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Future Insights

Future Insights

A series of three talks where we can work together to shape the future of the craft field.
future insights cover graphic

In December 2021 ACC launched Future Insights, a new series of free, public talks that allowed ACC and other organizations to listen to craft communities and their needs so as to develop and innovate solutions and implement new ideas for support.

On December 1, 8, and 15, we worked together to understand what a healthy, equitable craft ecology looks like and how this ecology can thrive. Details below.

This series of talks focused on three specific topics—public voices in craft, craft stewardship and legacy, and the creative economy—sharing perspectives from guest speakers with various relationships to the craft field. Future Insights were also interactive conversations with the audience, providing opportunities for the craft community to both learn from others and ideate ways craft-focused organizations like ACC can support makers.

At this pivotal moment, we need to work together to give shape to the post-pandemic craft world, create equity in the field, and understand the new economy. Future Insights are a place to reimagine craft artists’ new normal and bring about the change of the future—and we need your input to make it happen.

Future Insights Talk 1:
The Future of Public Voices in Craft

Wednesday, December 1, 2021, via Zoom
11 a.m. PT | 12 p.m. MT | 1 p.m. CT | 2 p.m. ET
Duration: 2 hours

What do public voices in craft look like in a time of a pandemic and racial equity? Who is telling the stories of craft and who gets to tell these stories? Coming from a traditional white colonial system, how can we empower others to tell their stories and be sure all voices are being represented?

Talk 1 Guest Speakers

portrait of brien beidler
portrait of amy umbel

Brien Beidler and Amy Umbel, Cut the Craft Podcast

Co-host of Cut the Craft podcast Amy Umbel is a woodcarver dedicated to understanding the interdependence of nature and humanity. She embraces opportunities for learning from other craftspeople and from the natural world. Her work demonstrates the ancient origins of our species' connection to the land and the importance of the renewal of the connection. Her diverse interests range from ancestral skills, woodworking, and working with fibers and animal hides to illustrating how to utilize those materials. She lives in rural southwest Pennsylvania with her spunky dog, Willow.
Co-host of Cut the Craft podcast Brien Beidler is a toolmaker and bookbinder. In his book work, Brien is inspired by historic bindings in their ability to harmonize fine craftsmanship, quirky-but-elegant aesthetics, and evidence of the hands that made them. Beginning with this tradition as a baseline, Brien's bindings seek ways to create new compositions from these historic precedents.
Brien also creates a limited assortment of specialized hand tools for bookbinding and its related trades.
Over the last ten years Brien has taken and taught a variety of bookbinding and toolmaking workshops and is an active member of the Guild of Book Workers. In the fall of 2016, he and his partner in crime upped their roots in Charleston, South Carolina, and set up shop in Bloomington, Indiana, where Brien works from his home studio with Wren, his curmudgeonly Brittany.

Portrait of Adriane Dalton

Adriane Dalton, Editor in Chief, Metalsmith Magazine

Adriane Dalton is an artist, writer, and arts-educator based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is the editor in chief of Metalsmith magazine published by SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths).

Portrait of Andrea R. Hanley

Andrea R. Hanley, Chief Curator, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian

Andrea R. Hanley is the chief curator at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is dedicated to the work of contemporary Native American artists and the Native American fine art field. Over thirty years of experience in the field including National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, as both special assistant to the director and exhibition developer/project manager, the fine arts coordinator/curator for the city of Tempe, executive director of ATLATL, Inc., a national service organization for Native American arts, the founding manager of the Berlin Gallery at the Heard Museum, and the membership and program manager for the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. She serves on the board of directors for the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, Santa Fe Indian Market, the Santa Fe Art Institute, the Roswell Artist in Residence Foundation, and Axle Contemporary. She also sits on the 516 ARTS ambassador council, the Native American advised fund for the Santa Fe Community Foundation, Ucross Foundation national advisory council, and the Native American advisory board for New York based organizations, Voices in Contemporary Art (VoCA) and Nest. She was on the Santa Fe Arts Commission from 2019–2021. She is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.

Portrait of Seph Rodney

Seph Rodney, Opinions Editor and Senior Critic for Hyperallergic

Seph Rodney, PhD, was born in Jamaica and came of age in the Bronx, New York. He is a senior critic and the opinions editor for Hyperallergic. He has also written for the New York Times, CNN op-ed pages, American Craft magazine, and NBC Universal, and penned catalog essays for Crystal Bridges Museum, the Mississippi Museum of Art, Teresita Fernandez, Meleko Mokgosi, and Sarah Oppenheimer. He can be heard weekly on the podcast The American Age. His book, The Personalization of the Museum Visit, was published by Routledge in May 2019. In 2020 he won the Rabkin Arts Journalism Prize.

