New entry category for this year’s Kingdom Arts & Sciences/Bardic championship
cap·stone. n. [ˈkap-ˌstōn] 1. The top stone of a structure or wall. 2. The crowning achievement or final stroke; the culmination or acme.
I’m excited to introduce a new entry category in the AS XLVIII An Tir Kingdom Arts & Sciences Championship. We’re calling it a Capstone entry, and it’s intended for advanced artisans who want to truly challenge themselves with a master work or thesis defense level project. For example, you could: build an entire clothing ensemble “from the skin out”; perform several musical or dramatic works within a theme or of a specific style; or discuss the evolution of an object or activity throughout SCA period. Documentation would, of course, need to be comprehensive and fairly extensive, including resources, techniques, deviations, and context.
Because it’s a bit different than the current standard entry, and to accommodate the depth and breadth Capstone entries will have, we’ve also made some changes to how they’ll be presented and judged.
Capstone entrants will have up to an hour to present their entry, including extensive discussion about their creation or preparation process, resources, tools or instruments, issues and solutions, and the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of it all. They’ll be judged on the following elements, with a maximum of 10 points for each, for a maximum 60 total points:
- Technical ability – the level of technical prowess in the execution of the object, performance, written work or composition.
- Authenticity – how close does the entry come to its period counterpart?
- Oral presentation – how well does the entrant present their entry and findings to the judges? How well do they field questions?
- Creativity – is the entry a replica of its period counterpart, or does the entrant create something unique?
- Documentation – does the entrant clearly outline the process, use relevant and creditable sources, acknowledge and justify deviations from period methods and materials, and present the process and findings in a clear manner?
- Ambiance/Display – does the entrant create a space for the entry that provides context, and contributes to the overall experience and presentation (i.e. performers wearing clothing appropriate to the time period of their piece; food entries presented in appropriate vessels, etc.)?
Its not all that different than the existing format, but the expectations for Capstone entrants is, as you might imagine, quite a bit higher. To facilitate that, we’ve made some adjustments to the judging of these entries as well.
Since it is expected to be quite extensive, entrants are required to apply and present an outline of their presentation to the A&S minster by 12th Night. If qualified and accepted to do a Capstone, their documentation is due to the judging team two weeks prior to the competition so there is time to read, fact check, and prepare questions. The judging team will then meet before the competition to align their ideas about what they want to see, and ensure their expectations and standards are at a similar level to one another. After the presentation, on the day of the competition, the judges will have up to 30 minutes to confer with each other, and will have an opportunity to return to the entrant with further questions.
The judges will then confer with the Crown and the Minister of Arts & Sciences to determine whether the entrant has scored well enough to be considered successful. If they are deemed so, the Crown will present them with a Capstone as a reminder of their hard work and achievement.
It’s new. It’s exciting. It’s an opportunity to really explore something that interests you. This year will be a trial run. We will see what we learn about the process.
I’ll be talking about this more in the coming weeks, but please feel free to get in touch if you want more information! Artsci at antir dot sca dot org.