Starting a Special Interest Group (SIG)

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are a way for members with a common interest in a particular aspect or genre of costuming to pursue their interest and share information. Unlike chapters, SIGs are independent of the geographical location of its members. SIG members can live anywhere. The only requirement for being a member of a SIG is to belong to at least one ICG chapter.

If there is no ICG SIG covering your area of interest, it’s easy to start one with as few as six members. Here is a checklist that will help you get started.

  1. Check the list of ICG SIGs. Ideally, a focus of interest in a particular aspect or genre of costuming is represented by one SIG. However, interests represented by SIGs can overlap if their main focus, genre, or aspect of costuming is distinctly different. If there is already a SIG with a similar focus to yours, it is recommended that you discuss your proposed new SIG with them to iron out any potential problems. You may decide that it is more to your advantage to join an existing SIG than form a new one with only a minor difference in focus.
  2. Get together a minimum of six interested ICG members who will be SIG members to petition the ICG Board of Directors for affiliation. We recommend you obtain a copy of the By-Laws and Standing Rules. The formation and operation of SIGs is goverened by Standing Rule 32.
  3. Choose a name for your SIG. SIGs can have unofficial nicknames as well as official names.
  4. Select a board of officers for your SIG. At minimum, you must have a Chair. If your SIG plans to collect dues, you should also select a Treasurer. SIGs do not pay dues to the ICG, since SIG members already pay dues through their membership in a primary chapter. Your SIG may collect dues from members to help defray expenses or support SIG programs.
  5. Write a letter of petition to the Board of Directors of the International Costumers’ Guild, requesting affiliation with the ICG. Your letter may take this form:”We, the undersigned, request affiliation with the International Costumers’ Guild as the (Name of SIG), also known as (Unofficial Name,if any) representing (intererst, genre, or aspect of costuming). Our chapter mailing address is (Address). Our officers are listed below. Attached is a list of our members. Please advise us if we have been accepted. Signed (at least six ICG members, including Officers).”Whatever form you use, please include all information; in parentheses in the above sample. The letter must be signed by the SIG organizer and list at least six ICG members including all your officers.. Send this letter of petition to the ICG President (see the officers page for the email address).
  6. Your petition will be considered by the ICG Board of Directors. New SIGs are admitted to the ICG upon majority vote of the Board. If your affiliation is approved, your Chair will recieve notification from the ICG President, and a letter of affiliation from the ICG Corresponding Secretary.
  7. Once your SIG is approved, it should do the following within the first 30 days:
    • Hold its first meeting to approve its bylaws and elect permanent officers.
    • Send the ICG Treasurer a list of names, addresses of all SIG members and officers. See the Reporting Membership web page for complete reporting requirements, and a membership reporting template with instructions on filling it out. Your SIG must make required reports to remain in good standing.

    SIGs do not have a seat on the ICG Board, but its Chair or other designated representative is welcome to attend board meetings and participate in discussions. The interest of all SIGs is represented on the board by the ICG Corresponding Secretary.

    See Tips for New Chapters and SIGs for useful tips about getting your new SIG off the ground.