The Pen Collectors of America (PCA) will co-host Pens & The Post Collect: Correspond, and Celebrate! It will be held on May 29, at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum (SNPM). Members of the PCA will join museum volunteers and staff to offer families and friends a fun and educational experience. Kim Svabik, who initiated the event, is the self-professed organizer, marketer and “chief cook and bottle washer.” She says the whole thing was initially inspired by a chance meeting with Tadas Osmoskis, a docent at the SNPM, who stopped by the PCA table at last year’s Washington, DC Supershow. Following are Kim’s answers to a few of my burning questions.
Nancy Olson, Ink: What do you hope to achieve as a result of this family event?
Kim Svabik: The mission of this event is to make the pen community relevant to this generation and fill in the missing links for the postal community, since every letter sent first had to be written with a writing instrument. It's a beautiful story that the Postal Museum and the PCA are willing to tell it.
NO: What events will be held during the day?
KS: The events start Friday evening, the 28th, with an awards reception for the two students from Chicago who won handwriting contests sponsored by TTPatton in Chicago. She worked with principals, teachers, and fifth-grade students to have a fair writing contest, and the two winners received a paid trip with a family member to the event in DC. Thank you Theresa Patton, a dedicated PCA member in Chicago. Also, we will be honoring Tadas for seeing value in a relationship between the museum and the Pen Collectors of America. There will also be Pens for Kids workshops and pen collecting workshops for adults by Ralph Stillwell, and Fahrney's Pens will host a handwriting workshop as well. Eight different tables will fill the museum atrium representing different facets of pens, pen collecting, and pen use… There will also be a PCA booth.
NO: What does the future hold…will this be an annual event?
KS: We are already talking about 2011, and we are researching the possibility of a reception during the DC Supershow at the museum this August.
NO: Anything else is you’d like to share?
KS: Alan Shaw of Shaw Pens is making a pen to commemorate the event that will be awarded to Tadas. He will also provide pens for the two Chicago contest winners. Fahrney's Pens is playing a large role in the event, as well, making it the perfect "go to" place after the pen fires are stoked. The Pens & The Post logo was designed by Jim Vakaloupolos of Flint, MI