Founded in 1978 by a group of people passionate about the art of lettering, the Michigan Association of Calligraphers (MAC) is still going strong. Several of the original members continue to be involved with some even serving on the board, and the guild now has 104 members from all over the state. The willingness of members to share information and pay it forward sustains MAC and helps to make it a successful organization. Rather than competing with one another, members focus on fellowshipping and lifting everyone up to be his/her best.
The guild meets quarterly in an activity room at a local church in Birmingham, MI. Each meeting has a business component and a learning component. Guild matters are covered and then a presentation from an expert or a workshop/activity is done collectively. The guild has a great deal to offer those just starting out with calligraphy and always welcomes new members. From exposure to multiple alphabets to information on historical precedents and modern techniques in the lending library, there is much to be shared. Members also have the encouragement and support of others as they learn.
Beyond quarterly meetings, MAC also hosts classes, events, etc. Each year, the board of directors meets to develop activities that best serve current members’ skill levels and interests. Instructors are recruited, venues are found, and classes are scheduled. There is a healthy mix of mini-MAC workshops, longer and more intensive workshops, retreats, exhibitions, gallery openings, and field trips. In 1992, members of MAC even coordinated and hosted the summer international calligraphy conference called MOSAIC.
Being involved with MAC gives its members many advantages. First and foremost, members surround themselves with others who have a focus on and love for calligraphy. Being with like-minded individuals benefits hobbyists and professionals alike. In addition, members have the chance to learn new tools and techniques and have exposure to conferences and broader opportunities in the lettering community.