Explore Philadelphia – America's Craft Capital

Explore Philadelphia – America's Craft Capital

Published on Thursday, August 29, 2019.
Present Tense 2019

We can’t think of a more perfect place to hold this year’s conference than the city of Philadelphia, a thriving educational and creative hub for craft and a case study for the way in which creative practices influence a whole community.

Philadelphia has been known as a national leader in craft throughout American history, and we are excited to share this vibrant city with you during “Present Tense: 2019.”

Here are a few local highlights to explore as part of your visit:

Tyler School of Art and Architecture is one of the nation’s leading schools for the study of art and design, offering BFA and MFA programs in ceramics, fiber and material studies, glass, and metals/ jewelry/ CAD-CAM. Join us on campus on the evening of Thursday, October 10 for the “Present Tense: 2019” opening reception. Mix and mingle in open studios, and experience what an educational mission to creatively re-imagine the social function of art feels, looks, and sounds like.

The Clay Studio is known worldwide as a preeminent space for cultivating ceramics as a contemporary art form for artists, educators, students, and people from all walks of life. Their community mission is highlighted in CraftNOW's publication Craft Capital: Philadelphia’s Cultures of Making, which will be released to the public for the first time by Schiffer Publishing during “Present Tense: 2019.” Visit The Clay Studio during the “Doors Open” event on Friday, October 11 to explore their studios, learn about programming, and view "From Storage To Studio," an exhibition featuring pieces from the Philadelphia Museum of Art collection curated by The Clay Studio resident artists.

The Center for Art in Wood, located in Old City and part of Philadelphia’s craft ecosystem, maintains the history and leads the advancement of art in wood both onsite and nationwide through exhibitions, educational programs, and publications. On the centenary of women’s suffrage in the US, they will debut "Making A Seat At The Table: Women Transforming Woodworking," an exhibition focusing on the many ways in which women makers are maintaining and expanding the field. This exhibition will be open to us on Friday night as part of the “Open Doors” event.

Franklin Fountain is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor serving classic flavors and creative scoops from a fully restored soda counter. It was founded by the Berley brothers, Ryan and Eric, who use handmade syrups and traditional methods for their specialty crafted desserts. They also own Shane Confectionery, America’s oldest candy shop located just a few doors down, and are avid collectors of antiques. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Franklin Fountain treats at our closing happy hour on Saturday, October 12 or visit the Berley’s shops during your stay.

Loews Philadelphia Hotel is the home base for conference programming and accommodations. Located in the heart of Center City, the hotel is housed in the nation’s first skyscraper and preserves many of the building’s historical features, including a bank vault, Cartier clocks, and original marble. ACC is offering discounted rates during the conference, so you can stay right where the action is. Book now before the September 9 deadline!

Our friends at CraftNOW Philadelphia have a great resource for exploring craft in the city. Check out their directory for more to see and do.

Visit craftcouncil.org/conference for more information and registration.