Director's Report: Summer 2016

In the last year, we’ve taken big steps to identify new ways that we can engage audiences, further diversify the field of ceramics, better serve artists, and respond to the changing needs of all of our constituents:

  • We’ve secured funds from the Jerome Foundation to support the new Jerome Ceramic Artist of Color Residency—designed to provide an emerging ceramic artist of color with the opportunity to be in residence for one year at NCC to pursue further educational opportunities and develop new work.
  • We laid groundwork for what we hope is long-tenured work with new audiences, specifically, our neighbors from East Africa. A year ago, we launched our first classes with adults and seniors, which took place at NCC. We are in the process of identifying future funds to support ongoing work with our neighbors and welcome your support in our fundraising efforts!
  • Our MN NICE program graduated the seven inaugural participants—artists received their certificates and shared new bodies of ceramic work during their graduation exhibition. We are excited about the potential of MN NICE to foster a diverse community and build upon people’s passion for ceramics. It is a new educational model for those who are not able to follow a traditional path through a BFA or MFA program, but who desire the quality of instruction and rigorous study provided in a university setting. We currently have 11 students enrolled in year two of the program and have shared our successes and challenges at NCECA in Kansas City.
  • Finally, in the last year, NCC greatly expanded its outreach through ART@HAND and ClayToGo, and in calendar year 2015, we reached over 10,000 individuals through these programs, an increase of 25% over 2014, and an all-time high for the organization. 

With growth comes the need for new equipment, and in order to keep our outreach programs traveling across the metro area and beyond, NCC is in need of a new and improved ClayMobile 2.0. Armed with a new vehicle and a renewed sense of purpose in our outreach programs, we’ll be able to continue to expand our services and bring the joys of clay art to populations near and far. 

As outreach continues to grow in scope and demand, we are heartened and honored to have such a talented cadre of teaching artists as our partners in these efforts (in addition to the scores of other teaching artists who provide tutelage to our students in onsite classes, clay events, workshops, and summer camps).

As we continue to reflect on the past and lay plans for the future, we invite you to commemorate our 25th anniversary by attending our floral-themed party on Saturday, June 25, from 5 – 9 pm. NCC’s 2016 spring exhibition, Florilegium (originates from the Latin flos [flower] and legere [to gather]), will serve as the perfect backdrop for our early-summer anniversary party. Celebrate all things “25”—support ceramic artists and NCC as you bid on 25 silent auction ceramic wares staged by local floral designers; bring 25 friends (or make 25 new ones), wear your favorite floral-inspired wardrobe; sample NCC’s specially-crafted, floral-infused anniversary ale by Dangerous Man Brewing Company; taste floral-infused fare; and dance to the soulful Hipshaker. Tickets for your night of floral frolic, founders, and future are just $25 and will be available online and at the door. Join us in a toast of thanks and respect to everyone involved in the first 25 years of NCC, and a promise to grow and well-tend NCC’s next 25 years!

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