Tim Tate: The Endless Cycle©2017, Tim Tate, Glass, Aluminum, Poly-Vitro, electronics, full size:  36 x 36 x 4 inches.
Photo: Pete Duvall


-Symposium 2017 in California

Erica H. Adams

Glass Is More!
Textile Is More!

Los Angeles (CA): What is a Craft Think Tank? The Craft Think Tank Symposium formed in 2012, is a collaborative effort spearheaded by Brigitte Martin, founder/editor of crafthaus and Chris Amundsen, Executive Director, American Craft Council since 2012. Co-organizer of 2017 symposium is Beth Ann Gerstein, Executive Director of AMOCA. Thanks to its organizers and participants, the Craft Think Tank continues to grow organically through new topics and across boundaries of crafts disciplines.

Posted 24 October 2017

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In 2012, The Craft Think Tank was formed to provide a platform that explores how American craft organizations along with their individual members can work more closely together to further the interests of American Craft as a whole. The goal of the Think Tank symposium is to identify and discuss creative solutions to some of the critical challenges facing the craft world across all media. Leaders of various craft organizations, active makers, and creative thinkers in the field convene to dialogue about future collaborative efforts and how to address questions and issues that affect everyone.
Past Think Tank topics and locations were Craft Branding (2013) in Ashville, North Carolina and Finding New Audiences (2015) in Chicago.
October 2017, Craft Think Tank convenes for three days in Los Angeles; education is this year’s focus. By invitation only, Craft Think Tank is limited to forty participants who are makers, educators, administrators, curators and writers from across crafts disciplines that include but are not limited to glass, textiles, clay and metals. Programs will take place at AMOCA in California and include a day-trip to the greater Los Angeles area with visits to OTIS, the Maloof Foundation and The Craft and Folk Art Museum as well as a fashion designer’s studio in downtown Los Angeles. 

“  The Endless Cycle”. Said Tim about this work: “For every man shown here, 1000 people died last year because of gun violence. For every gun shown here, a child dies every day. A hard lesson we have to learn from Orlando…..only by joining together can we hope to curtail gun violence. Tim Tate

The focus on education in the Craft Think Tank symposia (2017) is especially vital since many U.S. art schools have closed in recent years or were acquired by universities. Topics will include: "Ways To Learn – Non-University Approaches"; "Education in the Age of Digital Technology"; "Museum / Non-Profit Education and Outreach"; "K-12 Education and Teen Docent Program" and "New University Approaches".  Planned discussion topics in education include U.S. public education: how to develop opportunities to support the expansion of STEAM -adding “A” for Arts -to U.S. educational initiative STEM/Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

How do we measure and prove that arts in education enhances students’ grades/tests/ outcomes? What are alternative reasons that highlight the benefits of an art/craft education? Specific to college and university programs: How can university programs include entrepreneurship skill development into their curricula? How can we integrate business professionals and working makers into university programs? Introduce more professional development into the craft field for emerging and mid-career makers. We must recognize the importance of “non-academic” educational pathways and address these in college and university professional development programs. Funding ideas for craft education. How do we to connect with Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD)? How might we educate immigrant and minority communities to participate in professional development to develop better business practices for their craft?
Attendees of Craft Think Tank (2017) a partial list of its forty invited participants includes -makers, educators, curators, administrators, writers and representatives: makers include Tim Tate (glass); goldsmith Aalund Nanz; ceramic artist Tim Christensen and metal smiths Michael Schmidt and Jack DaSilva. Magazines represented are American Craft Magazine and crafthaus. Organizations, schools and museums represented: Canadian Crafts Federation headquartered in New Brunswick. From New England: Maine Crafts and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine. In Massachusetts, Fuller Craft Museum and North Bennett Street School in Boston. From California: the Otis College of Arts, the Craft and Folk Art Museum and The Critical Craft Forum in Los Angeles; Pitzer College in Claremont; American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona and in San Francisco, California College of the Arts and the Museum of Craft and Design. From across the US:  Society of North American Goldsmiths/SNAG and Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon; Peters Valley Craft Center in New Jersey; in Texas, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and Southwest School of Arts and Craft in San Antonio; in Pennsylvania, The Society of Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh and Clay Studio in Philadelphia; the Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee; The Furniture Society in Ashville, North Carolina, Craft in America and the Maloof Foundation in California.
Participants of the first national Craft Think Tank held June 7-10, 2012 at Touchstone Center of Craft in Pennsylvania included a group of makers from a variety of craft media and representatives from America Craft Council; The Textile Society of America; Society of North American Goldsmiths; the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh; The Surface Design Association an international organization and the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston. From Asheville, North Carolina: Craft in America, The Furniture Society, Handmade in America and The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design. And finally, Craft in America, crafthaus magazine and national thought leaders from major craft educational and business institutions.
Past participants included Artful Home and Artisin LLC, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and Craft in America. Crafthaus magazine, Handmade in America, Hart Business Research, Haystack and Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago). The NCECA, SNAG and SOFA. The Society for Contemporary Craft (PA) and Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston. Surface Design Association, Textile Society of America and the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design alongside numerous galleries and makers from across the craft field.
The Craft Think Tank symposium organizers:
-Brigitte Martin:
Founder and Co-Organizer Craft Think Tank –with the American Craft Council
Editor at large American Craft Magazine
Craftshaus Founder & Editor
President of Society of North American Goldsmiths
Award Wining Author “Humour in Craft”
-Chris Amundsen:
Co-Organizer of Craft Think Tank and Executive Director, American Craft Council since 2012.
-Beth Ann Gerstein, Co-organizer of 2017 symposium and Executive Director of AMOCA. 

Erica H. Adams, contributing editor Glass is more!

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