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ACC status


#1

Hey, folks, What is the story with ACC? I just did my first ACC show
last year (Chicago) so I’m in the dark. I got an email from a
disgruntled ex-board member–many of you must have gotten it,
too–but I don’t know what it’s about. Is ACC Baltimore no longer a
good show? Is the whole thing falling apart? I somehow let the
deadline blow by me this year, or else I’d have applied to these
shows. Can anyone shed some light? Thanks!

–No�l


#2
 What is the story with ACC? 

For those of you reading this who aren’t familiar with ACC, it is the
American Craft Council, a nonprofit organization run by a board that
is elected by a membership composed basically of anyone who pays the
fees primarily craftspeople, crafts patrons and gallery owners so
the board is accountable to the membership for its actions. The ACC,
among other activities, mounts several crafts shows a year, with the
Baltimore Winter show being the biggest and most important; they also
publish American Craft magazine.

Anyway, Noel, I also got the letter you referred to and, having been
out of the ACC loop for about a year, checked out the situation by
calling a friend who is always in the loop. Here’s what I
discovered.

The new ACC management has apparently made some very questionable
(at best) decisions: 1) They summarily cancelled the venerable
Baltimore Summer show without regard to the many artists and buyers,
already committed to it, who depend on it. 2) They are closing the
main Highland Park, NY, office and moving the headquarters to New
York, thus putting basically the entire experienced show staff out of
work. (The staff have been offered jobs in the new office but since
that would mean uprooting families, it’s a pretty meaningless offer.
These are people that really know their business and care about the
artists.)

  1. The current advertising campaign is both misguided and
    artist-unfriendly . It de-emphasizes the craft (failing to credit the
    little work that is pictured) and emphasizes lifestyle (a young
    couple kissing). There may be a case to be made for the lifestyle
    approach, but young couples are not exactly the target for high-end
    crafts! If you haven’t seen the postcard mentioned in the letter,
    there’s a similar spread in the latest issue of American Craft.

Incidentally, the writer of the letter is Lynn Allinger,
Co-owner/President of Craft Company #6, one of the top,
award-winning, retail craft stores in the nation. She is also, as
stated in her letter, “a former Trustee of the American Craft
Council, a former member of the Council’s Executive and Show
Committees, a former exhibitor in the Council’s shows and a current
gallery owner and registered buyer with the Council’s shows.” She is
highly reputable and writes out of a most sincere concern for the
organization and for the artists and gallery owners who are its
constituency.

I’m sure there’s even more going on, as is hinted in the letter
(“the rumor of an incredible mounting debt”), but that’s what I was
able to find out. The Baltimore winter show is still ongoing although
an artist protest is apparently planned for it. I would be
interested in hearing more about the situation myself if anyone else
has additional

I wrote to Lynn to find out if there’s a plan of action and she
responded, “Plan is in the works, trying to determine how great the
dissatisfaction is at this point. Will keep you posted.” I suggest
that anyone who is interested reply to her email as well.

Beth


#3

Beth

Although I am not involved with the current actions and direction of
ACC, I want to thank you for your

In reading it, I could not help but to think that this is probably
one of the very best uses for the internet! We can connect to and
share vital that would be difficult if not impossible to
find in other places, and in a timely manner.

Good job!!!
Frif