CameronJuly 5th 2023

When the Neon Makers Guild was about to launch in 2022 there was one lingering question, would enough people see the value of such an organization and even more than that, would they join? The answer was a resounding YES!!

This past year we have barely been able to keep up.  There is so much need out there but also so many folks wanting to help out and get involved. There's lots of work to do but the years of bending in isolation are over! The roadblocks and "gates" that restrict learning are coming down. The inability to affect change, or have a voice, or have a VOTE, is no more. 

This year the Guild has been a whirlwind of activity with so many things all needing to be set up from scratch.  So far, we have set up a temporary Board made up of our founding members of 6 volunteers from the neon community to oversee the rollout of the Guild and opened the Guild up for Membership.  We've created a fully functional website with membership profiles, blogs, forums, not to mention a very needed neon classified section. (Thank you Robert Haus!!)  The Website has an incredible library of out-of-print and hard-to-find neon publications.  We also have a resource list to help members find suppliers and classes. 

In addition to the website, we have started an Instagram account to make getting Guild news and event announcements easier than ever.  These avenues of communication are vital as the Guild isn't just a website or social media account, it's a community. 

Have you heard about the Bender's Brunches?  Once a month there is a virtual meet up for all interested members of the Guild held on the third Sunday of the month. Benders can talk, ask questions of their fellow members, give demonstations or just hang out!  Previous highlights include the amazing Bing Reisling giving a demo on animating neon with arduino boards!  It was so intersting and just an example of the back and forth that is inspired by these critical "gatherings". 

The NMG has also been making a splash at as many neon related events as possible.  In September of 2022, the NMG was a presenter at Neon Speaks with Eve Hoyt, Danielle James (DJ) and Nick McKnight talking about the Guild's goals and plans.  In June of this year, The NMG was also present at the GAS conference in Detroit with Alleson Buchanan, Danielle James and Bing Reisling doing demos, showing off collected neon resource material and just talking to folks about neon and the role of the Neon Makers Guild. 

It really needs to be stressed that some of these events are not always easy for the Guild to get to..  The GAS Conference in particular was only possible because of a huge effort by all those involved.  We are stronger as a group of course, but there is always a need for individuals to make a huge difference. Thank you to everyone who has stepped up to make these kinds of events a possibility.  Looking ahead, the NMG would love to host actual in-person meet ups or even a NMG Neon Conference(!!), so there's lots to do and also look forward to.

By renewing your membership, or becoming a new member you help support these invaluable neon resources and strengthen the neon community.  Remember to also spread the word about the NMG at every opportunity!  Without the membership, there is no Guild!!

Yes, the Guild has come a long way in it's first year but there is still one big accomplishment to share... The Neon Makers Guild will, by the end of 2023, finish it's constitution and hold elections for ALL POSITIONS on the NMG Board, making the NMG a fully inclusive, cooperative and democratic neon institution.  We are so excited to announce this and look forward to all who help represent the Guild now and into the future.  -NMG Boardgas_2-jpg - 1008 x 756

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