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Hip Pop

Deadlines, fees, and acceptance criteria

Hip Pop participants at the 2015 ACC Baltimore show. Photo: Horace and Mae Photography

Hip Pop participants at the 2015 ACC Baltimore show. Photo: Horace and Mae Photography

Hip Pop participants at the 2015 ACC Baltimore show. Photo: Horace and Mae Photography

Photo gallery (4 images)



Hip Pop is a bridging program designed to help emerging artists enter the high-end craft show market.

The Hip Pop program is designed to provide artists with:

• A reasonable point of entry to an established marketplace

• Access to a well-educated, affluent audience that appreciates the value of craft

• Engagement with established makers and a supportive community of fellow emerging artists

• A high level of exhibitor support, including a dedicated program manager plus marketing and public relations support.

The Hip Pop program uses a community-based “pod” structure to provide a supportive atmosphere for participating artists. Hip Pop pods are 20 x 10 ft. inline booths containing six individual units measuring 4 ft. wide x 2 ft. deep x 8 ft. high. Each Hip Pop pod will be comprised of a community of six artists. Click here to see scale illustrations of Hip Pop pods and units, including individual unit design options.

Each Hip Pop unit includes:

• A unit structure of side and back walls

• A variety of interchangeable shelving and hanging rod options

• Electrical service, basic lighting, and extension cords

Each pod also includes the following shared resources:

• A shared central counter to display and sell work

• Under-counter storage

• Shared seating

The Hip Pop pods will be placed across the show floor at all our 2017 shows allowing guests to discover them on their shopping journey.

Artists have the opportunity to participate in the following shows:

• Baltimore wholesale/retail (February 22 - 26)

• Baltimore retail-only (February 24 - 26)

• Atlanta (March 17 - 19)

• St. Paul (April 7 - 9)

• San Francisco (August 4 - 6)


• Artists who have previously shown in traditional booths with ACC will not be permitted to participate in Hip Pop. Past participants in School to Market and AltCraft are eligible for Hip Pop.

• Artists working in all media (basketry, ceramics, clothing and accessories, decorative fiber, furniture and lighting, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, stone, toys and puzzles, and wood) are encouraged to apply. Please review the "eligibility of work" section below to ensure your work meets the criteria for exhibition at ACC shows.

• Artists may participate in the Hip Pop program for up to three years. Acceptance to years two and three is automatic, pending on-site review.

• After three years, artists are eligible for automatic acceptance to exhibit in a standard show booth with a two-year contract, pending on-site review. Standard booth fees apply. Booth sharing will be allowed for these two years. After the two-year contract has been completed, artists must jury into the ACC shows through the regular application process.

• Artists are not required to participate in Hip Pop for three years before electing to move to a standard show booth. Artists interested in a standard booth after one or two years of Hip Pop participation should contact Lindsay Noble, Hip Pop program manager, to discuss options. Admission to the show is not automatic until three years have been completed.


What is eligible?

• Three-dimensional, handmade craft made in the United States or Canada.

• Small studio production work under the direct supervision of the applicant is acceptable. The American Craft Council reserves the right to require authentication of the production process as needed and at any time during the application and exhibition process.

What is not eligible?

• Commercially manufactured art

• Works assembled (wholly or in part) from commercially available kits are not permitted in American Craft Council shows. Such items, exhibits, and/or exhibitors may be removed from the show without prior notification and/or refund of booth fee. 

• Two-dimensional art such as paintings, prints, or photographs

• Mixed media that uses paint and canvas as its primary medium

• Screen-printed material

• Etchings, web- or sheet-fed offset printed matter

• Works that incorporate materials acquired from the killing of endangered species

• Elephant ivory (fossilized ivory is the exception)

• Dried or silk flower arrangements

• Bonsai

• Embellished commercially-made objects (e.g., T-shirts, notecards, etc.)

• The Council’s decision is final with regard to acceptability of exhibitors’ work.

A complete application consists of an application form and five images showing representative examples of the artist’s body of work. There is no fee to apply for Hip Pop. Applications must be submitted to the American Craft Council via the ACC Hightail drop box. Click here for details on how to submit your application, including how to name your files. Please submit all application materials together to ensure that your application is received and juried in its entirety and with accuracy.

Application deadlines for 2016 shows are as follows:

• Baltimore (wholesale/retail & retail only): November 13, 2015

• Atlanta: November 13, 2015

• St. Paul: December 2, 2015

• San Francisco: March 9, 2016

Jury Process
The jury process will be completed by a curatorial committee. The committee may elect to accept, reject, or waitlist an application. Committee members will review all applications for each show immediately after the application deadline or by:

• Baltimore (wholesale/retail & retail only): November 30, 2015

• Atlanta: December 2, 2015

• St. Paul: December 23, 2015

• San Francisco: April 6, 2016

Waitlisted applicants may be accepted into the shows on a space-available basis with notifications provided no later than the following dates:

• Baltimore (wholesale/retail & retail only): January 4, 2016

• Atlanta: January 8, 2016

• St. Paul: February 26, 2016

• San Francisco: June 10, 2016

Application Image Requirements
The image files that are submitted as part of an application must be an accurate representation of the objects as they were originally photographed. Acceptable manipulations include: size of the file, background, lighting, shadows, contrast, color correction, and/or adjustments that do not affect the object itself.

