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American Craft Magazine August/September 2011

Renewed and Improved

Chris Amundsen (ACC), Joan Olson, and Kelly and Geoff Gage chat at the St. Paul show preview party. Photo: Armour Photography
Chris Amundsen (ACC), Joan Olson, and Kelly and Geoff Gage chat at the St. Paul show preview party. Photo: Armour Photography
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It's been a big year so far. We had an amazing turnout at the St. Paul show in April, with 8,800 guests and 241 artists. And if you were there, you saw something new: Throngs of craft aficionados walking around with this magazine in their hands.

In the past, we've handed out a stand-alone show directory, but in an effort to introduce more people to our magazine and to bring a taste of the show to our subscribers, we published the St. Paul show directory inside the April/May issue of American Craft. The San Francisco show program is in this issue. We'd love to know what you think of the combination and encourage you to send us your thoughts ([email protected]). We would also love to see you in San Francisco: We'll set up shop at the Fort Mason Center, Aug. 12 - 14, for our final 2011 show, with a fresh batch of craft-inspired cakes to help us celebrate our 70th anniversary.

After months of soliciting feedback at listening sessions, we've also announced some changes for the 2012 show season. The Baltimore retail show will now be three days instead of four. We'll still have two days of wholesale before the public show begins, but we've added a new day of buyer and artist seminars before wholesale kicks off. We're also doubling the number of retail-only booths in Baltimore (and reducing wholesale/retail booths).

Finally, we are now actively recruiting artists for next year's shows in Baltimore, Atlanta, St. Paul, and San Francisco. This will help us keep the shows fresh, attract new audiences and artists, encourage innovation, and maintain our high standards of excellence in craftsmanship. We hope you'll join us next year for a promising new season - and stay tuned for even more improvements. If you're an artist, we want to know: Are you in? Head to craftcouncil.org/apply.

Last, but certainly not least, we received a grant of almost $28,000 from the Minnesota State Arts Board for a variety of new engagement activities at next year's St. Paul show; watch for more information. We're also pleased to announce that our library received a $1,500 grant from the Visual Resources Association Foundation to digitize the American Craft Council newsletter archives from 1957 to 1986.

Elizabeth Ryan is American Craft's interactive editor.

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