MWHIT Relief Society Bazaar and Silent Auction at MHA 2016

By May 27, 2016

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.

1883 Representative Women of Deseret Poster, by August Joyce Crocheron

1883 Representative Women of Deseret Poster, by August Joyce Crocheron

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

Mossy Fly 2

Mr. Andrea R-M’s unique hand-tied flies, presented in a lovely, accessible, and waterproof case.

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!)

CWWH 2013 Silent Auction

MWHIT Member Andrea R-M, wrapping up the last hour and collecting donations at the CWWH Silent Auction booth, with other CWWH board members at the 2013 WHA Conference held in Tucson, Arizona, in October 2013.

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. Relief Society Bazaar 1955 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!

Article filed under Announcements and Events Conference/Presentation Reports Gender Material Culture Miscellaneous Women's History


  1. Great write-up, Andrea. It got me all excited–and I helped plan the whole thing! I’m getting out my crochet hook this weekend…!

    Comment by LisaT — May 27, 2016 @ 8:35 am

  2. Awesome on so many levels! Why don’t all conferences have this??

    Comment by Tona H — May 27, 2016 @ 11:28 am

  3. Andrea, I went through my collection today and pulled out an enormous pile of hand-crocheted and hand-embroidered table linen, much of it never used because people saved it for “best.” Now I’m hand-washing and hand-ironing it all so it will be fresh and pretty. Here’s hoping it appeals to some old-fashioned souls and that it will contribute to MWHIT’s coffers.

    (And if it doesn’t sell, I’m happy to take it back so you don’t have to store it.)

    Comment by Ardis — May 27, 2016 @ 12:31 pm

  4. Lisa: This will be amazing. I am happy that we’re doing it, and that you’re the boss of us.

    Tona: I loved it at WHA, even though it was a lot of work..

    Ardis: We would love to have your linens, and I hope someone will be thrilled to take them home. Any donation is greatly appreciated.

    Comment by Andrea R-M — May 27, 2016 @ 5:29 pm

  5. This is a very interesting article. Great points!

    Comment by David — May 28, 2016 @ 1:16 pm

  6. Do you know whether the regulations would allow the serving of non-baked goods? I’m thinking some eastern Mediterranean meze to serve right at the booth. Also, if it’s OK to impose a geographical restriction, I could do an eastern Mediterranean meal for four for someone in Salt Lake City.

    Comment by Smb — May 30, 2016 @ 3:05 pm

  7. SMB, unfortunately it will be tough to serve food there. However, you could auction off the dinner for someone to bid on.

    Comment by J Stuart — May 30, 2016 @ 9:01 pm

  8. For instance, I’ll be auctioning off some archival research hours. Little easier to redeem from far away, but we will have lots of local folks, too.

    Comment by J Stuart — May 31, 2016 @ 8:26 am

  9. I am totally excited about this bazaar, but sad that I’m not going to be there. I hope that this will become a part of every conference from this time on so I can participate another year.

    Comment by Maurine Ward — June 2, 2016 @ 1:39 am

  10. Hi! I would love to contribute somehow. I could bring cookies. Also, I have used baby clothes I could donate, if that is something you would want? I’m excited to be involved.

    Comment by courtney peacock — June 4, 2016 @ 10:35 am

  11. Where and When should I bright stuff?

    Comment by courtney peacock — June 4, 2016 @ 10:42 am

  12. sorry mean to say bring stuff or drop it off?

    Comment by courtney peacock — June 4, 2016 @ 11:09 am

  13. Courtney, cookies would be great. Bring your items to the booth Thursday evening. If you have any other questions: historyinitiative AT gmail.

    Comment by LisaT — June 5, 2016 @ 3:12 pm

  14. I won’t be there Thursday evening, but can drop them off first thing Friday morning.

    Comment by courtney peacock — June 5, 2016 @ 7:36 pm


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