Welcome to our interview with the Kingdom Ministers of Arts & Sciences, Master Fridrikr Tomasson and Mistress Orianna Fridrikskona. This is the third in our series of interviews with Kingdom officers, to learn what they do. You can read the first, an interview with the Kingdom Historian, here, and the second with the Silver Buccle Kingdom Herald here.
What are your SCA names and personas?
F – I am Fridrikr Tomasson, a 13th century Icelandic goji.
O – I am Orianna Fridrikskona, a 13th century Englishwoman minor nobility married to Fridrikr and living in Iceland with him.
How did you become interested in being A&S Ministers?
Fridrikr was serving as deputy chancellor of the Æcademy and intended to apply for the Chancellor´s job. But he was asked by others to apply for the position of Kingdom Minister. After some discussion, together we decided to apply for the Kingdom Minister office instead. Their Majesties Titus and Anna Leigh accepted our application to the office.
Why are you sharing the office?
We’re sharing the office because we work best as a team. We have for over 30 years. This acknowledges what would be true if one of us held the job alone, the other would be sharing the burden. Interestingly, as far as the Corporate Minister is concerned, Fridrikr is the Minister and Orianna is the Emergency Deputy. But we each bring different strengths to the office.
What do the Kingdom A&S Ministers do?
Our job is to encourage and help the Arts & Sciences grow, both in Æthelmearc as a whole and in the local groups. We have reporting and paperwork duties to perform for the Corporate office, but the most important thing we do is help the artisans of Æthelmearc to grow and flourish. So, we try to get to as many A&S events as we can and we are trying to give the A&S community more of an opportunity to be “seen” through the new A&S Faire to be held next April 23rd in Hartstone, the displays at War Practice and 50-Year, the anticipated A&S War Point at Pennsic, and the Kingdom A&S Championship we plan to hold next October.
Who are your deputies, and what are their roles?
We have the following official deputies: Sir Olafr, the Historical Combat Deputy; Lady Fiona the Prepared, Kingdom Hound Mistress; THL Beatrice de Winter; Special Deputy for Rubric Development; and five Regional Deputies: THL Angellino the Bookmaker (Region 1), Master Remus Fletcher (Region 2), THL Jaqueline de Molieres (Region 3), Mistress Ysabeau Tiercein (Region 4), and Lady Margarita Carpintero (Region 5). The Academy Chancellor, Mistress Alicia Langland, and Dean of the War College, Duke Timothy of Arindale, are also our deputies, though they are appointed by the Crown.
What makes for a good A&S competition?
We believe that a good A&S competition places more emphasis on sharing of information than competition. That is why we have instituted face-to-face judging, which allows the judges to sit and talk with the entrants, exchanging information and giving advice. Although in a situation like the recent Kingdom Championship, the goal must be to find a winner, we believe that the opportunity to open lines of communication and develop and improve the artisans’ work and the judges’ understanding is far more important.
How do the Kingdom A&S Ministers work with the Æthelmearc Æcademy, Ice Dragon Pentathlon, and other A&S activities in the Kingdom? What about InterKingdom A&S activities, like the Pennsic and War Practice displays and this year’s A&S War Point?
We support Mistress Alicia and Duke Timothy in the operation of the Academy and War College, helping encourage artisans to become teachers. This past year, we helped TRM Timothy and Gabrielle in choosing the champions for the A&S War Point. Since this is a new endeavor for everyone, we are open to doing more in the planning of the War Point in 2016. We helped organize the War Practice display this past year and look forward to expanding the displays at War Practice in 2016. We are also looking forward to working on the 50-Year A&S Display in 2016. As far as local A&S activities such as Ice Dragon are concerned, we are here to give aid and advice, but we feel these are inherently local events. We do like to participate and help in any way we can, and Ice Dragon does allow us the opportunity to recognize our personal choices out of all of the entrants, which is an honor and a joy to do.
What are the best ways to encourage people to become involved in the Arts and Sciences?
We believe that the more opportunties that artisans can be given to show their skills, the more likely people are to become involved in the Arts & Sciences. We also believe that the Kingdom MoAS office can be an excellernt place to distribute and make information for readily available. We hope to do this through the Kingdom A&S website.
What kinds of things can people find on the Kingdom A&S website?
We have images from recent A&S events, report forms for local officers, and messages from the Kingdom Ministers. We hope to have links to excellent A&S exemplars and other information in the future.
What are the best and worst parts of your position?
The best part is the opportunity to meet the many excellent artisans of Æthelmearc, to communicate our love of the Arts and Sciences to others, and to travel throughout the Kingdom and be of service to the Crown and people.
The worst part is trying to gather reports from local officers. It can be frustrating from time to time.
Where do you see Arts & Sciences in the SCA or the kingdom going? Are there any changes we should expect coming?
We hope to see the Arts and Sciences continue to grow. As we said before, we hope two annual events will occur: the spring Arts & Sciences Faire and the autumnal Kingdom A&S Championship. We hope to see small local events dedicated to the Arts and Sciences continue to develop and flourish. We also hope to see more focused A&S Symposia occur as local events. We want to help and encourage more new artisans to grow in our Kingdom.