In July 2022, the Marty Gear Fund approved Philip Gust’s application on behalf of the Silicon Web Costumers’ Guild (SiW) to support development of a webinar series drawing on the expertise of presenters located anywhere in the world, who will provide talks, workshops, tours, and how-to demos about topics of interest to costumers. The webinars will use the ICG’s Zoom conferencing system. They will help promote the ICG and further its educational mission.

The initial three or four webinars are scheduled to begin in the fall of 2022 and continue through the summer of 2023. The initial presenters will be members of the costuming community of Ukraine, who will address Ukrainian costuming and folk wear topics. SiW intends to offer presenters from diverse communities world-wide an established channel for sharing their expertise. Presenters also will be encouraged to prepare written contributions to The Virtual Costumer, SiW’s online magazine. If the initial series is a success, SiW may expand it to include workshops to give hands-on instruction to participants.

The grant, of $800, will help SiW cover expenses associated with developing and presenting an initial series of webinars and making them available at no cost to participants to help build an audience for the series. The initial webinars will enable it to gauge interest, establish a format, and explore ways to make the webinars sustainable and self-supporting in the long-run. SiW will share this experience with ICG chapters and SIGs.

The Ukrainian presenters will receive honoraria of about $200 each for their work. Other presenters may or may not be given honoraria, depending on circumstances. However, ICG members will not be eligible for honoraria paid from the grant.

SiW will provide the Fund short reports following each webinar and its board’s assessment of their success. A final report will include details on the logistics of developing, presenting, and promoting the series, issues encountered, and an overall assessment of the series’ success.

The Marty Gear Costuming Arts and Sciences Fund was created in 2014 to make grants to any member of the ICG for innovative projects and activities promoting the art and science of costuming, either in a specific locale or in the community as a whole. Past grant recipients have included Miss Lizzy’s Traveling Historical Fashion Show, the Costume-Con Visual Archive, and the Transformations: CosplayPortraiture Project. To date, the Fund has never denied a grant.

The Fund is named in honor of Marty Gear, a founder of the ICG and a strong supporter of costumers branching out and trying new things. It is supported by a combination of ICG membership dues and the generosity of individual and institutional donors. For more information, including a complete list of all approved grants and information on applying for a grant, contact Byron Connell at or visit the Marty Gear Costuming Arts and Sciences section on the ICG website.