"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 tense and 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.  

Register now


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

Our conversation begins by immersing ourselves in communities. Communities can be both unifying and divisive, inclusive and exclusive, homogenous and diverse. We use this day to explore Philadelphia as a case study for a healthy craft ecosystem. How does making things make a place better? How does craft and maker culture make the community? What contributes to a healthy craft ecology, and what’s missing?  

Friday, October 11 – Intersections & Innovation: Craft In Action

What can craft offer? What can craft learn from? Today is dedicated to exploring craft’s intersections with contemporary American life. What are the intersections and adjacencies between craft and other disciplines? Why does it matter? 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 the world and ourselves. How do the different narratives of making lead to collective participation, personal reflection, and meaningful ways to live? How can we learn to listen to others and make room for learning from each other? Today, we take time to listen, to talk, to heal, to nurture, and to learn.