The Mormon Women’s History Initiative Team (MWHIT) is pleased to announce its first annual Relief Society Bazaar and Silent Auction, to be held at the Mormon History Association Conference, June 9-12, 2016 at the Snowbird Resort. (For overall conference program and registration information, please see Mormon History Association 2016 conference registration.) MWHIT encourages MHA attendees to visit our booth in the book exhibit space at the conference, where we welcome browsing, bidding, and purchase of our team members’ contributions. Many of you know our members, from whom you can expect personal and detailed work: Lisa T., Jenny R., Kate H., Sheree B., Taunalyn R., Andrea R.-M., Susanna M., Janelle H., Anna R., Barbara J. B., and Brittany N.
At our booth, you may bid on or purchase a variety of baked goods, homemade and/or handcrafted items, baby items, furniture, and novelty items and wall art, as well as a variety of skills and services offered by our team members and other volunteers (editing, proofreading, writing, family history research, consulting). For your interest (and to entice you to come bid), I am offering for the auction this fabulous 18×24 stretched-canvas of the 1883 Representative Women of Deseret poster that went with Augusta Joyce Crocheron’s 1884 book of the same name. Including the images of great Mormon women leaders like Eliza R. Snow, Zina D.H. Young, Elmina S. Taylor, Mary Isabella Horne, and Emmeline B. Wells, among others, this poster is an homage to the greatest RS, YLMIA and suffrage leaders of the 1880s. The image came out with fantastic detail that really pops, and it would be a fantastic addition to someone’s office, library, or home shrine to Mormon women’s history. A must have, really.
If you are passionate about the work of Mormon women’s history, and you wish to help in this project, we also welcome donations of your time and talents to join with ours, for the purposes of helping us fund our awards programs, community events, speakers, and leadership planning and efforts. In the comments, we invite you to share the types of items or service that you might be willing to bring to our booth for bidding. There is sure to be a wide array of other unique items and beautiful work.
See our flier here, and please share, forward, or it print off to help us advertise. MWHIT Bazaar flyer-1
Looking for a fundraising activity that could be accomplished at the conference, a few of us drew upon our past experiences with silent auctions hosted by the Coalition for Western Women’s History at various Western History Association conferences. The CWWH silent auction enjoyed a long and overall successful run at WHA conferences, with similar types of items offered for bidding, including hand-crafted items, jewelry, scarves, small antique items and collectibles, artwork, crocheted blankets, baby items, and even a couple of years where my husband contributed his own hand-tied flies to draw in the fly-fishing set. (P.S. He will again be offering his unique hand-tied flies at this year’s MWHIT Bazaar, so to all you anglers, come! Bid soon! Bid often!)
MWHIT was also significantly inspired by the long and amazing tradition of Mormon Relief Society bazaars, usually held on the ward, stake, and regional level throughout the 20th century, as significant local fund-raising activities. Back when wards and stakes depended upon this fundraising for building up Relief Society and other auxiliary budgets, these bazaars became a significant annual project for bringing in monetary donations. But they did more than that: bazaars fostered female empowerment through planning, budgeting, and organizing efforts; they allowed for women to develop and display their talents, artistry, and self-improvement; bazaars fostered strong female associations through shared planning efforts and they have left a long legacy of Mormon feminine creative expression. It is to this great legacy of Relief Society bazaars and our Mormon foremothers that we give our nod and our respect. Plus, we also want to earn our own money. <insert smiley face and dollar sign here.>
We hope you will join us, stop by our booth and say hello, chat with us about MWHIT, and see the variety of talents and expression that our members and supporters are offering. Help us to grow our outreach toward the support of Mormon women’s history. See you at Snowbird in two weeks!