Thursday, October 2, 2014

American Craft Week celebrated in Philadelphia and all over country

CHARLOTTE, NC—It began as a small, grassroots effort to enhance the knowledge and appreciation of handmade craft. Now celebrating its fifth anniversary, American Craft Week is a well-established, national event celebrating the tradition of American craft in artists’ studios, galleries museums, schools, and festivals.

This year’s official celebration will be held Oct. 3 - 12, and for the first time all 50 states are participating, including the District of Columbia, and three foreign countries (US Army bases in Germany, Japan and South Korea). A highlight among the thousands of events taking place all over the country is a national event, Spinzilla. This has been described as a “monster of a spinning event” that has been designed to raise awareness about the value of handmade craft while raising money for the NeedleArts Mentoring program created by the National NeedleArts Association.

A few of the local events featured are: Vermont celebrates American Craft Week with over 300 events all over the state including the Vermont Statewide Open Studio Tour. Maine is featuring to promote Maine Craft Weekend. Mendoco Californa combines Wine and Craft. Googleworks celebrates American Craft in Reading PA. Asheville, North Carolina celebrates with Open Studios and Food in the River Arts District. Virginia participates with its annual art show at The Mill in Edinburg that will include Open Studios, a Pop-up Art Market, and the outdoor showing of the new PBS show, Craft in America: Service.  The community is also invited to join in making a collaborative piece of art. Fargo North Dakota features flower making at the Fargo Library.  See also list of events in major markets at

“American Craft Week has caught the imagination of so many supporters,” said Diane Sulg, founder and co-chair of the event. “With the growing appreciation of both artisan products and American-made goods, craft is highly regarded for its strong design, quality materials, expert workmanship and enduring value.” Since its inception in 2010, American Craft Week has grown from 240 to more than 1000 participating events, all inviting the general public to enjoy a wide variety of educational, commercial, charitable and festive ways to celebrate craft.

Co- chair, Sherry Masters points out that American Craft Week is having considerable growth in the cultural tourism arena.  “Many regions have found American Craft Week an excellent way to attract visitors. Organizers wrap a large number of craft-related events, artist studios, and galleries into a large celebration, and market it to both locals and tourists.” In the coming year, American Craft Week officials hope to attract more arts councils, arts districts, and tourism organizers to use the marketing power of American Craft Week to create distinctive, interesting events.

American Craft Week invites participation from every corner of the American craft community.  “The very essence of our event is to bring together everyone who is involved in craft, whether they make, sell, exhibit, celebrate, collect, or just plain love craft, to help put it in the national spotlight,” says Diane Sulg.  “You can design your own craft-centered event and become part of this national movement.” For more information, go to

The fifth annual American Craft Week will be held Oct. 3-12 in cities and towns across the nation. With hundreds of diverse events at galleries, artist studios, museums, schools, as well as fairs and festivals, it is the premier public celebration of handmade craft in America. American Craft Week is a program of Craft Retailers and Artists for Tomorrow (CRAFT), a trade association dedicated to the growth and vitality of American craft. For more information, visit

Major Market Events

 Washington, DC
Appalachian Spring, the gallery that has brought beautiful handmade objects to the nation’s capitol for many years, is celebrating their 45th Anniversary during American Craft Week. Their celebration includes artist demonstrations, sweet treats, and “Trade Up for Handmade.” Just bring a generic coffee mug to the store and get 20% off on a new handmade mug. Appalachian Spring has two DC locations, in Georgetown and in Union Station.

The Indian Craft Shop is maintained by the US Department of the Interior at 1849 C St. NW.  The shop represents American Indian arts and crafts from across the US, including jewelry, pottery, fetish carvings, beadwork, weavings, basketry, sand-paintings and sculpture. The knowledgeable staff can tell you about the native traditions behind each piece and show you work representing all levels of craftsmanship from emerging artists to the very well-known.


Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Fine Craft Fair, Rittenhouse Square, Oct. 10, 11 & 12
The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen brings American-made fine craft to the autumn environs of Rittenhouse Square for a second year.  During the 3-day event, patrons can peruse and buy original, hand-crafted works of contemporary furniture, functional and decorative pottery, designer clothing, fine jewelry, blown glass, and more. The Guild’s juried show brings craft lovers and collectors products of excellent workmanship, creative vision, and unique style.

