Message from the Costumer’s Guild West President regarding Costume College 2020

The Costumer’s Guild West Board met Sunday via Zoom; a week earlier than previously announced in the March 9th statement on social media and in the email sent out to all Costume College attendees, teachers, committee members and vendors, due to the changes in policies of the State of California and the City of Los Angeles. To protect public health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, the California Department of Public Health announced a recommendation that gatherings and events of more than 250 people should either be postponed or cancelled until further notice from March 16, 2020 forward.  Additionally,  continuous monitoring of health advisories by CGW Board members and recent statements by the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, have made it clear that it would not be safe to move forward with plans to hold Costume College this July.

On April 19, 2020, the Costumer’s Guild West Board voted, along with the consensus of the Dean, Registrar and Hotel Liaisons of Costume College, to postpone Costume College 2020. Currently, the plan is to hold Costume College in late July or early August of 2021 (dependent upon scheduling with the Warner Center Marriott),  continuing with the same event themes and bonus track from the postponed 2020 event. Our current Dean, Geri Rex, has agreed to continue as Dean for 2021 along with Assistant Dean, Gina Cowley.  Our goal is to transfer as many plans and events as possible from Costume College 2020 to Costume College 2021.

Each committee head and assistant will be approached by Dean Geri to see if they wish to continue in their position for 2021. Normally, not all committee heads are finalized until the November Costume College meeting, so there is plenty of time to see how this all plays out. Vacancies will be filled as needed by the Dean and approved by the Board, as always. We know that some teachers will find that they are unable to join us for 2021 and so some classes will change. Once again, there is plenty of time to sort this out.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

Want to transfer 2020 membership to 2021: If you want to transfer your 2020 registration to 2021, you do not need to do anything now. Your registration will remain the same for 2021 as it was for 2020 and when registration opens for 2021, you will be sent a code that allows you to confirm your registration information and make any needed adjustments.  Additionally, you have until September 30, 2020 to change your mind and follow the refund information below

Want a refund for Costume College 2020: If you would like a refund for your 2020 Costume College registration, including Tea and/or Gala tickets, please email Becca Metzger at cocoregistrar@nullyahoo.com BEFORE September 30, 2020 for a full refund. Any requests AFTER September 30, 2020 will be subject to the stated refund policy on the Costume College Website.

Those attendees who paid by check and wish a refund: The Costumer’s Guild West Board is authorizing our bookkeeper, Natalie Meyer, to issue checks in the amount paid towards any aspect of Costume College (Costume College registration, Gala tickets, and Tea tickets) to those registered attendees who paid by check and wish a refund. Check stock is being ordered, along with envelopes and stamps. Checks are first printed, sent on to the Treasurer, Eileen Smolenski, for signing and then mailed out. This may take up to three weeks as these two volunteers work around their personal schedules to fulfill the needs of Costumer’s Guild West and Costume College. This will cost CGW the cost of check stock, envelopes and postage, which will be paid for by CGW’s bank reserve.

For those attendees who have paid online and wish a refund: The Costumer’s Guild West Board is authorizing the Costume College Registrar, Rebecca Metzger, to issue refunds thru MSI (the online payment system used by CGW) in the amount paid towards any aspect of Costume College (Costume College registration, Gala tickets, Tea tickets) to those registered attendees who paid online. Those attendees that paid separately or at different times for registration and a tea or gala ticket, will receive reimbursement in the same manner as payment (multiple reimbursements as opposed to lumping them together in one payment). This is because MSI requires that reimbursements be made per transaction.  MSI will charge CGW $10.00 per transaction, which will be paid for by CGW’s bank reserve. As our volunteer Costume College Registrar is a working mother and there could be over 600 transactions to be processed, this may take over three weeks to complete.

Scholarships:  Anyone who has been awarded a scholarship to Costume College will be able to use it for 2021 OR 2022. For those scholarship recipients who had registered for Costume College 2020, please let Becca know at registrar@nullyahoo.com if you wish to transfer it to Costume College 2021 or put it on hold until 2022 by September 30, 2020. If we do not hear from you by September 30, 2020, we will assume it is on hold for 2022. Those who were granted travel money will be contacted individually by the Scholarship Chair, Colleen Crosby.

Hotel: Thankfully, due to the way our Hotel Liaisons, Bridget Bradley-Scaife and Maegen Hensley, set up this year’s Costume College hotel room reservations, any attendee who has requested a hotel room through the Costume College Hotel Room sign up, has not been booked through the Marriott and so does not need to cancel a reservation. If an attendee reserved a room on their own through Marriott, they need to let Marriott know, stating they are cancelling their reservation at the Warner Center Marriott due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Due to the many changes in travel arrangements, room requirements, and roommates, Hotel Room Requests will not carry over to 2021. Therefore, Hotel Room Requests for 2021 will open up again in the beginning of 2021 and signups will start from scratch.

Vendors:  All vendor fees will be returned in the manner in which they were initially submitted. Checks will be sent out to those who paid by check and online reimbursements made to those that paid online. Those vendors who were accepted for 2020 and who apply for 2021 in the time set up for 2021 applications, will be given priority.

Trunk Show: All Trunk Show fees will be returned in the manner in which they were initially submitted. Checks will be sent out to those who paid by check and online reimbursements made to those that paid online. Those Trunk Show applicants who were accepted for 2020 and who apply for 2021 in the time set up for 2021 applications, will be given priority.

Los Angeles Monday Fabric Tour: Los Angeles Monday Fabric Tour: The Los Angeles Fabric Tour scheduled for Monday, August 3, 2020, is cancelled for 2020. All those who purchased tickets for this tour will be issued a refund to the original payment method for the cost of the tour whether they are requesting a refund for Costume College 2020 or rolling their registration over to 2021. Sign-ups for the 2021 Tour will start from scratch. 

Transfers: We will not be accepting requests for transferring your 2020 registration and or tickets to another person for Costume College 2020. We advise you to request a refund instead.

Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures and while we are saddened to take this action, we know it is the right decision.

 As a footnote, there have been several questions on social media concerning online costuming classes. In March, the Costumer’s Guild West Board created a committee to look into this, even before we had any thoughts of canceling Costume College. This committee is currently working out the logistics for online classes and workshops. Please check back on the Costumer’s Guild West website and in upcoming issues of Squeals for more information as it unfolds.  In the meantime, there are weekly virtual sewing circles for CGW members hosted by Director at Large Colleen Crosby and Sunday Night Costume Movies presented by Directors at Large Shawn Crosby and Colleen Crosby.

 We eagerly look forward to the time when we can all meet again in person and share the community we all love and enjoy. We also urge everyone to follow the recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and your local health officials.

Mela Hoyt-Heydon

Costumer’s Guild West President