Winter 2017 Director's Report

Looking back while looking forward—never an easy task, but a requisite one in the not-for-profit world. What have we done? What had we wanted to do? What’s next? Where do we hope to be? Fourth quarter of our calendar/fiscal year is all about finding answers to these questions.

What have we done? 
A lot. We’ve completed year two of the MN NICE program (Minnesota’s New Institute for Ceramic Education) and graduated eight more adult students, whose work is now on view in our galleries. We produced a slew of really amazing exhibitions! What other place can boast an exhibitions program that, in a single calendar year, featured creations by novice and emerging artists, functional pottery that explored the nature of ceramic education, floral-centric pottery and sculpture, wildly imaginative sculpture and gorgeous pottery made by mid-career artists, and ceramic objects and art that employed new technologies at the fingertips of their makers? We can! We had the most successful year of attendance and sales as part of the 2016 American Pottery Festival. We awarded emerging and mid-career project grants, residencies, and fellowships to 16 artists from across the country. We purchased a new ClayToGo Van to ensure that the reach of our outreach and exhibitions programs continues to expand. And, we celebrated NCC’s 25th Anniversary! 

What had we wanted to do? 
All of this, while delivering it to you, our constituents, in a professional, high-quality, lively, and reliably lovely package!

What’s next? 
For starters, we finish this calendar year. We have strong adult enrollment in our autumn classes and workshops. We will reach new groups of visitors with our exhibitions. We will ensure a positive and rewarding experience for our new group of visiting artists in our studios. We will get our new ClayToGo Van on the road to reach youth, families, and older adults across the Twin Cities and the state of Minnesota. We will produce another gorgeous iteration of our Annual Holiday Exhibition and shine a light on the wares of beloved potter, John Reeve, in the Emily Galusha Gallery. 

Finally, we will end 2016 with a balanced budget. That’s where you come in! You’ve been generous in spirit and with your pocketbooks all year, but we call on you one last time in 2016 to make a final, year-end, tax-deductible donation: a donation that will help to ensure we are able to set the stage for another fantastic year of programming. Make a final, year-end donation and own the pride that comes with advancing the ceramic arts. Because of you, we are bringing clay to new people every day. Because of you, artists have the opportunity to do what they love to do, what they need to do, and what we as a society need them to do. Because of you, we can explore new ways to talk about and to showcase ceramic art. Because of you! 

Where do we hope to be? 
Working alongside each of you to continue to advance the ceramic arts through new opportunities for ceramic artists, through high-quality and diverse ceramic arts education (both at our facility and across the state through ClayToGo and ART@HAND programs), and through interesting exhibitions that challenge your assumptions about the ceramic material. 

Let’s welcome 2017 together!

— Sarah MIllfelt, Director

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