Heart of the Home Gallery, 28 S. Main St., New Hope, PA
If you want to enjoy a fall drive from Philadelphia, consider the picturesque borough of New Hope which lies on the west bank of the Delaware River.  Here you’ll find Heart of the Home Gallery.  For American Craft Week they are presenting a trunk show with Connie McIndoe of Hopewell Pottery.  Her nature inspired work will be on display October 4, 5 & 6.


Eliot School, 24 Eliot St., Jamaica Plain, October 5, 6 pm
Bust out your knitting needles and unravel an experience unlike any other! In conjunction with American Craft Week, the Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts presents Yarn Bombing, a fun and unique way to express creativity by embracing the urban environment. Participants will attend a talk and demo with JP Yarn Bombers, and learn about the process of executing stealth art in public places. Come and hear about their artistic adventures, see examples of their work, and partake in a little creative mischief yourself. All are welcome!

Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Ave, Lowell
Wearable Art Extravaganza at Western Avenue Artist Studios: from the mild to the wild. Artists from all media will be creating and showcasing wearable art. Attendees will see everything from traditional clothing and earrings, to drag queens, all in “wearable” art. This event will raise money, through your generous donations, for children impacted by HIV/Aids. The event will begin at 6:30 pm following open studios and the artist reception in the Loading Dock Gallery. Cash bar and refreshments will be available. Suggested donation is $10 per person, $15 per couple.

Paradise City Arts Festival,  30 Industrial Drive, Northampton
Paradise City Arts Festival celebrates 20 years of remarkable art, stylish crafts, great food and cool jazz on Columbus Day Weekend, October 11-13. This is one of the country’s premier arts and craft festivals with 275 painters, sculptors and fine craft makers from every corner of America.  They fill four buildings and a giant tent at the County Fairgrounds in Northampton. Paradise City Arts Festival has been a sponsor and supporter of American Craft Week since its inception.

Valerie’s Gallery, 26 State Street, Newburyport
Visit this historic seaport town north of Boston and make sure you stop in at Valerie’s Gallery, one of the area’s fine galleries of handmade American craft.  During American Craft Week, October 3-12, they want to improve your beverage service.  Just bring an old, mass-produced mug into the gallery, and they will exchange it for 20% of a new American hand-crafted beauty.

ACW 2014 ~ Putting the National Spotlight on Craft

1. Meet the Potters of Deer Isle, Maine
If you are in Maine the second weekend of October, you will be surrounded by Maine Craft Weekend, held Oct. 11 & 12.  This American Craft Week event showcases Maine artisan crafts and breweries with open studios and special events throughout the state.  One scenic recommendation is to visit the potters on Deer Isle.  At the Greene Ziner Gallery you will see the exquisite work of potter Melissa Greene as well as the forged iron furniture of Eric Ziner and the work of other local craftspeople.  They are located in a gorgeous 1820’s post and beam barn at 73 Reach Road.  (For more info look under Maine at )

2. Glassblowing with John Chiles in Orwell, VT
First off, we must tell you master glassblower, John Chiles, makes gorgeous glass. And it’s created in an idyllic setting, a rustic barn in the scenic Vermont countryside. As part of American Craft Week, he is giving demonstrations on October 4 and 5, and even more exciting, he will assist both adults and children in making their own glass holiday ornament. His studio is located at 690 Rte 73, in Orwell.  Learn more at

3. Wine Country Craft, Mendocino, CA
With its official celebration, “Mendocino County Celebrates American Craft Week”, this beautiful part of California is alive with the arts.  Touring the wineries?  On Oct. 3-5, at  Hadley Cellars in Philo you will be treated to delicious wine and food pairings., On Oct 12,  come to meet Monika Schulte Bisping, owner of the Bird House, exhibiting her handmade ceramic creations. Learn more at www.americancraftweek/mendocino 

4. Arts Festival Reading at Goggleworks
If you haven’t been to Goggleworks in Reading, PA, put it on your bucket list!  Named for the safety glasses which were once manufactured there, it is one cool arts place. On October 4 and 5, the Reading Arts Festival is there along with more than 30 open artist studios, hot glass demonstrations, music and more. This is a beautiful juried show in a very fun place. More info at and

5. River Arts District, Asheville, NC
If you would like to see more than 170 working artists, head to the River Arts District in Asheville. On Saturday, October 11, there are open studios, demonstrations, activities and restaurants all housed in 22 former industrial buildings in this great city for the arts.
Learn more at www.americancraftweek/wnc 

 6. Annual Art Show at the Mill,  Edinburg, VA
Would you like some history with your art?  Then come to the Edinburg Mill. Originally built in 1848, the mill was in continuous operation as a grist mill until 1978 and is one of the few mills  NOT burned by Sheridan during the Civil War. Now a museum and visitor center, the mill features art and craft by Shenandoah artists from October 11- 19. For more information, look under Virginia and Shenandoah at www.americancraftweek/participants.

