ACC Conference - Why the ACC is more famous for football than craft?

A rude awakening.
When I told a distant relative that I was blogging for the ACC Conference she was blown-away impressed, shocked, surprised!!!!!.....until she found out it was not THE ACC, the Atlantic Coast Conference (college football), it was just the American Craft Council Conference. (Although a D.I.Y. jewelry maker, she had never heard of them.)

A second blast to my ego arrived upon finding out that the blogger who writes "Monday Morning Quarterback" gets 1 million readers each week. (I'm not sure if it's per day or per week, I'd take a million either way.)

The Point
Our society spends tons of money and time on many other discretionary purchases even in this tough economy. People spend $80 for a football ticket and not on a pair of earrings or a handmade ceramic bowl. And I ponder how the arts end up being such an orphan.

While it is very entertaining to see Helen Drutt saying that "Martha Stewart doesn't belong at this Conference" (visualize Helen standing at the podium, indignant, proud and outrageous all in one moment), I think we make a big mistake trying to be exclusive in the arts and crafts club.

Why does the established studio craft world feel threatened by the D.I.Y. movement? Why do the art and craft elite feel a need to divorce themselves from Martha Stewart and any other amateur craft effort? Why were the ACC Conference Convenings "by invitation only?" Who are they afraid might come?

Another issue is that if ACC were doing their job as an umbrella organization for the crafts, they would be offering medical insurance programs, insurance/liability programs, legal advice or referrals for artists, establishing standards for on line juries, promoting the Professional Guidelines for the Arts Community, and acting as a political advocate in Washington, D.C. This is just to name a few issues and is not a comprehensive list.

While “shows like the Bazaar bizarre, Renegade, Handmade Arcade, and Twist” offer artists a platform for selling their work, I am not aware that they are advocates for artists offering these other programs like medical insurance, insurance/liability programs, legal advice etc.

Artists and makers would greatly benefit from umbrella organizations to stand up for broader issues establishing laws and advocacy for the arts.

To read more from this blog post and the comments so far CLICK ON: ASK Harriete

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Comment by 2Roses on November 3, 2009 at 11:20pm
Right On, Harriete. As Pogo said, "we has met the enemy, and he is us." Crafts have become marginalized because we have become insular elitists talking only to ourselves. Reinventing ourselves will require making craft relevant to the greater public life once again. Political advocacy is necessary step we have avoided to our detriment. Its time for SNAG to step up and grow up. They could use your vision a little higher up the food chain.

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