MQG Town Hall meeting

At the last general meeting, we had a lively discussion about the national MQG. A blog post which the MQG published back in July sought to both change the rules for entry into the Quiltcon show and competition, and also to define what “derivative work” and copyright infringement should mean for modern quilters. A very loud and large backlash from members ensued - objections were raised on many levels, including the incorrect and misleading information regarding copyright law and trademarks, the definition of derivation, and of course the fact that they were changing the rules for entry into a show several weeks after submission had opened. The post also opened up much larger questions about the MQG: many questions were raised about how the organization conducts business, about transparency, leadership, and member involvement. Coming on the back of the debacle that was Quiltcon 2017 registration, the timing was not good for the MQG. Essentially, the whole can of worms came spilling out in a very messy pile, and very few corners of social media were not touched by debates about all of the issues that members are concerned with. Several bloggers made very thoughtful and passionate posts which also sparked further commentary.

Unfortunately, the MQG further confused things by attempting to edit the “Derivatives” blog post without being transparent about the edits. This caused more outrage. Weeks passed with no word. Eventually, the MQG leadership announced that they would hold a Town Hall on September 22nd, which all guild members were invited to attend.

Within our own guild, many members have expressed their opinions about the MQG. Some discussion has taken place in our Facebook Group and at our September meeting, we had an open conversation. Many members expressed disappointment with the MQG and questioned whether our association with them brings any value to our guild. Some members also spoke up in favor of the MQG and suggested that we should stick with them through this difficult time.

Yesterday, Charlotte and I attended the Town Hall meeting with a list of questions. Some of them were addressed during the meeting and we have been promised the rest will be answered in writing. We did not ask all of the questions we wanted to as it was clear there would not be time for answers, so we may need to follow up with the MQG leadership later.

A recording of the Town Hall is now available for everyone to watch. I would strongly encourage all of our members to have a look at recording and consider carefully both the issues at hand and the proposals that the MQG are making for change.

I will once again open the floor for discussion at our October meeting. You can also discuss this is our Facebook Group.  If those conversations indicate that we have members who are in favor of leaving the MQG, we will need to put it to a vote. Any voting will be organized after the October meeting, and everyone will be informed by email and have an opportunity to participate.

I am available to speak to any of you in person, on the phone, or via email.

~ Allison Schnackenberg - President