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American Craft Forum: Forward Motion

American Craft Forum: Forward Motion

Spring 2021 American Craft Forum Cover Graphic

Spring 2021 American Craft Forum

A conversation with artists and maker communities who put care at the center of their practice and offer insights into where we go from here and how craft can take us there.

Marking one year of living under the shadow of a global pandemic, we took an opportunity to pause, to look around us, to reflect. The difficulties we have all grappled with this year have amplified fissures in our society’s concept of care. Reflecting on this pivotal moment, we asked how craft can comfort us and move us from a crisis of care to a culture of care. Craft, we know, makes care tangible—through our physical relationship to materials, and through the movements and gestures of making. And, craft was made to meet moments like these, connecting us to ourselves, the land, and our shared humanity.

We designed this American Craft Forum to build on the themes explored in the Spring 2021 issue of American Craft.

Explore resources recommended by our participants

View forum chat transcript | View closed captioning document

Meet Our Moderator and Speakers

Portrait of Beth McLaughlin

Beth C. McLaughlin is artistic director and chief curator at Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts (the recipient of ACC's 2020 Award of Distinction). Beth has held leadership and curatorial roles across the US, including the Oakland Museum of California, DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, and Fuller Craft Museum. She has organized and curated over fifty exhibitions and has served as a juror for many cultural organizations, including American Craft Council, Fiber Art Now, and Massachusetts Cultural Council. Beth has been published in several publications, such as Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism; Fiber Art Now; Jackrabbit Speaks: the Burning Man Newsletter; and American Craft magazine. She is passionate about expanding awareness of the craft field, promoting the makers, and exploring the transformative powers of handmade objects.

Portrait of Shanai Matteson

Shanai Matteson is an artist, writer, environmental activist, and cultural community organizer. Through slow and emergent arts activism, she tries to create a more caring and reciprocal culture, shifting narrative, challenging hierarchical power structures, and helping her community reimagine and transform the systems these shape. She is one of the co-founders of Water Bar & Public Studio. Her most recent arts work addresses resource extraction, rural identity, and community survival. She is a single mother and lives in rural Palisade, Minnesota.

Portrait of Indira Allegra

Indira Allegra explores memorial as a genre and vital part of the human experience. Deeply informed by the ritual, relational, and performative aspects of weaving, Allegra explores the repetitive crossing of forces held under tension, be they material, social, or emotional. A leader in the performative craft movement, Allegra was winner of the 2019/2020 Burke Prize. They are a YBCA 100 Honoree, Fleishhacker Eureka Fellow, Lucas Artist Fellow, and part of ARTFORUM International’s “Best of 2020.”

Help Make Programs Like the American Craft Forum Possible as a Member

Joining the American Craft Council provides critical funding for a range of nonprofit programs that strengthen our community and connect people to craft, including our magazine, marketplaces, library, and more. Give your support today by joining at one of our membership levels and enjoy a subscription to American Craft and other benefits.

Join To Provide Support

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund