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In 1993, a group of glass beadmakers met at the Bead Museum in Prescott, Arizona. They decided to call this meeting a “gathering” and to call themselves the Society of Glass Beadmakers (which later added International to the name). Included in this group were beadmakers from the New England Area. In 1994, Kristina Logan, one of the attendees, arranged a meeting in a Newburyport, Massachusetts living room, drawing on interested persons from the SGB and the Beadesigner International of Boston. Thus began what would later be known as The Boston Chapter.In 1996, Connie Pollard became the regional director of the SGB. In the autumn of that year, she sent mailings to about thirty people in the New England states, New Jersey and New York with some Sunday dates for meetings. Respondents started meeting monthly at member's houses and studios. When it was possible, members would see a live demonstration.The Boston Chapter, which had grown to 15 members by 1998, agreed to host the 6th SGB Gathering in Corning, New York. At the beginning of 1999, The Boston Chapter became an official chapter of the Society of Glass Beadmakers. In March of that year, the first bank account of the chapter was opened.Fund raising began in March, 1999 with a collaborative table for selling member's beads at the Urban Glass Exposition in Brooklyn, New York. In April of 1999, Carol Bugarin had a Demorama at her Fireworks Studio in Boston to raise funds. At this event, members were able to observe nationally-known beadmakers demonstrate their skills. Other fund raisers have been held over the years that include shows, collaborative tables and demonstrations. In March of 2000, the chapter received a tax number from the IRS and in 2001, one of the members was awarded the first scholarship to attend that year's Gathering. Since then the chapter has funded events, such as trips to Corning, Snow Farm Retreats, holiday parties and half-price scholarships, among others. Additionally, the chapter has given to CERF (Craft Emergency), the Tsunami Relief Project, Mr. Cedi, and Snow Farm.In 1999 and 2005, Gallery shows were held at the Worcester Center for Crafts. In May, 2001, The Boston Chapter had its first collaborative gallery show with the Metalworkers Guild at the Lexington Society of Arts and Crafts in Lexington, Massachusetts. These shows also occurred in 2004 and 2006.In April of 2002 the first Boston Chapter Bead Extravaganza was held in Watertown. These shows, at which only chapter members are allowed to sell beads, have continued annually. In August of 2003, the chapter hosted the 11th ISGB Gathering in Lowell, Massachusetts.In January of 2014 the chapter was renamed the New England Chapter - ISGB to be more inclusive of all New England glass artists. Currently the chapter continues to promote all forms of glass art in general and beadmaking in particular, and to educate our members, sponsor demonstrations, trips, scholarships, and gallery exhibits around New England.
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