"Present Tense: 2019" Conference

"Present Tense: 2019" Conference

2019 ACC conference graphic


October 10 – 12, 2019
Loews Philadelphia Hotel

The American Craft Council hosts a national conversation on craft’s relevance as a powerful catalyst for navigating and making meaning in an increasingly complex present.

As an organization committed to connecting and galvanizing diverse craft communities, the American Craft Council invites artists, thought leaders, craft practitioners, curators, civic leaders, writers, critics, media makers, social activists, and all kinds to explore, challenge, and celebrate craft’s impact in American life today.  

Together, we invite you to mine the generative spirit on which the American Craft Council was founded, as we identify and confront the potentials in contemporary American life, affirm the necessity and power of making things by hand, and build a healthier craft ecosystem for moving forward.

Our collective conversations over the three days will guide subsequent retreats and programs, begin penning solutions, and collaboratively set a national stage for ways to take action and record our progress.  

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Three Days to Put Craft in Action


Thursday, October 10
Community & Agency: The Ecology of Craft

Our conversation begins by immersing ourselves in Philadelphia, a case study for a healthy craft ecosystem. How does making things make a place better? How does craft and maker cultures create community? What contributes to a healthy craft ecology, and what is missing?

Friday, October 11
Intersections & Innovation: Craft in Action

We dedicate Friday to exploring craft’s intersections with contemporary American life. What can craft offer American culture? What are the intersections and adjacencies between craft and other disciplines? How can we collectively cultivate these connections and use them to catalyze and sustain our future.

Saturday, October 12
Storytelling & Narrative: What We Talk About When We Talk About Craft

Objects – and the stories they embody and inspire – are catalysts for a deeper engagement with both the world and ourselves. How do different narratives of making lead to collective participation, personal reflection, and meaningful ways to live? On Saturday, we take time to share, listen, nurture, and transform.

The Program In Depth