search  current discussion  categories  events - nceca 

nceca shorcomings

updated fri 28 jan 00


Linda Arbuckle on thu 27 jan 00

In response to the discussion of NCECA shortcomings... the members are

At one point K-12 teachers felt disenfranchised w/NCECA. They said no
one provided programming for them, and had similar issues about
programming being accepted. They learned that they had to participate in
several ways to get things done. They organized, had group meetings, and
did a K-12 juried show. The 2nd one was last year. They found a sponsor,
it was in the conference hotel instead of some distant site, and it's on
its way to being institutionalized as a regular event.

It may take more than one year's try to get something to happen. The
board is elected from the membership. They volunteer to do this,
including reading all the proposals from the membership and trying to
put together a balanced conference for the membership. It's not some
group of education thugs trying to strong-arm the rest of the
constituency. I'm guessing that even in a group of all potters, it's
still hard to please all the people all the time.

Go the business meetings. A shockingly low percentage of the membership
does. (I know, they always make you choose between lunch and business,
and many of us vote on that one with our feet... ) Nominate a candidate
for the board, or buttonhole one of the candidates and ask them to be an
advocate for your interests. Sounds like you have Louis, but he's off
the board soon if not already. Find an incoming person. Encourage
submission of a number of proposals in your area of interest from
several people to spur getting some of them on the program.

The advantage of working from within is that a great deal is already set
up, and it's a great focus. Many of the members ARE potters. Help
sensitize the board to your interests.

NCECA is approached by a number of people wanting to present an agenda.
The board is a group of members. They have to make decisions. Organize
your consituency, discuss your interests. Work on making your interests
known to the board. Come to the members general meeting on Saturday and
speak up. Write the board a well-reasoned letter from your constituency.

This is probably a lot less work than making a separate, competing
organization. It's better to light one candle than curse the darkness.

Having seen how fragmented many other art organizations are,by media or
approach, I am impressed that we can meet together at NCECA. There is
strength in numbers, and I learn more from seeing many facets. The
exception to my reluctance to see clay factionalized is perhaps my
enjoyment of The Bald Headed Potters group, a very special interest.

For those who want to revel in pottery... Arrowmont School is planning
another Utilitarian Ceramics conference in Sept. in Gatlinburg. Limited
to 200 people last 2 events. It was a great chance to wallow in pottery
and potters. They only do this every couple of years, and limit the size
to what the dining hall holds. Haven't seen any announcements yet, but
it's a great event for potters. Unlike NCECA, the do not accept
proposals from attendees, but organize the program. They've done a super
job, but it's not a member-driven organization.

Linda Arbuckle
Assoc. Prof.Univ of FL
School of Art and Art History
P.O. Box 115801, Gainesville, FL 32611-5801
(352) 392-0201 x 219