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2018 AGM Kansas City MO
Four days of being immersed in Jane Austen with fellow Janeites is a particular joy of the Annual General Meetings. This year the theme was based on the novel, PERSUASION, and 200 years of Constancy and Hope.
The hotel was the lovely Westin Crown Plaza which welcomed the attendees with a lot of joy and efficiency. The hotel rooms were spacious and the venues were wonderfully managed. On Thursday tours and special events were offered with my personal highlight at the end of the day---a visit by actress Amanda Root who spoke about making the 1995 film and read for her personal journal. Although we were reluctant to let Ms Root stop, the lure of seeing THAT film was enough to get everyone quiet. Sitting with several hundred fans all sighing at the exact same scene, laughing together and generally having a fantastic time was an experience I will long cherish.
Friday and Saturday were full of listening to the plenary speakers and attending break out sessions. John Mullan delighted all with his quick wit and deep analysis of Austen, Sheryl Craig offered a view of money in the time and the economics of Great Britain were foreshadowed in PERSUASION, a circumstance that the readers of the time would have caught. Sheila Hwang focused on the “watering holes” of the C18 and how the locations were integral to the plot of the novel and Gordan Laoc, who unfortunately could not attend in person, delivered a fascinating talk about sailing in the time of PERSUASON and the British Navy in specific.
At the JASNA Business meeting Liz P Cooper was elected to sere as the next President, Debra Roush will be the VP for Regions, Erika Kotite is the Publications VP, Linda Slothouber for Conferences, Secretary is Julie Arnold, Laurie Morrison is the Treasurer and Carol Medine Moss will be taking over Membership. I have the reports of each officer who submitted them. If anyone is interested, please see me.
At the RC meeting it was announced that a new virtual region for MT and ND has been started and OK is looking to restart using that format as well. We were urged to keep sending Regional events into National as there has been a significant increase in those accessing that information. Members ae encouraged to access the Portal on the National web site for updates to their contact information. Renewals online increased substantially and greatly helped get the information updated. There will be another tour with Pathfinders featuring NORTHANGER ABBEY and that announcement will be in January 2019. During the AGM in Williamsburg in 2019, JASNA will be celebrating its 40th anniversary and a committee is working on ideas to commemorate that date. The protection of data will be a focus of the 2019 JASNA team. We need to comply to the EU regulations to continue to be in touch with our Euro partners. A Committee has been set up for these rules which will include historical and financial information. In 2022 the AGM will be in Victoria BC, so the list is Williamsburg, Cleveland, Chicago and then Victoria.
Treasurer urged quick submission of the yearly report so they can get the taxes completed on a timely basis. Membership reported a 7% increase. They suggested a meeting where HOW TO USE THE NATIONAL DATABASE was discussed with demonstrations. The JASNA Survey showed that 77% of the members never go to anything outside of their region so keeping that element vital and productive is very important. We were reminded to seek out the Script pages online and use the program grants…..Minnesota was given a shout out for applying and being awarded a grant which we are using for the November 2018 event. There are also traveling lecturers who we can invite to speak. The AGM concluded too soon but what lovely memories we have.
Janice Millford MN JASNA Regional Coordinator.