The phrase “Arts and Sciences” is widely used in the Society to cover the huge variety of medieval knowledge and skills available to explore, either theoretically or practically. For some people this means researching and cooking period dishes, for others, hand-crafting their own armour or performing music for an appreciative audience.
For everyone it’s a chance to try their hand at all kinds of activities – and for some it’s an opportunity to develop a high level of skill or expertise.
Getting involved in “A&S”
Whether you arrive in the SCA as a complete beginner at a particular activity or bring with you many years of experience, you’ll be welcome to join in and encouraged to participate or share your knowledge. Many activities are affordable and easy to get started – and there will almost always be someone in the Kingdom who can help you to find a place to start.
Many events include classes run by fellow participants. These could include a practical introduction to a craft, a talk about the topic of someone’s personal research, or a presentation of their latest project. Some examples from event schedules around Drachenwald include Italian bobbin lace, Pre-Norman Irish food and Heraldry in War and Tournament.
Local groups may run their own crafting days. These could, for example, involve working together on a silk painting at a revel, getting together at a local paint-your-own pottery or a member hosting a ‘crafternoon’ at their own home, with everyone working on individual projects.
Rewards and recognition
Creation is often its own reward. Making or decorating your own medieval clothing means you have clothing to be proud of. Brewing delicious beer means you and your friends have delicious beer to drink!
The society also recognises people’s work in the arts and sciences. Some events include displays or competitions, where people present the results of their study and/or creative efforts. And there are awards given to those who advance in their skills, who teach others and who generally help to make the society more beautiful, more entertained, better armed, better dressed, better fed and better informed about the medieval period. The highest award in the Arts and Sciences is membership of the Order of the Laurel.