A Tournament of the Arts (ToA)
Let it be known to all and sundry that We, the Crown of the Middle Kingdom, being stalwart supporters of the talented craftsfolk who create such magnificent works of art and inspiring acts of science, are minded to create a new forum for the display of the same—namely, a Tournament of the Arts.
Much like the Chivalry and the Defenders of the Kingdom strive to test the mettle of unbelted warriors through their respective tournaments, the Laurels of the Kingdom shall challenge all artisans to assemble and bring their finest work for evaluation, critiques, and admiration.
Understand that this is not a competition; this is a new endeavor to allow Laurels and artisans to connect and discuss their shared passion for the arts.
The TOA is a new platform for artisans to gain word-fame for their research, craftsmanship and ambition. Come and impress Us, our Order of the Laurel and your fellow craftsfolk!
Countess Serena has agreed to be Our coordinator for this endeavor. She can be reached at
Open to all artisans of all skill levels. No time limits on when a project has been started and/or completed.
Entrants are expected to have a fully realized project. This is not a brainstorming session to determine what type of project to begin or a working session to kick-start a project barely begun. The project need not be 100% completed; however, it should be at a stage where Laurels can see the entrant’s skill level and offer suggestions to improve the project in some actionable fashion.
There should be a conversation between the entrant and the Laurel. The goal is connection and the sharing of knowledge, not grilling the entrant on his or her resources and/or being overly critical judgment of the finished piece. The TOA is designed to be a supportive and aspiring experience—one in which the entrant gains useful knowledge and insight into their project and the Laurel gains greater insight and connection with members of the Kingdom’s artistic community.
- The TOA will be held at a designated event. As discussed previously, this will be at Twelfth Night in Pentamere.
- Before the event, an online form will be launched for both entrants and Laurels to sign up. This will help the TOA coordinator and event steward properly prepare.
- Entrants will need to indicate what A&S division their project falls into. For the first TOA it is recommended that entrants be allowed to bring one project only.
- Entrants will be given a specified amount of space that their project must fit into.
- Special consideration will be made per category. (A performance piece will need more space than a piece of embroidery, for example.)
- Whenever possible, Laurels will be assigned to specific divisions to ensure that each division has an equal number of Laurels and that no single division is underrepresented.
- Each A&S division will be hosted in its own classroom. The number of rooms will depend on the site layout and number of registered entries.
- Entrants will arrive on site and be directed to the correct division room.
- A short meeting with the Laurels should occur before the TOA begins. Each Laurel will be directed to spend a finite amount of time with each entrant. For the first TOA, we recommend 20 minutes. A division coordinator will be present in each room call the time and remind Laurels to move to the next entrant.
- Entrants are expected to sit with their projects. While they are waiting for a Laurel, they are encouraged to “talk shop” with their fellow artisans.
- Certain projects will require special considerations. For example, performance pieces will be done for all relevant Laurels at once so the entrant need not repeat their performance numerous times. Cooking entrants will serve a hot dish to all relevant Laurels at once, etc. These and other special considerations (like alcoholic entries) will be anticipated to the best of the TOA coordinator’s ability.
- Absentee entrants are not permitted. The entire goal is to encourage face-to-face connections between the Laurels and the artisans of the Kingdom.
- If all entrants have spoken with all Laurels in a particular division, then the room can be considered to be “open shop time” where Laurels and artisans can mingle, connect and interact as they wish. Entrants are encouraged to use this time to talk about future projects, “talk shop” in general and otherwise take advantage of the cumulative knowledge in the room.
- At the end of the TOA it is Our hope that the rooms will be open for the populace to view the work of Our artisans.
The first Tournament of Arts will likely encounter significant challenges and even chaos in the moment. This is to be expected. The goal is to learn what works and what doesn’t work so that the TOA—like the TOC and TODs before it—can be refined, streamlined and perfected so that the artisans of the Kingdom have a new way to showcase their work and the Order of the Laurel has a new way to interact with these artisans.