The A&S Criteria
This page is one person’s attempt to explain how entries in various arts and sciences competitions are evaluated against a set of criteria. This is a personal interpretation and does not delineate SCA policy.
First, to define “criteria”.
Criteria – noun
1. A basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated
2. The ideal in terms of which something can be judged
In this Kingdom, the second definition of criteria is the focus. Entries are not judged against one another, but against “the criteria” – an ideal.
Because the Arts and Sciences covers so many different topics, “the criteria” is used to judge pieces entered in Regional and Kingdom level Arts and Sciences competitions. These criteria have been divided into five separate divisions. The divisions are:
But what do these divisions mean? (Click on the headers to see a list of categories in each division.)
The performance division is for those arts that are performed for an audience. It includes dance, dramatic performances, literary arts (Poetry, Prose, Drama, etc.) – including spoken performances, music performances – including composition of said music, and physical performances (think acrobatics). Of course, there is a “miscellaneous” category, to cover those performance arts that were not thought of when the criteria were put together.
The textile division covers those arts that involve clothing, fabric creation, making threads/yarns, dyeing, all the various forms of needle arts (including needle lace and beading), and lace making. About the only textile art not covered is crochet, since it is a much later technique (c. 18th century or so).
This division covers all those arts and sciences that use some form of technology. This is for our makers. It covers armor making, weapon making, musical instrument making, tool making (of all sorts), and making things out of bone, antler, wood and metal. Interestingly enough, this is also where the category of research falls.
The studio division covers all the studio arts – calligraphy, illumination, pottery, sculpture, painting, drawing, decorative metalwork, lapidary (stone cutting and faceting), leatherwork, glasswork, ceramics, paper, and the making of things used in the studio arts.
This last, but by no means least division covers all things domestic – and yummy. This division is where you find the cooking and brewing categories as well as those sciences devoted to the raising, breeding, and care of various animals – food and otherwise. Herbs and apothecary sciences (or arts, depending on how you want to view them) are also in this division – as is toy making.