This is a series of Q&A articles the Gazette is conducting with members of the Pennsic staff.
Q&A with The Honorable Lady Helena Sibylla, Deputy Mayor of Cultural Affairs for Pennsic War 42
What Pennsic activities does your office cover?
Cultural Affairs includes most of the non-martial activities at Pennsic. We include Performing Arts, Pennsic University, European Dance, and Middle Eastern Arts. The Period Games Tent, Artisans’ Row, and the A&S Display are also part of this division.
Do you need volunteers? What kind of skills would be useful for them to have?
Yes, we always need volunteers! The most needed section is the University, where we need volunteers to help staff University Point throughout the War. It would be useful for volunteers here to have some basic knowledge of the layout of the Pennsic grounds so people can be directed to all the different locations where we have classes and activities. Being patient is also helpful – people have lots of questions!
Is there a particular activity or change to an activity that you’re excited is happening?
I’m always excited about the University – this is where I got my start as part of the Pennsic staff team – the sheer number and variety of classes we offer is really amazing. The new arrangement of the University and Performing Arts block will also be interesting to see this year, since there will be something of an enclosed courtyard that is different from the previous arrangement.
What one thing do you wish people knew about your activity?
I wish more people realized the amount of activities we offer throughout Pennsic! I think sometimes people get focused on their one particular area of interest and miss out on fun stuff happening elsewhere. Come and see a performance! Take a dance class! There’s lots more to Pennsic than just fighting or parties.
What about your area of responsibility interests you?
I really like the variety of Cultural Affairs. It’s a big division with a lot going on, so it keeps me on my toes!
What advice would you give someone who wants to hold your position in the future?
Familiarize yourself with as much of the Cultural Affairs division as you can. Try to volunteer in some different places to get a look behind the scenes and see how each department functions and what’s needed. There are always things you won’t find out until you’re the one responsible for solving a problem, but it helps to have some understanding of how things work.
On a personal note, what part of Pennsic do you most look forward to?
I really enjoy the camaraderie of our camp and its neighbors – we all work together on many things to make the Pennsic experience enjoyable for all of us. It’s also nice to get away from many of the electronic demands on our daily lives. Finally, I really, REALLY love it when the big military airplanes do their flyovers!