Visit page
Press "Enter" to skip to content

Celebrate Certification Month Sip & Paint

Chris DeGrazio

By Chris DeGrazio

Since 2021 Margary Rogers, RPR, CRI, of Washington, D.C., an official reporter and NCRA Director, and I have collaborated to host informative and fun virtual Sip & Paint events in honor of Celebrate Certification Month. Combining lively music and insightful speakers, we seek to create a fun and relaxing environment where attendees can be creative and vibe out. 

Margary Rogers

Much of our profession utilizes our left brain, so it’s liberating and exciting to be on Zoom with like-minded people and exercise our right-brain muscles. It always surprises me how many talented artists and creatives we have in our field. Whether you’re incredibly skilled or can’t draw a smiley face, there’s room for you at our events.

To my knowledge Margary was the first one in our court reporting/captioning/CART space to host virtual Sip & Paints. She started them during the pandemic so that we could all be more connected to one another. Attendance has always been consistently ideal. For this most recent Sip & Paint, 50 people registered, and it was an intimate group where everyone could connect and contribute.

When you log on, you’re greeted with up-tempo music as we say hello to one another and catch up while we wait for others to join. Throughout the two-hour event, we take breaks and often play music so that we’re all just chilling and painting. It’s really nice to look up at the screen and see familiar and new faces all focused on a similar task and then be able to show each other what we’ve created.

Sherry Knox

Margary and I have collaborated several times on Zoom meetings focused on mental health. Last year we were grateful to be invited to speak at the Missouri Court Reporters Association’s virtual convention and host a Sip & Paint webinar focused on mental health. 

Margary makes it conveniently easy to explore your creativity. Using Canva, she creates a variety of templates for the various certifications, RSR, RPR, RMR, etc. Anyone who registers is able to download the template of their choosing. Then they can either print it out and trace it on their canvas, or they can order a blank canvas from Amazon, send Amazon the template, and Amazon will mail them a canvas with that template printed on it.

Registration is free when Margary and I host the event ourselves. If the event is hosted by a state association for a conference, there is likely an affordable attendance fee. 

It’s worth noting that you don’t need to sip or paint to attend. You don’t have to consume alcohol to participate. Water is just as good a beverage as booze. And if you don’t consider yourself to be artistic, there’s other things you can do instead. You can reply to emails, work on invoices, or just sit back and be in the moment with us. 

Angela Armenta

Another exciting part of our events are the giveaways. Margary and I love giving away court reporter swag. So if you attend there’s always a chance you might win something.

In addition to that, Margary created something called the “Cert Pot,” which is where reporters donate any amount from $5 to $50+ and it goes towards the Cert Pot. Students and/or new reporters can register for the event and let Margary know if they’d like to be added to the list of people eligible to win money that will go towards their certification test. Either at the event or leading up to it, Margary shares her screen or goes live on Facebook and spins a virtual wheel that has the names of everyone who’s requested to be added to the list. The requirement is that you must be testing in the upcoming testing cycle. From this Cert Pot numerous students and reporters have been able to take a leg of a speed test for free, and many have ended up passing the RSR, RPR, and other tests. Some have stated that knowing that reporters paid for their test made them practice even harder so that they could give it their all when they test. 

Mekailah Lenorah

Whether you attend one of our Sip & Paints or host your own or paint, draw, or crochet by yourself, take some time to invest in yourself and your creative side. When we live a more balanced life, we’re less likely to feel depleted in one area and unknowingly borrow energy from another area ultimately leading to an overall state of imbalance. Even if it’s just 10 minutes of reading a book or five minutes of adding a little bit to a painting you’ve already started, it’s worth taking the time. You’re worth taking the time.

If you’d like to be notified next year of future Sip & Paints and/or other fantastic events that Margary puts on throughout the year, email Margary at, and she’ll add you to her email list. 

You can also email me at, and I’ll add you to my list and email you next year once we have the details confirmed.

Chris DeGrazio is a freelance court reporter from Fort Pierce, Fla. He can be reached at