Future Insights Talk 2:
The Future of Stewardship and Legacy

Wednesday, December 8, 2021, via Zoom
11 a.m. PT | 12 p.m. MT | 1 p.m. CT | 2 p.m. ET
Duration: 2 hours

What does stewardship and legacy mean to you? How can we steward more diverse artists in the field of craft? Who is responsible for documenting and archiving the artists in the craft community?

Talk 2 Guest Speakers

Portrait of BAnna Fariello

Anna Fariello, Digital Initiatives Curator, Western Carolina University

Curator and scholar Anna Fariello is a former Smithsonian Renwick Fellow in American Craft. Her research at the Smithsonian focused on the southern craft revival and led to her work with Western Carolina University, where she developed the Craft Revival digital archive. Author of six books and numerous book chapters and articles, she has presented over 150 conference papers and invited lectures and directed over 30 grants. Fariello has been honored with several awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Highland Craft Guild. She lives in Cullowhee, North Carolina.

Portrait of Beth Goodrich

Beth Goodrich, Librarian, American Craft Council

Beth Goodrich joined ACC as the librarian in 2017. She manages the library, archives, and digital collections for the organization and provides research and reference support for ACC staff, members, and the public. Beth received her BA in theatre arts and communications from Kalamazoo College in Michigan and her MLIS (with a concentration in information organization) from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. She has worked with a number of repositories in the Twin Cities, including Hennepin County Library, the Minnesota Digital Library at Minitex, and the American Swedish Institute. Prior to entering the library field, Goodrich was a dressmaker and designer of bridal and evening gowns. Outside of the library she enjoys reading, sewing, and experimenting in the kitchen with the bounty of the garden.

Portrait of Jaimianne Jacobin

Jaimianne Jacobin, Executive Director, James Renwick Alliance for Craft

Jaimianne Jacobin is the executive director of the James Renwick Alliance for Craft, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering public appreciation, education, and connoisseurship of American craft. She has made it her personal mission to increase awareness about collecting craft as a source of support for artists and for preserving the history of the field. Formerly, she was the executive officer for the Creative Crafts Council, executive director of the Shenandoah Arts Council and owner of The Gray Gallery. She received a BFA from Finlandia University in Ceramics, and an MFA in Curatorial Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Portrait of Tiffany Momon

Dr. Tiffany Momon, Founder and Co-Director, Black Craftspeople Digital Archive

Dr. Tiffany Momon is a public historian and assistant professor at Sewanee: The University of the South, and founder and co-director of the Black Craftspeople Digital Archive, a black digital humanities project that centers black craftspeople, their lives, and their contributions to the making and building of America. Throughout her career, Momon has lectured on the subject of black craftspeople at organizations such as the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and others.

Portrait of Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy

Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy, Assistant Curator, Museum of Arts and Design

Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy is a New York and Los Angeles–based curator, writer, and arts administrator of contemporary art and craft. She serves as Assistant Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York. Vizcarrondo-Laboy also curates exhibitions independently. She is the co-creator and co-host of the podcast Clay in Color. She holds an MA in the History of Decorative Arts, Design, and Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center, New York.

Future Insights Talk 3:
The Future of the Creative Economy

Wednesday, December 15, 2021, via Zoom
11 a.m. PT | 12 p.m. MT | 1 p.m. CT | 2 p.m. ET
Duration: 2 hours

As we emerge from the pandemic, what does the new creative economy look like? How can artists become nimble in an ever-evolving market now and post-COVID? How do we create a more equitable creative economy? Will the creative economy look different? If so, how? What support or interesting programs exist to help support creatives?

