Jonathan Schwartz, ICEFAT Steering Committee Chairman

Being a former student of anthropology and history, this period, the Age of Corona, is like any other plague year. There is amazing data about human behavior beginning with the epidemic during the Justinian era, and sadly, human nature doesn’t disappoint.

Meanwhile, the Steering Committee of ICEFAT has been staying the course, and with our Secretary General, has set a date for the annual convention, which according to our Articles of Association, must be held in order to record the events of the year and memorialize them for a final entry by our lawyers in Geneva. Can you imagine? We have to get a minimum of one representative from each of our 76 (we have two new members this year, welcome Crozier Zurich and Museum Complex of Hungary!) to suffer through yet another Zoom meeting?

Well, we will keep it brief. We’re not sadists, you know. And we have some important things to discuss besides the basic mechanics of accepting motions and other maintenance. We have a vote on the ongoing Standards process, where we will hopefully accept the Pilot Program for 3rd party and absolutely impartial vetting of new applicants. You know what that means, right? Validation by a prestigious and accountable auditor that will stand up to scrutiny. It means that the ICEFAT brand will be stronger than ever.

Also, we get to stare at each other through rare earth flat screens and smartphones while lamenting about how things were when we could see each other in person. When we could laugh about silly things you all might find to be terribly boring, shipping company in-jokes, without having to worry about droplet and aerosol viral contaminants.

Yet, with all of this tumult, our industry survives, and culture will continue to need us, whether to satisfy the tastes of the global elite or to facilitate a traveling exhibition. That’s not to say it will be easy, but the ICEFAT colegial way is to help one another so that we can get to the other side of this historic event and once again, fly to another location and say to each other, “job well done”.

Until then, wear your mask, wash your hands, don’t sing out loud in public and stay safe.