Engage & Explore

Engage & Explore

Throughout the conference, there will be opportunities for engagement, dialogue, and exploration beyond the scope of the main-stage sessions. These opportunities will be available during lunches, at the end of the day, and during breaks. We invite you to explore your surroundings while in this incredible creative space, to engage with our library lab, and to add to the dialogue by participating in our common interest conversations. Check out your Engage & Explore handout (or grab the PDF version here) for a full schedule of offerings.

ACC Library Lab

Thursday: 12 - 4 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m., 10:45 – 11:10 a.m., 12 – 1:30 p.m., 3:15 – 5 p.m.
Saturday: 8 – 9 a.m., 10:15 – 10:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., 2:30 – 4 p.m.
Open during all breaks, lunches, and Common-Interest Conversations

The Library Lab, sponsored by Schiffer Publishing, offers a comfortable, engaging space for you to learn more about the collections at the ACC Library and Archives in between sessions.

  • Browse more than 100 new and notable books and catalogues by conference presenters, ACC artists and award recipients, and curators and scholars in the field.
  • Explore ACC’s digital resources, including images and videos documenting ACC history.
  • Learn about the extraordinary history of ACC’s conferences, exhibitions, and awards, as well as the pioneering artists who were involved.
  • Sit down, relax, and try your hand at embroidery inspired by vintage designs from the Archives.

Schiffer Publishing will be onsite to offer the latest craft books and catalogues from their collection for purchase. Book talks with Schiffer authors will also be scheduled throughout the conference. 

About Schiffer Publishing: Since 1974, Schiffer Publishing has worked with passionate authors to create books that educate, entertain, instruct, and inspire. Schiffer’s 5,800-plus diverse titles include a focus on art, craft, and design.

Handmade mugs and conversation topics

Common Interest Conversations

Friday: 12 - 1:30 p.m. and 3:15 - 5 p.m.
Saturday: 11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. and 2:30 - 4 p.m.
Location: 2nd floor / Conversation Cafe

Join us for round-table conversations on Friday and Saturday during lunch and at the end of each conference day. Designed to offer a forum for dialogue and exchange of ideas across disciplines and generations.

A Place at the Table
Saturday: 2:30 – 4 p.m.
Sponsored by Whole Foods Market, Nebraska
Don’t miss the final Common Interest Conversation on Saturday. Bring your favorite coffee mug from home or decorate a cup and join us as we celebrate   community over coffee and conversation.

Scheduled Events

Don’t miss the chance to participate in various icebreakers, tours, and talks scheduled during breaks and lunches throughout the conference weekend. Keep your Engage & Explore! handout within easy reach for details on these exciting opportunities.


4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Location: 2nd Floor, Conversation Cafe
Whether you are a first-time conference participant, new to the ACC, or a usual suspect, break the ice and meet new friends.



12:45 – 1:30 p.m.
Where Print and Digital Media Intersect

Paul J. Smith and Pete Schiffer, moderated by Julie K. Hanus
Organized by Schiffer Publishing
Location: Library Lab
Print and digital information each offer challenges and advantages for artists publishing their ideas and doing research. Explore the ways that print and digital media serve the needs of individual artists and the larger craft community. Paul J. Smith is an authority on 20th-century craft and design, Pete Schiffer is the president of Schiffer Publishing, and Julie K. Hanus is senior editor of American Craft.

12:45 – 1:30 p.m.
Omaha Tour with Dsgnfix and Dorothy Dunn

Location: Meet at the registration and information tables in the Main Hall.
Tour departs promptly at 12:45 p.m.
Join Dsgnfix co-founder Dorothy Dunn to explore the historic, art-centric Old Market district with a new sharing and navigation app that you can use wherever you travel.

12:45 – 1:30 p.m.
Exploring “Passion & Obsession: From the Collection” with Ree Kaneko

Location: Meet in the Kaneko exhibition area. Tour departs promptly at 12:45 p.m.
Join accomplished artist and curator Ree Kaneko, wife of artist Jun Kaneko, for a gallery talk and tour of the exhibition, “Passion & Obsession: From the Collection.”

4 – 4:45 p.m.
But Seriously: Talking About Humor in Craft

Brigitte Martin
Organized by Schiffer Publishing
Location: Library Lab
Many artists have found humor to be a useful tool when communicating difficult ideas to audiences that typically do not connect with art and craft. Brigitte Martin looks at the humorous side of craft and at its dark side – when funny just isn’t funny anymore. Martin is the author of the award-winning Humor in Craft, creator and editor of Crafthaus, and president-elect of the Society of North American Goldsmiths.



11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Ceramic Mug Pop-Up Sale

Location: Main Hall
Forgot to bring a mug to swap during our final Common-Interest Conversation? Or maybe you just want a Nebraska souvenir to add to your collection? We’ve got you covered. Handmade mugs by these local ceramic artists will be available for purchase: Dennison Pottery, Susan McGilvrey, Doug Schroder, Tracy Shell and Jesse Ross of Clementine Porcelain, and Kathryn Schroeder.

Noon – 12:45 p.m.
Reflections on a Job Well Done

Gerhardt Knodel, moderated by Monica Moses
Organized by Schiffer Publishing
Location: Library Lab
No matter how successful an artwork may be, one is only as good as the next thing to be made. While reflecting on the past is enjoyable, what comes next is most important. Gerhardt Knodel shares the challenges and discoveries he made while writing a recent publication. Knodel is an ACC Gold Medalist and the former director of Cranbrook Academy of Art. Monica Moses is editor in chief of American Craft.

Noon – 12:45 p.m.
Omaha Tour with Dsgnfix and Dorothy Dunn

Location: Meet at the registration and information tables in the Main Hall.
Tour departs promptly at noon.
Explore the Old Market district with Dsgnfix co-founder Dorothy Dunn.

2:30 – 4 p.m.
Ceramic Mug Pop-Up Sale

Location: Main Hall
Last chance to get a Nebraska-made mug to trade or add to your own collection!

3 – 3:45 p.m.
Overcoming Creative Blocks

Tien Chiu
Organized by Schiffer Publishing
Location: Library Lab
Join Tien Chiu, author of Master Your Craft: Strategies for Designing, Making, and Selling Artisan Work, in a conversation about overcoming difficulties that arise during the creation and sale of original work. Chiu is a nationally recognized, award-winning weaver, blogger, educator, and coach.

3 – 4 p.m.
Public Preview and Open House/Open Studios at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

Location: Meet at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, across the street from Kaneko, for a self-guided experience.
Visit artists in their studios, experience live performances, and preview the art in the center’s annual auction.