President’s Message

It wasn’t that long ago we were wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and here we are —–one month of 2018 and it is history!  I am sure everyone is in the warmth of their studios working on new crafts for this year.  It is a good time to work on our crafts because it is just plain cold out there.  Well, let’s face it.  Old Man Winter is here and it looks like he’ll be around for several more weeks.  On February 6, 2018, we will be having Robin Wheeler from the Pennsylvania State Guild present a program on Facebook.  This is a program that could benefit a lot of our members who already are on Facebook or who want to be on Facebook.  The program begins at 7:00 PM at the Goggleworks.  Our Board of Directors and our members who are on the show committee are looking forward to this program.   We are trying to learn the best way to reach the public about the opportunities that the Reading-Berks Guild of Craftsmen has to offer for craftsmen and aspiring craftsmen.   Using social media to get information out to the public is a must and we certainly are looking forward to Robin’s program.  I know getting to meetings for some of you is difficult because of the drive, but I highly encourage you to try and get to this one.   Our business meeting will follow and I as your president I welcome your presence and input at this meeting.  It is the impetus that I am looking for to get us off to a great 2018!
We  are looking forward to working with the Pennsylvania German Heritage Center at “Easter on the Farm” on Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 10 Am to 4 PM.   Patrick and Naomi and our board are very excited about the Guild Village at this big event.  “Easter on the Farm” is the first of three events that take place each year at the Heritage Center and we are “eggstatic” about being there.  Also in March, we will learn of our date for our 69th Annual Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Festival that will again take place in the beautiful Michael O’Pake Field House at Kutztown University,  As soon as we know the date, we will get the application on our website and out to all of you.
I do want to remind all of our members about membership renewals with the State and Reading-Berks Guilds.   If your membership expired at the end of 2017 and you did not get a renewal notice, please contact the state immediately to get this rectified or contact me or any member of Reading-Berks Guild of Craftsmen Board.  We will help you get in contact with the right people.
Until I see you, my friends, I leave you with this thought,  “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”  Vince Lombardi.

Your President,  Barry L. Bennecoff


February 6, 2018, 7 PM GoggleWorks, Making the most of your Facebook Account by Robin Wheeler (Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen).   This will be useful not only to for our Chapter’s Facebook interactions but also for your personal/business accounts.   Please make Robin feel welcomed and attend this important meeting!

Also, our VP will be reading the bylaws changes for the 2nd time.  These changes will be voted on in March.

March 6, 2018, 7 PM GoggleWorks, We will be taking a stroll through the Berks County Intermediate Unit (BCIU) Student Art Show on the
first level of the GoggleWorks.   Plan on being impressed by these high school students work!

April 3, 2018, 7 PM GoggleWorks,  Our newly Juried  Members will be proudly presenting their work.

Programs Chair:   Matt Varjdan


Due to a scheduling issue with the Kutztown University, we will not have a Spring Festival this year.   However, the PA German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University has invited us to join their Easter on the Farm in a much bigger way than we have in the past.  See information below.

The Holiday Festival is in the planning stage and we are making great progress.   We should know the dates of the show in March/April timeframe and will have the application up on the website as soon as possible.

Show Chairs:   Terry & Judy Boyer


Let me start by saying thank you to all my guests who appeared on “Your Berks Craftsmen” in 2017.  Craftsmen are a very unique bunch of people.  Some are shy, some aren’t.  Some think they don’t have much to say and can’t be a guest on this hour long show but I have proved that wrong.  I have learned that even the most shy, non-talkative craftsman, once I get them started talking about what they are passionate about, the hour is over and they still have a lot to say.  So when you get the call to be on the show, just know, you will be just fine AND you will be doing a great service to the public through education of your craft and appreciation of art, craft and continuing to grow interest in hand made craft.
February’s “Your Berks Craftsmen” will again take you on a continued tour of the Kutztown Folk Festival.  In March, we will talk with craftsmen who will be in the “Guild Village” at” Easter on the Farm” on March 24, 2018.  In April, we will take you on a tour of the Berks County Intermediate Unit Art Show that takes place in February at the Goggleworks.   This a major event for our Guild because this is where we do our student awards.  Our Education Chairperson Carol Haile will host this event and we will talk with some of the amazing students and learn about their winning entries through an up close and personal interview by Carol.  Stay tuned,

“Your Berks Craftsmen” Host,  Kay L. Bennecoff

PS:  We have “Your Berks Craftsmen” shows on our website  dating back to early 2015!


Four (4) Mini Grants, in the amount of $50 each will be randomly drawn at the Reading-Berks Chapter’s regularly scheduled meeting at the Goggleworks on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.

Winners will be drawn from applications (completed in full) and submitted by the deadline of Monday, March 19, 2018.  Entries must be received at our Reading-Berks Chapter PGC, ATTN. Carol Haile, Post Office Box 85, Mohnton, PA  19540 by that date.  Those received after that date will not be included in the drawing.

Mini-Grant Applications can be found at

February 24 to March 11 is the Secondary Art Exhibit presented by BCIU.  For more details on the Exhibit and the schools that will be participating this year go to  Reading-Berks Guild of Craftsmen is proud to continue the Stanley G. Seltz Student Awards Program which offers cash awards to students who exemplify high levels of design mastery and use of materials.

Education Chair,  Carol Haile


Did you Renew your Membership?
If you have been a member of the Guild for over 5 years, your renewal date is December 31. If you have joined in the last few years, your renewal date is whatever date you joined. Unsure, please double check especially if you are a Master Craftsman. The state did have issues sending out renewal notices, some people got e-mails others did not. You can pay for your dues by calling the state 717-431-8706 and giving them your credit card number.
If you are a life member, you will need to print the renewal form from the state website, fill it out and get it to Carol Haile so she can pay the dues to the state for our life members. Questions, please contact Carol Haile: 610-374-7048. State life members will just need to update their information with the State by calling 717-431-8706.

Membership Chair,  Mike Brown


Next jury session will be the March 13th. You must be a member for 3 months to be eligible. More information and application is on

Standards Chair,  Louise Mehaffey

Community Support

Reading-Berks Guild of Craftsmen is supporting the Conrad Weiser Homestead by sponsoring Artisans In The Park.


The Newsletter is now a blog on our home page  You can get to older issues of the Newsletter by clicking on to read more posts under the current blog.   Only a small portion shows up on the home page so be sure to click on read more.
Be sure to tell your friends that may want the Newsletter to either contact me at and give me their e-mail address or to go to  If they do not use a computer, please be kind and print a copy of the Newsletter for them.  I really appreciate your help in keeping our members and former members in touch with us.
If you would like something published in the Newsletter, please send information to  by the last Thursday of the month.   It will be placed in the next months issue.   The exception to this will be March’s issue, which I will need your information ASAP, as I will be unavailable at the end of February.

Newsletter Editor,  Sandra Jones