6. American Craft Week at the West Vliet Street Distict, Milwaukee, WI
The studios and galleries in this creative district have joined in a celebration of Milwaukee-made art and craft.  Free events on Oct. 3 and 4 include Open Studios, a Pop-up Art Market, and the outdoor showing of the new PBS show, Craft in America: Service.  The community is also invited to join in making a collaborative piece of art.  Complete info at:

8. Flower Making at the Fargo Library, Fargo, ND
The Fargo-Moorehead area is gearing up for a large American Craft Week celebration. one fun activity for both adults and teens is whimsical flower making at the library. These lovely blooms can be made in any style and color to decorate gifts, parties, and more! Program is offered Oct. 6 and 11.  For details check under North Dakota at www.americancraftweek/participants 

9. Spinzilla, Nationwide, USA
Spinzilla is a “monster of a spinning event” where competing teams and individuals challenge each other to see who can spin the most yarn in a week! Spinzilla 2014 will be held October 6  through 12. In 2013, Spinzilla's first year, over 600 spinners spun nearly 1.4 million yards of yarn. This year, there are over 1,000+ registered spinners, so the hope is for enough yarn to go coast-to-coast. The program is a fundraiser for the NeedleArts Mentoring program.  Look for more info at Nationwide events,

10. Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon, American Craft Council, Minneapolis, MN
Help update our knowledge and information about America’s women artists. Come to the ACC’s Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon during American Craft Week to focus on adding information about female craft artists to Wikipedia.  It will be held Saturday, October 11, from 10 -3. at the ACC Library, 1224 Marshall St. in Minneapolis. It is free, with refreshments, and you are invited to attend for as long as you like.  More info:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Madison Art Guild Celebrates 100 Years during MMoCAs Gallery Night & American Craft Week

Friday, October 10, 2014
5-9 pm

Madison, WI – 2014 marks the centennial celebration of the Madison Art Guild.  Join us in celebration of inspiring art and artists in the Madison area on October 10th from 5p-9p, at CafĂ© Zoma, 2326 Atwood Ave. This exhibit will highlight 10 members and is presented in conjunction with the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s Gallery Night and American Craft Week (October 3-12, 2014). 

Featured artists include: Steven Kozar, Ruth Manning, Beverly Gordon, Daryl Sherman, Donald Sylvester, Trudi Theisen, David Carpenter and Louise Joyce.  Kerri Shannon and Charmaine Harbort will join us during the reception for a trunk show highlighting their extensive lines of jewelry. 

The Madison Art Guild is a non-profit organization of over 100 artists in south-central Wisconsin. Their purpose is to interact with other artists, share knowledge, provide artistic support and encouragement, offer educational experiences, exhibit member work, and advance the appreciation of art.  MAG artists work in a wide variety of visual art forms including ceramics, drawing, fiber, jewelry, painting, printing, sculpture, stained glass, photography, watercolor, wood, and more. MAG supports community outreach programs, scholarships for art students, exhibitions, art fairs, critiques, and workshops; as well as, exhibit their work in international, national, regional and local shows, and competitions.

Please join us in celebration of this momentous occasion for the Madison Arts Guild and the member artists. Enjoy live music by Phoebe Frenette and Friends and light refreshments will be served during the reception.  The exhibit will run October 6th – November 1, 2014.

Contact: Meghan Blake-Horst, 608-347-0267 or
Photographs available upon request


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sponsor Spotlight: SNAG - Society of North American Goldsmiths

Established in 1968, SNAG's mission is to advances jewelry and metalsmithing by inspiring creativity, encouraging education, and fostering community. SNAG envisions a diverse jewelry and metals community engaging in thoughtful conversation and critical discourse while preserving tradition and embracing innovation.

SNAG holds a yearly conference and publishes Metalsmith magazine. Metalsmith gives you a front row seat on the world of studio art and design in contemporary jewelry and metalsmithing. It’s smart, beautiful and provocative, and guaranteed to inspire and invigorate. Coverage spans contemporary makers, artists in their studios, edgy work, production jewelry, fashion, hollowware, furniture, collectors’ collections, and much more.

