Letter from America: Looking back and looking ahead

Rarely does an organisation exist a century or more, but that’s the mark the National Costumers Association has reached this year, 2023. The group was founded in 1923, and naturally, we plan a major celebration for its 100th birthday. Before I discuss the party, though, let me share a couple of observations about the group’s history. 

I’ve only been involved with the NCA since 2014, so my perspective is short. But in those years, and especially in the past year as we’ve

Ed Avis, executive director of the National Costumers Association
Ed Avis, executive director of the National Costumers Association

researched the association’s history in preparation for the centennial, I’ve observed a few key things. Let me share three with you.

First, since the beginning of the organisation, personal business concerns have routinely trumped organisational loyalties. Case in point: The president of the NCA, Pam Markel, has been reading old association publications and came across a 1927 article written by one of the NCA’s founders, John Hansen, who reported that when he crossed the United States seeking members to join the group, nearly everyone figuratively slammed the door in his face. They all thought he was trying to steal their great ideas. Fortunately, he eventually found enough fellow travelers who believed in the value of sharing ideas, that the NCA was launched.

To read the full column from Ed in the digital issue of Progressive Party Europe, simply click here.

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