"When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." ~ Paulo Coelho

SGAA & SAMA Come Together for Conference Collaboration

The Stained Glass Association of America has worked tirelessly to survive and deliver our beloved programs and resources throughout the pandemic. One of our strengths throughout the last few years has proven to be our strong partnerships and collaborations with other amazing organizations in the architectural, fine arts and preservation communities.

In recent months, the Society of American Mosaic Artists has been at a crossroads as a result of a series of financial challenges. Canceled events and low enrollment in SAMA programs lead to the difficult decision by the Board of Trustees to begin the difficult process of dissolution. The mosaic art community’s heartfelt support and desire to preserve SAMA’s 20-year legacy spread like wildfire and soon sparked an idea with another arts organization with deep connections to mosaic art. The idea to build a mutually strengthening partnership that could save one community, while inspiring and growing another.

The Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA) and The Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA) will begin the first phase of partnership by collaborating on a joint conference, June 27 - 30, 2022 in Toledo, Ohio.

In the coming months, SAMA Executive Director, Dawnmarie Zimmerman will work with SGAA Executive Director, Megan McElfresh to plan our joint conference and additional member programming with the financial support of the SGAA. This dynamic duo brings together over 20 years of nonprofit, publications and event planning experience and are deeply passionate about building a strong and prosperous partnership for both communities. They will coordinate the efforts of both Leadership Boards and committee volunteers to elevate opportunities for collaboration so that the missions of both organizations can not only survive, but thrive well into the future.

Moving forward, both organizations will work together to ensure the essential elements of membership are preserved while exploring innovative new ways to serve artists, suppliers, manufacturers, preservationists and collectors. We are charting new waters and appreciate the generosity and enthusiasm each community will bring to this process. We also appreciate our members' patience while we work through details and make adjustments to ensure your engagement with our shared activities exceeds expectations!

We are so grateful to our members and partners for their calm endurance while we hold off on launching conference registration for just a few more weeks. Registration information will be available soon, current members will be the first to get access to all the details!

In the coming weeks, as we have more information, we will send out another email with more details, a schedule, and more information about how you can attend as well as get involved with our organizations during this exciting time.

To learn more about SAMA, visit americanmosaics.org/

Yours in gratitude and all the excitement that our future holds,

Megan McElfresh
Executive Director, SGAA

Dawnmarie Zimmerman
Executive Director, SAMA

Mosaic Collage
In order from top left: “Seasons in 4/4 Time” by Josephine A. Geiger; “Australia” by Caitlin Hepworth and Marian Shapiro; A portion of “Roots of Knowledge” by Holdman Studios; “Patagonia Heart” by Alejandra Martin; “Waco Chamber of Commerce” by Stanton Studios; “Time and Tide No. 7” by Todd Campbell; “James Jean Collaboration” by Judson Studios; “Goodbye Old Life” by Barbara Uhlenbruch; “Air” from “Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Firmament” J. Piercey Studios.