Three Ways to Participate at "Present Tense: 2019"

Three Ways to Participate at "Present Tense: 2019"

Published on Tuesday, September 3, 2019.
Present Tense 2019

Have you had a chance to check out the "Present Tense: 2019" schedule, yet? In addition to thought-provoking speakers and panels, opportunities for involvement start early on Thursday morning. Immerse yourself in craft with either a walking tour, bus tour, or a hands-on workshop, which are all free with conference registration. Here are three ways to enhance your conference experience.


Throughout the conference, our local partners will be hosting Craft in Action workshops in the Philadelphia community. Here are a couple of examples of programs designed for you to contribute to a healthy craft ecosystem.

Textiles at Southeast by Southeast Hub 
Thursday, October 10, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
How can craft provide economic and educational opportunities for new arrivals and refugees in a safe, sustaining environment? Join us at Mural Arts Philadelphia’s community-centered hub to meet the residents, artists, social service providers, and craft practitioners from Burma and Bhutan and contribute to their creative placemaking.

Printmaking at The Fabric Workshop and Museum
Friday, October 11, from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Discover the Fabric Workshop and Museum print studios and themes related to their current exhibition, “Jacolby Satterwhite: Room for Living,“ in this screen-printing workshop. Celebrate FWM’s deep history of textile-based work and explore new media with hands-on activities guided by expert printers from the studio team.


Philadelphia has a rich history and vibrant present as a hub for craftspeople and makers. You won’t want to miss these chances to get out and see how craft makes its mark in the city with local leaders in the field as your guides.

City Walking Tours
Thursday, October 10, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Friday, October 11, from 2:30 – 6 p.m.

How does our understanding of Philadelphia’s history inform the present craft ecosystem of the city? Venture out to explore the architectural fabric of the city on a walking tour by Jennifer Zwilling, curator of artistic practice at The Clay Studio.

Studio Bus Tours
Thursday, October 10, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Friday, October 11, from 2:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Who’s doing what and where in Philadelphia? Jump on the bus to explore some of Philadelphia’s most exciting maker spaces. Buses will travel north of Center City to visit the artist studios at Globe Dye Works and MaKen Studios. These tours will be led by Leila Cartier, executive director of CraftNOW Philadelphia and Julie Siglin, executive director of the Wharton Esherick Museum.


We can’t have a national conversation on craft without hearing from you! In addition to our ongoing discussions, check out these platforms for sharing your ideas at "Present Tense: 2019."

Artists Write to Work at the University of Pennsylvania
Thursday, October 10, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Get noticed by publications, galleries, and grant committees by learning how to write about your studio practice and career. Conversational and instructive, this practical primer helps artists learn the best writing and research strategies for the documents they must craft: letters, biographies, statements, proposals, applications, wall text, and more. This workshop is facilitated by Megan Guerber, acting editor in chief of American Craft, and Kate Kramer, lecturer in critical writing at the University of Pennsylvania.

Object Stories Open Mic
Friday, October 11, from 3 – 5 p.m.
What can we learn about contemporary American life from the objects in our lives and the stories about them? Frame your story, your work, or your publication by bringing your own object and presenting it at the podium. From start to finish, you’ll have nine minutes to talk about your object with the goal of sparking more interest in the work you’re doing and soliciting constructive feedback. Open mic speaker submissions are now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted an object for consideration.

Workshops and tours are included with registration, but space is limited. Be sure to sign up when you register!