Emerging Artists Cohort

Emerging Artists Cohort

Emerging Artists Cohort webpage graphic apply by may 31 2022

Apply Now for our 2022 Cohort!

The American Craft Council’s Emerging Artists Cohort is a three-month intensive program, followed by continued monthly support, that cultivates the next step for independent craft artists to advance their professional careers. The program will support 10 innovative artists new to their careers who expand craft boundaries and challenge us to new perspectives.

Through facilitated workshops, presentations, 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 careers. 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 a $10,000 accelerator grant to help propel them to the next level of their profession. Once the 2022 intensive is complete, the 2022 cohort (EAC 2) will join artists from the 2021 cohort (EAC 1) for monthly check-in calls,quarterly workshops, and pathway calls.

Application Deadline: May 31, 2022

View Application Details

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Applications Open: May 4, 2022
Applications Close: May 31, 2022
Round 1 Jury Results: June 15, 2022
Round 2 Interviews: June 16–24, 2022
Final Jury Result Notifications: June 27, 2022
Program Dates: July 11–September 30, 2022

Application Process

ACC values clarity and transparency in our selection and invitation process. Ten artists/businesses will be selected to participate in the cohort from an application pool juried by Osa Atoe, Brian Fleetwood, Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy, and ACC staff. Several factors will be taken into consideration for the selection process, including work samples, application answers, innovation, diversity of mediums, and backgrounds. Quality of work images will also factor into selection. ACC will make it a priority to create a diverse and equitable cohort.

There is a $10 administration fee for all applications. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith, ACC's director of community and creative work, at [email protected].

2022 Application Jurors

Portrait of Osa Atoe

Osa Atoe is a studio potter living in Sarasota, Florida. She came to ceramics at the age of 34 through community classes and is mostly self-taught. Before clay, Atoe’s main creative outlets were music and self-publishing fanzines, which she still does on occasion. She completed a one year post-baccalaureate program for ceramics at Louisiana State University in 2018. Her work is guided by the influence of historical ceramics and the natural environment. Currently, Atoe spends most of her time in the studio creating monthly collections for her online audience and teaches weekly wheel throwing classes at Sarasota Clay Company.
potterybyosa.com | @potterybyosa

Portrait of Brian Fleetwood

Brian Fleetwood, an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma, is an interdisciplinary and collaborative jewelry artist based in Northern New Mexico. Brian holds an MFA in Craft and Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently an assistant professor in Studio Art at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Fleetwood's work examines jewelry's ability to mediate between a body and the space it occupies. Informed by traditional stories and making practices, a background in biology and ecology, and lived experience on the autism spectrum, he uses experimentation with material and process to create work that aspires to behave in similar ways to living things. This work explores the connections between different ways of knowing, acts of making, and the unexpected and complex kinship between us and everything else.

Portrait of Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy

Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy is a Los Angeles-based independent curator and writer of contemporary art and craft. She most recently served as Assistant Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York. Vizcarrondo-Laboy has also curated exhibitions at the Center for Craft, North Carolina; Collar Works, New York; Jane Hartsook Gallery, New York; Crocker Art Museum, California; Mindy Solomon Gallery, Florida; and Grounds for Sculpture, New Jersey. She has written for publications such as the Journal of Modern Craft, American Craft magazine, Cultured magazine, and multiple exhibition catalogs. She holds a BA in Art History from the University of Florida and an MA from the Bard Graduate Center, New York, in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture.
angelikvizcarrondo.com | @angelik.wiki

2022 Program Facilitators

Portrait of Ktie 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. Katie also worked as the curator of public art at Robert Morris University, has managed community ceramics studios, and ran her own pottery business for five years while living in Asheville, North Carolina. She holds a BFA in Studio Art and a BA in Art History from the University of North Carolina and is set to graduate from the University of Kentucky’s online Master of Arts Administration program in fall 2022. With her extensive experience in the arts and nonprofit sector, Katie works to support artists, makers, and designers to sustain creative fulfillment while growing resilient businesses.
About Creative Business Accelerator
In 2016, Bridgeway capital, a CDFI located in Pittsburgh, PA launched the Creative Businesses Accelerator (CBA) to channel its 30 years of business building and community development capability into the creative economy. The CBA empowers creative businesses to contribute more actively to equitable economic growth. Strong and successful creative businesses emerge as effective allies in Bridgeway’s efforts to make western Pennsylvania a thriving region for all. They create jobs, reactivate post-industrial spaces, and bring business activity to disinvested communities in need of new and innovative economic activity.

Portrait of Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith

Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith is ACC’s director of community and creative work 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 20 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. Portrait by Nicole McConville Photography.

Special Thanks To Our Program Sponsors

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.

Windgate foundation logo

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.

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