Application images will be used by ACC’s marketing department to promote individual artists, the Hip Pop program, and the ACC shows as a whole. All images submitted must be high resolution (at least 300 dpi at 5 x 7 in. or larger).

Contact Information and Publication
All information collected is used in show directories (name, partner name, city, state, website and/or email, phone number) and on show websites (name, partner name, company name, city, state, website). Please review this information carefully before submitting your application.

Booth fees for a single Hip Pop unit are as follows:

• Baltimore wholesale/retail: $795

• Baltimore retail: $550

• Atlanta: $550

• St. Paul: $550

• San Francisco: $550

Booth fees cover the following:

• Space rental

Hip Pop “pod” structure

• Electrical service

• Basic lighting

• Booth sign

• Listing in show directory

• Listing on public website

• Five free guest passes                                      

• Exhibitor badge and one assistant badge

• Promotional materials (postcards, electronic flyers)

• National advertising campaigns

• Discounted tickets on public days

Booth fees DO NOT cover:

• Ancillary services such as shipping and wireless internet access (exception: wireless internet access is provided to all exhibitors free of charge at the St. Paul show)


• Accepted exhibitors must agree to abide by the general terms and conditions of the American Craft Council shows as stated on this page.

• Exhibitors must be full-time residents of the United States or Canada, and all work must be produced in the United States or Canada.

• Exhibitors must be professional, capable of producing work of consistent quality, and responsible for fulfilling orders obtained at an ACC show.

• All work in ACC shows must be original and created by the exhibitor or under the exhibitor’s direct supervision. Exhibitors must display only their own work, not that made by others.

• All work must be original and handmade in the United States or Canada. Small studio production work under the direct supervision of the applicant is acceptable.

• Exhibitors must present work consistent with the type and quality represented in the application submission. In addition, work of inferior quality or inordinate proportions of work not represented in the image submission is not permitted.

• Exhibitors must attend their work in person for the duration of the show. Exhibitors’ employees may not substitute for the exhibitor. Sales representatives are never permitted.

• Booth displays must remain intact until the show ends.

• Exhibitors must have a valid state sales tax permit from each state in which they are participating in an ACC show. Exhibitors are responsible for collecting and reporting sales tax where applicable.


• After signing a booth contract, all participating artists will receive a Hip Pop program manual with answers to frequently asked questions, lists of suggested items to bring to the show, marketing tips, and other helpful information.

• All artists will have access to the program manager for support with individual inquiries both prior to the show and on-site.

• The program manager will connect the members of each pod for communication before the show.

• Artists will be partnered with an experienced ACC exhibitor in a buddy program so they can get advice and ask questions.

• A Hip Pop orientation will be held during set up at each show to demonstrate pod structure set up and provide a forum for participating artists to meet the program manager, get to know each other, and ask questions.

Hip Pop Emerging Artist Award
Hip Pop participants are uniquely eligible for a new award, designed specifically to recognize the talents of this new pool of artists. One awardee will be selected from the Hip Pop participants at each ACC retail show. This award is juried and sponsored by the trustees of the American Craft Council as a part of the Council’s efforts to support the professional development of emerging artists and strengthen economic opportunities within the craft field. Awardees will receive automatic admission to exhibit during the following show season and will receive a free Hip Pop unit or a discount of $550 off a traditional booth (preferred option to be selected by the awardee).

Awards of Excellence
Participating artists are eligible for consideration for the American Craft Council’s Awards of Excellence. Awarded by a changing roster of jurors selected for their contributions to their area arts communities, the Awards of Excellence are given in recognition of excellence in quality of work or for individual booth design. Past jurors have included curators, practicing artists, and scholars. Awardees receive monetary remuneration of $500 and automatic admission to exhibit during the following show season.

In addition to the awards for individual work and booth design, the ACC is proud to partner with the Collectors of Wood Art and with the Hambidge Center in the presentation to two unique awards. In Baltimore, the Award of Excellence in Wood Art is presented by the Collectors of Wood Art in recognition of an artist working in wood. The awardee receives a monetary remuneration of $500 and automatic admission to exhibit during the following show season. In Atlanta, the Award of Excellence Hambidge Center Residency is presented by the Hambidge Center in recognition of an artist’s connection to the unique natural environment promoted by the center. The awardee receives a two-week residency and automatic admission to exhibit during the following show season.

The ACC promotes its shows with the help of highly skilled public relations firms that have a pulse on the local marketplace in each of our show cities. We also work with media buyers that track the latest trends for reaching diverse audiences. In 2016, we will focus our efforts on national, regional, and local media prior to each show and throughout the year.

We feature our artists’ work on the ACC website, in digital and print ads, via social media, in special show preview sections of American Craft magazine, and onsite via comprehensive show programs and colorful navigational signage.

Our shows annually reach nearly 50,000 collectors and craft enthusiasts in Baltimore, Atlanta, St. Paul, and San Francisco.


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