YarnFest 2017 – an update

An Open Letter from InterweaveHere is the official response from John Bolton, returning General Manager of Interweave:

“We apologize for the communication around Yarn Fest. We are listening. We have made several mistakes during this process and we want to do our best to make it right. Effective immediately, we are offering all instructors a $1,000 honorarium for travel, hotel and lodging. This honorarium should provide each instructor the funds to pay for their travel expenses for the days they’ll be teaching. In addition, we will be increasing the per student fee we pay each instructor. Lastly, we are removing some portions of the contract that are unnecessary and too restrictive to the instructor. The new contracts will be sent to the instructors by Wednesday September 21st, 2016. We hope this change in policy will properly indicate our respect and admiration for the instructors and the yarn community.

Last month, I returned to Interweave and F+W after over three years. I left the business based on some of the very concerns that have been voiced over the past few weeks. I was as distraught as anyone to see some of the decisions that were made. I came back to Interweave because I believe that we can reinvigorate the Interweave brand and business by being a partner within the communities we serve. I assure you that we will be transparent, and act with the long-term interest of the community. Give us a chance to surprise you with our integrity and commitment to all of you.

John Bolton
Interweave GM
F+W Media, LLC

Me again – will I be teaching YarnFest in 2017? I am not 100% sure yet. I spoke on the phone with John for over an hour on Friday and now I am waiting for the new contract offer to come in writing. I also want to run a few more calculations to see if I can make this offer work for my business. I liked talking to this man and I think he had some good things to say about the way forward for Interweave and for its content producers and consumers.
What I don’t want – what I never wanted – is a boycott of the event. There were teachers who were going to teach there, even though I had elected not to. The vendors were locked into their contracts months ago who would face serious losses if people stayed away from the event in droves. A boycott would have made our voices heard in the community but not without losses to BOTH sides.
So thanks for reading. Thanks for sharing, and commenting and discussing. Most of all, thanks for caring about a #FairFiberWage. We were heard!

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