New ACC Conference "Present Tense" - The Current State of Craft, October 13 - 15 in Omaha, Nebraska

October 13 - 15 in Omaha, Nebraska

ACC’s 2016 national conference will draw together an essential group for a conversation about the current state of craft. The aim is to challenge, inspire, and educate existing members of the craft and design community and engage new audiences through open conversation and dialogue, emphasizing an intergenerational exchange of ideas, priorities, and prerogatives.

Accomplished by a wholly new conference format, “Present Tense” offers two and a half days of active dialogue, featuring three distinct characteristics — pairs of speakers in moderated conversation, scheduled time for participatory common-interest conversations among attendees, and no concurrent programming, allowing all attendees to foster a sense of community through their shared experience. Participants include students, emerging and established artists, researchers and scholars of the field, individuals representing organizations that promote craft, funders and supporters of craft, and those simply interested.

With Kaneko, ACC has found the perfect partner to host this group and provide inspiration for continued conversation. Omaha is a wonderful host city — a burgeoning creative capital in the United States. It’s a community empowered to think differently about a wide range of contemporary issues and with a demonstrated track record of using creative, community-driven projects to bring people together.

“Present Tense” attendees are also invited to attend the celebration of the 2016 American Craft Council Awards, including installation of the College of Fellows and the presentation of the Gold Medal for Consummate Craftsmanship, the Aileen Osborn Webb Award of Philanthropy, and the Award of Distinction.


  • Tanya Aguiñiga, fiber artist
  • Sarah Archer, independent scholar
  • Nancy Callan, glass artist
  • Tino Chow, co-founder A Better World by Design
  • Sonya Clark, ACC trustee / chair of the Department Craft and Materials Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Fabio Fernández, executive director Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston
  • Nicholas Galanin, artist
  • Susie Ganch, jeweler/sculptor
  • Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez, ACC trustee / president of North Bennet Street School
  • Jessica Hische, lettering artist
  • Ayumi Horie, ACC trustee / studio potter
  • Amos Paul Kennedy, printmaker/activist
  • Stuart Kestenbaum, ACC Board of Trustees chair and former director Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
  • Lydia Matthews, ACC trustee / director Curatorial Design Research Lab at Parsons School of Design, The New School
  • Jean McLaughlin, executive director Penland School of Crafts
  • Tina Oldknow, former Corning Museum of Glass curator
  • Bruce Pepich, ACC trustee / executive director and curator of collections at Racine Art Museum
  • Paul Sacaridiz, ceramist/director Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
  • Mark Shapiro, potter 
  • Rosanne Somerson, furniture maker/president, Rhode Island School of Design
  • Michael Strand, ACC trustee / associate professor and head of visual arts at North Dakota State University
  • Otto von Busch, associate professor at Parsons School of Design, The New School
  • Anna Walker, ‎MFA Houston Windgate Foundation curatorial fellow for contemporary craft 
  • William Warmus, independent scholar
  • Namita Wiggers, ACC trustee / author, director and co-founder of Critical Craft Forum

More information and registration here.

Scholarship Information here.

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Comment by Brigitte Martin on June 15, 2016 at 5:56am

I am already room sharing with another SNAG board person, sorry, but so happy to be able to see you there!!!

Comment by Harriete E Berman on June 14, 2016 at 10:03pm

I am going.

Does anyone want to share a room?

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