Talk 3 Guest Speakers

portrait of lesley roberts

Malene Barnett, Artist/Activist/Legacy Maker, Black Artists + Designers Guild

Malene Barnett is an artist, entrepreneur, and authority on the cultural traditions and practices of art in the African diaspora and how it translates into her vision of the modern black experience. From her sculptural ceramic tiles and vessels to mixed media paintings to handwoven rugs, Barnett continues to evolve her craft and share her African heritage with a global audience. Using natural materials like the finest wools, silks, pastels, and clay, she uncovers a deeper language of her legacy and an authentic understanding of her cultural identity. A passionate connector and expert ambassador, her mission is to use art as a tool to create community impact and open doors for the next generation of black artists and expand the conversation around marginalization in the arts and create greater opportunities for inclusion.
As the founder of the Black Artists + Designers Guild, a global platform and curated collective of independent black artists, makers, and designers, she is always seeking new ways to define the black narrative and experience for a new generation while bringing awareness to inequality. She’s also on the board for CERF+, an organization that provides emergency loans to artisans and craftspeople during natural disasters.
Equal parts artist, anthropologist, and activist, she hopes to bridge the function of textiles and ceramics from the African region by exploring what it means to be black in America today.
Her work has been praised in Interior Design magazine, New York Magazine, Traditional Home, Elle Decor, HGTV Magazine, Luxe Interiors + Design magazine, and House Beautiful. She was also on the cover of Brownstoner Magazine and Wendy Goodman’s "Designer Lives" video series with New York Magazine’s The Cut. Her entrepreneurial spirit was captured in the New York Times bestselling book In the Company of Women and Home by Hygge & West. She has appeared as a guest speaker on Morning Joe, MSNBC Your Business, and TEDx. Malene’s clients include Marriott, Viacom, Saks, WeWork, Avalon Communities, and the MetLife Building. In 2019, she was awarded designer of the year by interiors + sources magazine and the RADD Award (Real Estate, Architecture, Design Development) from
She is a sought-after speaker and has done engagements and keynotes for KBIS, THE D&D Building, United Nations, The Affordable Art Fair, and many others.
Malene Barnett is based in Brooklyn, New York, and is available for collaborations, public speaking, and business leadership projects.

portrait of lesley roberts

Lesley Roberts, Executive Director, Textile Arts | Los Angeles

Lesley Roberts is the executive director and co-founder of Textile Arts | Los Angeles. She is also the principal of OceanParkStudio, a marketing and strategy firm that believes in the power of thoughtful ideas, creative vision, and clarity of purpose to achieve meaningful change and growth. Lesley received a BFA in Art History from UCLA and a certificate from UCLA Anderson School’s Executive Education program. One of her earliest memories was seeing a Robert Rauschenberg / Gemini G.E.L. exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She is a strategist, community builder, and social entrepreneur.
Lesley is also the lead for Southern California Fibershed, and a member of ArtTable, Textile Society of America, American Craft Council, Fiber Art Now, and Surface Design Association.

portrait of gwynne rukenbrod smith

Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith, Director of Community and Creative Work, ACC

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 of caroline taiwo

Caroline Taiwo, Director of Economic Opportunity, Springboard for the Arts

Caroline Taiwo is the director of Economic Opportunity at Springboard for the Arts. In 2018 she piloted a series of pop-up markets connecting creative entrepreneurs to new audiences, launched a panel and workshop series on access to capital for BIPOC artists, and in 2021 introduced Ready Made, a platform showcasing craft artists and makers across the state of Minnesota. Looking ahead to Spring 2022, Caroline is excited to pull many threads together by piloting a market accelerator program connecting artists, crafters, and makers to more of the capital, tools, and resources they need to make a living and a life. Caroline's a creative writer and hand makes body butters from home in her spare time.

portrait of erik takeshita

Erik Takeshita, Americans for the Arts, Get Creative Workers Working, Creative Placemaking/Creative Economy Consultant

Erik Takeshita is passionate about the power of art and culture to help build healthier, more equitable, and sustainable communities. He is currently the principal of The Takeshita Group and previously served as a senior fellow at ArtPlace America, portfolio director for Community Creativity at the Bush Foundation, and director of creative placemaking at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Erik trained as a ceramic artist and lives in Minneapolis with his wife and daughters.

Meet Our Program Facilitator

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.
Portrait of Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith
Cover of Winter 2022 issue of American Craft

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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
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PICTURED IN HEADER GRAPHIC: Paul Stankard creates mystical glass pieces such as Emily Dickinson's Garden Hive (2021) out of flameworked soda-lime glass (top). Photo by Jeff DiMarco. Adebunmi Gbadebo made the coiled and woodfired True Blue Vessel II (2021), from soil from the former plantation where Gbadebo’s ancestors were enslaved; the locks of human hair were dipped into slip made from the soil (bottom left). Photo by Adebunmi Gbadebo. In a workshop by arts activist Shanai Matteson, participants made flags mimicking pipeline contstuction utility flags that are instead used to mark sacred water sites (bottom right). Photo courtesy of Shanai Matteson.