Ways to Engage at "Present Tense: 2019"

Create conversation on our main stage

Plan to engage Thursday afternoon, Friday morning, and all day Saturday. Eight main stage moments have been designed to launch conversations around #craftecology, #craftnarratives, #craftimpact, #craftequity, #craftknowledge, #craftlegacy, #craftinclusion, and #craftculture. Let’s explore ways craft can impact contemporary American life. Stage set presented in collaboration with The Furniture Society.

  View the full schedule


Make an impact through a Craft in Action workshop

Dive into your selected workshop Thursday morning or Friday afternoon. Can we make something together to change something together? These two-hour, hands-on workshops have been designed to put craft in action.

Craft [Ceramics] in Action: ElBowls and Social Practice 

Thursday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Facilitated by Michael J. Strand, professor of art and head of visual arts, North Dakota State University, board of trustees, ACC
Workshop Location: The Clay Studio

This workshop will challenge ceramists and non-ceramists alike to explore the essence of the objects we create. Participants will transform raw clay into completed bowls and develop a fully viable social project concept that will reimagine function and audience. Presented in collaboration with The Clay Studio.

Craft [Textiles] in Action: “Southeast by Southeast”

Thursday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Facilitated by Melissa Fogg and Shira Walinsky, Mural Arts Philadelphia
Workshop Location: Southeast by Southeast

Participants will experience the generative efforts of Mural Arts Philadelphia’s “Southeast by Southeast” and meet the residents, artists, social service providers, and craft practitioners from Burma and Bhutan who make the program their own. Presented in collaboration with Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Craft [Digital] in Action: Technology & Craft

Thursday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Facilitated by Rod McCormick, professor of jewelry/metals, University of the Arts
Workshop Location: University of the Arts Makerspace

How can we use digital fabrication tools to aid the hand rather than replace it? How are craft artists using these tools today? Participants will explore the new UArts Makerspace and enter the world of digitally assisted making. Presented in collaboration with University of the Arts.

Craft [Writing] in Action: Improve your Artist Statement

Thursday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Facilitated by Megan Guerber, acting editor-in-chief,
American Craft magazine, and Kate Kramer, lecturer in critical writing, University of Pennsylvania
Workshop Location: University of Pennsylvania’s Critical Writing Program

Participants will work one-on-one with an unbiased and supportive editor to improve their artist statement or another short piece of writing (under 300 words). Be sure to bring a printed draft of the piece you’d like to work on along with any questions or concerns you have. Presented in collaboration with University of Pennsylvania and Schiffer Publishing.

Craft [Printmaking] in Action: The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM)

Friday, 2:30 – 4:30 pm.
Facilitated by FWM Master Printers
Workshop Location: The Fabric Workshop and Museum

Participants will explore the FWM print studios and themes related to its current exhibition, “Jacolby Satterwhite: Room for Living,” as well as learn the screen-printing process to produce a unique tote to commemorate the experience.Presented in collaboration with FWM.

Craft [Wood] in Action: Community Marquetry Project

Friday, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Facilitated by A Workshop of Our Own
Workshop Location: The Center for Art in Wood

The practice of marquetry provides a metaphor for healthy communities, and participants of all skill levels are invited to explore the social power of craft by putting hands to work in the spirit of togetherness. The resulting work will be donated to a local women’s shelter. Presented in collaboration with The Center for Art in Wood.



Experience emerging craft in the Sky High Facility for Creative Work

Stop by throughout the conference to welcome new ideas and create future collaborations in this meditative, convivial space.

The Bureau of Craft Information

Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Pod 1

Presented in partnership with Schiffer Publishing, this space is a place to engage with contemporary publications on craft practice, theory, and critical discourse. View suggested reading here.

"OBJECTS: USA" Revisited

Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Pod 1

On the 50th anniversary of "OBJECTS: USA," we reflect on the impact this seminal exhibition had on the field of craft. Explore archival images, texts, and the words of the curators celebrating this anniversary in 2019.

Perceived Value: Object Stories

Thursday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Pod 2

Sarah Rachel Brown’s award-winning podcast will be recording on-site as she conducts interviews with artists and creative professionals about their careers, personal lives, failures, and accomplishments.

“Present Posters” with Mohawk Fine Papers

Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Pod 2

What better object for collective making than the “Present Tense: 2019” poster itself? We invited craft artists from all over the country to enhance the poster we produced on Mohawk Fine Papers as a blank canvas to create. Come check out the results and add your subversive statement to the conversation.

