What is Your Reaction to the American Craft Council's Move from New York City to Minneapolis?

What is Your Reaction to the American Craft Council's Move from New York City to Minneapolis?


Illustration by Tamara Shopsin.

As a Midwesterner, I like the move. I know Minneapolis has a thriving art culture. A New York address does have a certain mystique, but I'm sure rent will be less in Minneapolis. My advice: Get snow tires.
-Michael Bauermeister, wood sculptor, Augusta, MO

The move to the Plains, a little closer to the quotidian, might stimulate the ACC redefine its mission and to shed the conceit that craft is art. Craft has become precious--the petting zoo of curators, dealers, makers and collectors. I'm hoping that Minneapolis will do something to reweave craft into life on Earth.
-Glenn Gordon, writer, St. Paul, MN

It seems to me that the Council has been re-envisioning itself over the past few years, and the move to Minneapolis provides an opportunity for it to operate in a craft-friendly city. It's imperative for the organization to articulate the value of craft both to its membership and to a larger general audience. I think that this new location will aid in that. I'm sorry that the New York staff cannot be a part of this transition.
-Stuart Kestenbaum, director, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME

Written two years from now, since at the time, there was no way to tell how it would work out. In retrospect we can see that the move to Minneapolis was successful because of the following changes.*

The Council has developed a focus that is inclusive of all aspects of the making/designing community. It has supported the breakdown of the territorial material-based divisions.

The organization's strong lobbying effort in Washington, DC, has brought federal dollars to subsidize health care, land liability and property insurance for the community of makers and designers.

As part of the Council's new global view, along with its lobbying efforts, a program to support American participation in international fairs and trade shows has been instituted.

*The opinions expressed in this letter do not necessarily reflect those of the American Craft Council or its subsidiaries.
-Bennett Bean, ceramist, sculptor, Blairstown, NJ

I am thrilled. It is a decision that reflects a conscious involvement in our expanding globalization that is inclusive of all expressions of American art and design. The art community loves New York City and associates it with the pinnacle of innovation in art and design. Innovation happens in all corners of this country, however, and a move to Minneapolis shows active participation in a broader vision. My congratulations. I wish you much success!
-Dubhe Carreño, director, Dubhe Carreño Gallery, Chicago, IL

Apart from having the ACC and the magazine lose so many long-term staff and so much institutional memory, I don't see it as a big deal. With the rise of the Web, no city is the center of the universe any longer, and ACC has always had a national presence. If this move boosts the bottom line as projected, I hope the library/ archives will be able to focus on digitizing its collections. The anxiety over artworld status and identity has been such a drain on the craft community. A dose of "Minnesota nice" and Midwestern pragmatism might be an excellent tonic.
-Jody Clowes, writer, curator and exhibitions manager for the James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters, Madison