting in person, visiting galleries in Florida and experiencing all the events planned by the Special Events and Local Organizing Committees. But, we are thrilled to launch another fabulous virtual event that can be attended by far more SAQA members — and won’t be constrained by travel costs, health risks, or limited space.
If you attended our 2020 or 2021 virtual conferences, you know how fabulous they were! We’ve learned so much about creating community, sharing world-class presentations, offering a wide variety of content, and using technology in unique ways — all in a virtual space. The Special Events Committee will find creative ways to give the virtual event a “Florida Flavor” since we still want to spotlight the amazing members, art and unique cultural resources in Florida.
I am already looking forward to it! I love seeing your smiling faces on my screen, chatting with you on message boards, sharing virtual toasts across miles and time zones, taking advantage of presentations, virtual galleries, live chats, and all the unexpected conversations and connections that pop up during the event.
I want to acknowledge how disappointing this is for our volunteers and staff who have been working hard to plan the conference with the theme Bridging the Gulf: Fabric to Fine Art. Making this pivot from in-person to virtual at this point in the planning process allows them to re-think and create an event that maximizes all the advantages of the virtual format. It is also a relief and a responsible decision. The financial, administrative and personal costs of holding an in-person conference as the pandemic continues could be significant. Thank you for your understanding and support.