Emerging Artists Cohort

Emerging Artists Cohort

Emerging Artists Cohort Apply by May 11

American Craft Council’s Emerging Artists Cohort is a virtual three-month program that cultivates next steps for independent craft artists to advance their professional practice. 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, individual coaching, and conversations, participating artists will gain a deeper understanding of the professional skills and opportunities that will help them diversify income streams and thrive in their chosen career path. Participating artists will connect with established industry leaders from a variety of 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.

Who should apply?
Recognizing there are many pathways to professional practice, ACC encourages a wide range of emerging artists exploring different livelihoods to apply and participate in this program.

Livelihoods and practices might include retail, museum exhibitions, production work, cross industry collaborations, and community-based practices. ACC prioritizes a diverse and equitable cohort, with an emphasis on communities that have traditionally lacked access to resources and support.

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


Applications Open: April 12, 2023
Applications Close: May 11, 2023
Round 1 Jury Results: May 15–26, 2023
Round 2 Interviews: May 29–June 16, 2023
Final Jury Result Notifications: June 21, 2023
Program Dates: July 6–September 28, 2023


Douglas Dale

Juror Douglas Dale.

Douglas Dale is a textile artist and member of the first ACC Emerging Artists Cohort in 2021, now working as Associate Director at Duane Reed Gallery in St. Louis, MO. Their work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows, collaborating with Fiber Art Now, The American Craft Council, Craft Alliance, the Sebastopol Center for the Arts California, The Galesburg Civic Art Center, The North Dakota Museum of Art, The Center for the Visual Arts of Wausau Wisconsin, Blue Line Arts, The Missouri Arts Council, Lambert International Airport, and the World Trade Center in Manhattan.

Ayumi Horie

Juror Ayumi Horie. 

Ayumi Horie is a full-time studio potter in Portland, Maine. She is recognized as a leader in craft, through her work pushing the ceramics field to be more expansive and politically engaged. She has won numerous honors including a Distinguished Fellow in Craft grant from United States Artists in 2015 and an Honorary Member of NCECA in 2020 for her contribution to the field. Horie’s work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Museum of Art and Design and the Farnsworth Art Museum. Horie is currently Board President at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.

Rachel Saul Rearick

Juror Rachel Saul Rearick.

Rachel Saul Rearick has a demonstrated commitment to creating inclusive spaces in the arts, with a career that has focused on building public and private partnerships in ways that leverage support for the advancement of individual artists.

Rachel rejoined Contemporary Craft in 2021 as the Executive Director, having served years ago as the Assistant Director for Education. Her strategic focus is on the artistic merit of the exhibitions; while also increasing opportunities for artists to engage in both the studios and retail components of the organization. In addition, Rachel is an Adjunct Faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, teaching in the Masters of Arts Management program.

Previously, Rachel served as the Arts and Culture Manager for Allegheny County Airport Authority; the Arts, Culture, and History Specialist for the City of Pittsburgh and; was Co-Founder of KuratedPgh, a retail gallery that focused on fine art and functional craft. She is Board President at the Office for Public Art, sits on the Art Advisory Committee for the Sports and Exhibition Authority and is an active member of both the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Print Group. Rachel holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Gannon University and a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Edinboro University with a Minor in Art History.


Katie Johnson

Katie Johnson, associate director of Creative Business Accelerator, has more than 15 years of experience in diverse creative business and nonprofit leadership roles. She comes to her current role as associate director of Bridgeway Capital’s Creative Business Accelerator from Braddock Tiles, where she was the director of a no-profit workforce development project that produced small-batch architectural tiles with youth to teach job readiness skills.

Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith

Photo credit Nicole McConville Photography.

Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith is ACC’s Senior Director of Programs and Partnerships and specializes in craft entrepreneurship and creative economies. She has worked with both rural and urban communities, teaching her professional development and creative entrepreneurship workshops across the country over the last 27 years. Gwynne believes in helping artists and small business owners expand their markets and create sustainable businesses, and in the power of a strong craft ecology.

Windgate Foundation logo


The Emerging Artists Cohort is possible thanks to generous support from Fleur S. Bresler, the Windgate Charitable Foundation, and the Harlan Boss Foundation for the Arts.

American Craft Council


The American Craft Council is a national nonprofit that believes in the value of things made by hand, the people who create them, and the meaning that creativity brings to everyday life. Marketplace events like American Craft Made are just one way we invest in artists’ livelihoods and help connect them to the people who will buy and cherish their work.

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