For more information about SNAG visit

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Event Idea: Kids Craft Event

Our participants are always looking for new ways to celebrate American Craft Week this year. Here's a great way to get your community involved...

Plan a simple, kid friendly craft. Parents can shop while the kids are crafting. These kids are the craft artists, colletors, retailers and buyers of the future. Get them excited about American Craft now!

During ACW 2012, Maddi's Gallery in Charlotte, NC had two events just for kids. In one, a local art instructor led kids in making a vase from air-dry clay over glass. They used the millifiori technique, making rolled canes of clay, then slicing them and joining the slices over the glass.

Do you have a gallery specializing in glass? How about having the kids do a "Chihuly-Inspired" melted cup project?  Then they can take home their very own colorful masterpiece!

For other ideas, check out our Kid's Craft Ideas board on Pinterest.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Event Ideas: Empty Bowl (or Mug)

Our participants are always looking for new ways to celebrate American Craft Week this year. Here's a fun idea...

ZIG ZAG Gallery in Centerville, OH holds their annual Soup for CERF+, An Empty Bowls Event during American Craft Week. For a $10 donation customers get a handmade ceramic bowl filled with soup donated by local restaurants. It's a great fundraiser that their customers look forward to every year & raises money for a great cause.

For a little something different, instead of an empty bowl event, how about having an empty mug event? This would be particularly great in a colder climate. Use crock pots or coffee urns for people to fill their purchased mugs with coffee, hot chocolate or apple cider.

Whatever charity you decide to pair up with, make sure you ask them to send an announcement to their supporters and to post it on their Facebook page. And don't forget that press release to all of your local news outlets!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Contest: American Craft Is...?

Win $250 by showing us the answer!

Send us a photo of a piece of handmade American craft. Make it a great picture, a real glamour shot. It can be your craft, or someone else's. Along with the picture send us ONE WORD to describe it. Our graphic design team will add your word to the picture, see the example below. The best ones will be posted on our website and Facebook page during ACW. The one with the very best combination of a photo and descriptive word will win the Grand Prize of $250! That's it, how easy!

Here are the rules:
Accompany your photo with the following information:
  1. Your ONE WORD description
  2. Your name, address, and email
  3. All entries must be submitted by Friday, September 12, 2014.
The contest is open to everyone except the ACW committee and their families.
All entries must be submitted by Friday, September 12, 2014.
All entries become the property of American Craft Week.

This contest was inspired by the 2013 photo campaign by The Laughing Dog Gallery in Vero Beach, Florida. Here is one of their postings: American craft is ...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Event Ideas: Have a Screening of Craft in America

Our participants are always looking for new ways to celebrate American Craft Week this year. Here's an easy & fun idea...

Participants of American Craft Week are invited to screen a new episode of Craft in America: Service as a free-to-the-public sneak preview event, or on continuous loop during galleries' Craft Week festivities from October 3-12, 2014.  Craft in America will be happy to provide a DVD (55 min. looped version) and promote your screening/event on the Craft in America website, Facebook and Twitter. Don't forget to send a press release to your local news organizations.

Craft in America: Service
From the origins of the Army Arts & Crafts Program and the G.I. Bill to contemporary soldiers and veterans, Craft in America continues the journey to the origins, artists and techniques of American craft, documenting the power of the handmade to inspire, motivate and heal. Service is scheduled to air nationwide on PBS November 2nd. 

Please contact Beverly Feldman - for more details

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sponsor Spotlight: Southern Highland Craft Guild

A participant since the beginning of American Craft Week and now a 2nd year sponsor – the Southern Highland Craft Guild represents 6 galleries and close to 1000 artists who reside in mountain counties in the 9 state region of the Appalachian Mountains.  The Guild dates back to 1930 and is headquartered at The Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville, NC.
For over 80 years the Guild has been “bringing together the crafts and craftspeople of the Southern Highlands for the shared benefit of education, conservation and marketing”. This mission is fulfilled through integrated educational craft demonstrations at retail outlets and expos, free educational community events, and an extensive public library located at The Folk Art Center.

The next community events are Clay Day on June 7, Wood Day on August 9, and Heritage Weekend on September 20-21.

The Guild’s newest gallery, The Southern Highland Craft Gallery, hosted American Craft Week’s filming of our Kickstarter video! 

