Emerging Artists Cohort
Emerging Artists Cohort
American Craft Council’s Emerging Artists Cohort is a three-month program that cultivates the next steps for independent craft artists to advance their professional practices. The program will support 11 innovative artists early in their careers who expand craft boundaries and challenge us to new perspectives.
Through facilitated workshops, presentations, coaching, and conversations, participating artists will gain a deeper understanding of the professional skills and opportunities that will help them thrive in their chosen craft careers. Participating artists will connect with established industry leaders from various craft sectors including gallerists, curators, marketplace artists, exhibiting artists, social practice artists, designers, and more. After the three-month program is complete, all participating artists will receive an accelerator grant to help propel them to the next level of their profession, as well as receive ongoing support and peer connections through monthly meetings and an online communication platform via Slack.
Learn More About Applying to the EAC
Who Should Apply?
Recognizing many pathways to professional practice, ACC encourages a wide range of emerging artists exploring different livelihoods to apply and participate in this pilot program. Livelihoods and practices include retail, museum exhibitions, production work, cross-industry collaborations, and community-based practices. ACC prioritizes creating a diverse and equitable cohort, with an emphasis on communities that have traditionally lacked access to opportunities.
Additional requirements to participate include:
- 18+ years of age, residing in the United States, ability to accept US bank-drawn checks
- Identify as an artist, maker, designer, craftsperson, and/or small-batch producer who aspires to create a full-time creative practice or business
- Willingness to complete the program in its entirety, including completing pre- and post-program surveys and final accelerator grant reports
What kind of work or practice is a good fit for the Cohort program?
- Eligible artists produce handmade craft that reflects excellence and the unique vision of its maker or community and demonstrates interest in material and process.
- Traditional printmaking practices such as letterpress, intaglio, lithography, screen printing, relief printing, etc. are welcome.
- Small-studio production work made under the direct supervision of the applicant. Direct supervision requires the artist to oversee production work as it occurs and provide constant direction, feedback, and assistance.
- All work must be produced in the United States.
ACC will not consider commercially manufactured work, paintings, and photographs.
Emerging Artists Definition
Based on the guidelines of the Jerome Foundation (St. Paul, Minnesota), ACC embraces a broad definition that supports artists early in their careers, regardless of age, who create new work and:
- Offer a distinct vision and authentic voice, and have a focused direction and goals
- Take risks and embrace challenges
- Show evidence of professional achievement but haven’t yet established a solid reputation as an artist/maker/business within their field, the media, funding circles, or the public at large
What Do Cohort Participants Receive?
The Emerging Artist Cohort program focuses on supporting artists to develop the necessary skills to create and sustain a professional practice in craft. The curriculum will include workshops, conversations, coaching sessions, panel discussions, and peer-to-peer community support. ACC takes a holistic approach to creative thinking and entrepreneurship development.
- A virtual 12-week intensive that provides professional development education through workshops, panel discussions, conversations, coaching sessions, and peer-to-peer support. Each week includes up to 4 hours of meeting time plus homework.
- One-on-one coaching opportunities to get the support needed from experts in the field.
- Career-building educational resources and expert guidance and mentorship from industry leaders designed to drive career development
- A Business Accelerator Grant: 10 unrestricted cash grants of $10,000 each to be used toward a project that is developed and planned during the intensive
- After the intensive is complete, cohorts will join previous year cohorts in virtual monthly support calls, which include workshops, panel conversations, and peer-led discussion topics.
- Ongoing peer community support platform using the Slack application.
- A one-year ACC membership that includes a subscription to American Craft magazine
- Access to the ACC Library & Archives’ digital resources
Meet the 2024 Jurors
Meet the 2024 Co-Facilitators
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR PROGRAM SPONSORS
The Emerging Artists Cohort is possible thanks to generous support from the Windgate Charitable Foundation and the Maxwell / Hanrahan Foundation.
HELP US CONTINUE SUPPORTING UP-AND-COMING ARTISTS
ACC is thrilled to be providing direct support and career mentorship to artists on their path to professional practice through the Emerging Artists Cohort. As a national nonprofit, we rely on the contributions of our members and donors to provide impactful programs like this one. Please join or donate to help ensure the Emerging Artists Cohort can continue in the years to come.