Present Tense Speed-Networking Opportunity

Thursday, 2 – 3 p.m.
Pod 2

Whether you are a first-time conference participant, new to ACC, or a usual suspect, break the ice and meet new friends with Bruce W. Pepich, executive director and curator of collections, Racine Art Museum, board of trustees, ACC.

Object Stories: Dispatches from the Field

Friday, 3 – 5 p.m.
Pod 2

This unique participatory platform puts makers in the spotlight for nine minutes to talk about their work as “an object” (descriptive), “my object” (personal), and “the object” (generative and catalytic) – all with the goal of sparking more interest and soliciting constructive feedback.

Joni Lewis – Greeting Cards and Cashmere Sweaters
Laura Curran – Jackie Mitchell Angel of Baseball
Danuta Nitecki – Fabric Collage
Todd Oppenheimer – Brown Bean Pot
Geno Luketic – Clay Vessel
Wanett Clyde – Handspun Yarn
Alison Swift – Necklace
Laura Petrovich-Cheney – Wood Quilt
Adam Manley – Zine
Janet Rowles – Talking Piece
Andres Payan Estrada - iPhone, iPhone meme, Pottery shard, Meteorite, and a Found Cigarette Butt from a Gay Club

“Tense Present” Object Stories

Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Pod 3

The 2019 Emerging Voices artist and finalists share stories about significant objects in their lives. Step inside pod 3 to hear their voices, and click here for more details on this decentralized exhibition, including how to see the the artists' work.



Explore the craft capital (by day and night)

Venture out Thursday and Friday to experience Philadelphia’s thriving craft scene via your selected walking and bus tours, concurrent exhibitions around town, and three after-hours events.

Craft Ecology: Walking Tours

Thursday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Friday, 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Venture out to explore Philadelphia’s craft ecosystem and the architectural fabric of the city. Led by Jennifer Zwilling, curator of artistic programs at The Clay Studio, and Christopher Storb, Dietrich American Foundation project conservator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and senior lecturer at the University of the Arts.

Craft Ecology: Bus Tours

Thursday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Friday, 2:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Who’s doing what, where in Philadelphia? Jump on the bus to explore some of Philadelphia’s most inspiring maker spaces. Led by Leila Cartier, executive director of CraftNOW Philadelphia, Julie Siglin, executive director of the Wharton Esherick Museum, and Elissa Topol, vice president of CraftNOW Philadelphia and member of the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Tyler Craft Mash-Up

Thursday. 7 – 8:30 p.m. (remarks at 7:30 p.m.)
Tyler School of Art and Architecture

Get a taste of the Tyler School of Art and Architecture’s interdisciplinary approach to cultural production and community engagement at the Tyler Craft Mash-Up, featuring hot glass performance with an historical glass press, 3D-cast chocolate and ice cream informed by candy molds created by Franklin Fountain’s Berley brothers, and a ceramics-throwing DJ mashup. Cash bar and small plates. Curated by Temple Contemporary’s Robert Blackson and Tyler faculty members Roberto Lugo (ceramics), Sharyn O’Mara and Jessica Jane Julius (glass), Jesse Harrod (fibers & material studies) and Doug Bucci (metals/jewelry/CAD-CAM).

Doors Open on Philadelphia's Craft Capital

Friday, 6 – 9 p.m.
The Clay Studio
The Center for Art in Wood

Celebrating the debut of CraftNOW Philadelphia's publication Craft Capital: Philadelphia’s Cultures of Making (2019 Schiffer Publishing), two organizations engaged in making Philadelphia a healthy craft ecosystem open their doors, studios, and galleries. Kick off the evening at The Clay Studio to experience “From Storage To Studio” (remarks at 7 p.m.) and then head one block up to The Center for Art in Wood to discover “Making a Seat at the Table: Women Transform Woodworking” (remarks at 8 p.m.).

“Tense Present” Mixtape Release Party

Friday, 9 – 11 p.m.
Paradigm Gallery + Studio

Let’s light up the night for the release of the “Tense Present” catalogue at Paradigm Gallery + Studio. Hear the stories of the 2019 Emerging Voices artist and finalists spun together in a dance party by DJ Major Taylor and DJ Foxx Boogie set alongside Colossal’s “Material Properties” exhibition.

Concurrent Exhibitions Presented in Partnership with CraftNOW Philadelphia

Experience Philadelphia’s collective craft capital by visiting exhibition spaces throughout Philadelphia, presenting some of the most honored and innovative artists working today in wood, clay, fiber, metal, and glass. Explore concurrent exhibitions.