We are thrilled to have the Southern Highland Craft Guild back this year as a Sponsor of American Craft Week!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sponsor Spotlight:

Since the inception of American Craft Week, has been a major sponsor and supporter of our event, and 2014 continues that trend. is again joining as a Major Sponsor for the 5th consecutive year, and we are very excited to have its continued partnership in promoting and celebrating American Craft. is the premier online marketplace for retailers of American Craft and is the producer of American Craft Retailers Expo (ACRE) shows in the United States.  Its online marketplace serves the market by connecting American Craft retailers with over 1200 American and Canadian wholesaling artists in a juried, high-quality online environment.  To further support the market and add value to the relationship building between retailers and artists, ACRE produces three shows annually in Philadelphia, Las Vegas and New Jersey.  It also publishes quarterly Buyers’ Guides to round off their solid offering to the wholesale craft market.

American Craft Week thanks for their long-term involvement in our movement to support, promote and celebrate the industry.  If you are interested in learning more about its trade shows and online marketplace, please visit,, and

Friday, April 11, 2014

Participant Spotlight: Anchorage Markets of Anchorage, Alaska

American Craft Week is delighted to welcome our first 2014 sign-up from Alaska. During the second weekend in October, Anchorage Markets will present a craft show of all handcrafted and certified Made in Alaska products at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in downtown Anchorage. All 1179 permit holders of the Made in Alaska program are invited to sell locally made products. The event is a great place to bring family, friends, and visiting tourists.

The Made in Alaska program’s mission is to identify and promote products made, manufactured, or handcrafted in the state. Alaska's businesses manufacture high quality products for markets in Alaska, domestically and internationally. Made possible by Alaska’s Division of Economic Development, artisans and businesses may apply for a Made in Alaska permit for each product or product line made 51% or more in Alaska. Value-added processes of these products must be accomplished in the state, and raw materials from outside Alaska are permitted only when specific resources are not available locally. Items that meet these high standards proudly display the Made in Alaska logo of a bear and cub. “Bear Necessities” workshops and webinars offer small business support to craftspeople throughout the largest state in the nation.

If you live near or plan to visit Anchorage this fall, do not miss this grand Anchorage Markets event! Not only are you guaranteed to have fun, but you will also support the noble Made in Alaska movement. Find more information about the festivities at

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Student Art Month Engages Southern Vermont

BRATTLEBORO, VT – If you’re a parent, you’ve likely put your children’s artwork on the refrigerator or on a shelf to show your appreciation for their work. It shows that you care about your child’s creative side and makes you feel good, too.

So, what if your child had the opportunity to show his or her work to the whole community? Would it encourage him to do even more?

For the past 34 years, the Arts Council of Windham County has highlighted the artwork and craft of students in southern Vermont for the entire month of March. Opening receptions and an awards ceremony at the end of the month draw hundreds of visitors.

Art teachers, working with grade school through high school students, select artwork, pottery, sculpture, hand-made books, photography, puppets, and more to display at various venues throughout town.

Grade school artwork and pottery is displayed at the local library and in storefront windows.

This year, the two-dimensional work – drawings and paintings – of area high schoolers is being displayed on the walls of the Boys and Girls Club.  Photography is being shown at the Insight Photography studio. And, pottery and sculpture from six high schools is displayed at Vermont Artisan Designs & Gallery 2.

One visiting parent summed it up: “It’s great to see your own child’s work, but it’s also good to see how they are doing when compared to others. It’s so good that you’re allowing them to be seen in a real gallery setting.”

And, who knows, the budding artists may decide to make art a career.

For more information, see and also, referring to the Ovation pages. Or, to do something similar in your community, check with your local art teachers.

By Greg Worden

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

ACW Launches A Cultural Tourism Initiative

  American Craft Week is a great tourist magnet!  Using examples from across the country, we have created an ACW Tourism Kit that tells you how you can make this celebration a fun and profitable event for your town, region or state.

Funded by our Fall 2013 Kickstarter campaign, the kit is housed in a fun suitcase folder.  It contains our basic 2014 Participant and Sponsor brochures, plus the all-important Roadmap.   The Roadmap highlights five distinct areas of the country which have had successful ACW events.  Then it goes through a step-by-step process you can use to create your own custom craft-centered tourist event.

The Cultural Tourism kit is perfect for arts and entertainment districts, arts councils, tourism officials, and convention and visitor bureaus.  If you need one, or know someone who does, let us know at

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cultural Tourism Kits In Progress

Thanks to everyone who supported our Kickstarter project, our Cultural Tourism Kits are in the works and should be ready to start shipping out by the end of January. We love the folder design, that all the information will be inside. What do you think?