A letter from the executive director of the American Craft Council

A letter from the executive director of the American Craft Council

Published on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.
Black Lives Matter

 

Dear friends, supporters, and colleagues of our many craft communities,

The American Craft Council is headquartered in Minneapolis, a beautiful and complex city inhabited by brilliant cultural leaders including artists, craftspeople, small business owners, and activists. This past week, we have been reeling following the unjustifiable killing of George Floyd by police. The outrage at injustice and calls to end the systemic racism that perpetuates it are rippling loudly across the country. Even as we grapple with the fear and anxiety of a global pandemic, we take to the streets in protest and in mourning.

As an organization invested in supporting the voices, work, and livelihoods of makers, we cannot be silent or accept inaction.

Black Lives Matter.

We cannot turn away from recognizing the deep inequities embedded in the socio-economic structure and cultural fabric of our country and how they tragically and disproportionately affect black, brown, and indigenous communities. We stand beside our neighbors in fighting for justice.

I came to the Council because I believe that craft is a powerful and deeply human way of being in the world and in community. It offers us traditions and gestures of healing, remembrance, beauty, and tribute, which we most surely need right now. And yet, the recent words of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms continue to ring in my ears, “Peace, not patience.”

The American Craft Council has been working hard to address its own history of bias and exclusion, including the adoption of an inclusion and equity statement written by the ACC’s Board of Trustees. And while I’m proud of the work we’ve been doing, I also know that the work of real change is never-ending and imperfect. It requires that we listen, learn, cede power, and hold ourselves accountable everyday.

Craft, with its deep roots in all cultures, embodies a spirit of openness. We will work within that spirit and with more intention toward a more inclusive, just, and equitable community. It’s time to move forward together.

Sincerely,

Sarah Schultz
Executive Director

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