Sarah Millfelt, Northern Clay Center's Executive Director, Announces Her Resignation

It is with mixed emotions that I publicly announce my pending departure from Northern Clay Center (NCC), effective October 31, 2019. I have devoted the past 20 years of my life to advancing the ceramic arts and have been privileged to do so on behalf of Northern Clay Center. My time here has been a true and constant source of energy, challenge, love, satisfaction, and motivation.

Armed with the support, wits, energy, and tireless work of so many staff and board members, teachers and makers, and learners and appreciators, my 20-year tenure at NCC (including the last seven as the Executive Director) has helped to realize so much potential for our institution, including:

  • Growing our ClayToGo and ART@HAND outreach programs exponentially;
  • Supporting and enabling the next generation of diverse makers through the genesis of new education and artist grants programs;
  • Overseeing over a million dollars in building renovations and equipment acquisitions over the last seven years, maximizing NCC’s existing footprint and ensuring the necessary space for growth in programs;
  • Providing curators with a voice to explore challenging, timely, and innovative ideas in the galleries;
  • Leading the organization through two major strategic planning initiatives;
  • Leading a rebranding of NCC and completing a website re-design, positioning NCC to remain culturally and technologically relevant;
  • Serving as an onsite liaison for the 2019 NCECA conference in Minneapolis, engaging the greater community of makers, educators, and appreciators, and showcasing the Clay Center as a premier ceramic arts organization;
  • Maintaining financial stability for NCC amidst a changing economy and funding climate.

The existence and health of NCC demands an endlessly dynamic, passionate, committed, and fearless leader. I am confident that the Board of Director’s search for my replacement will yield such a leader. On the heels of NCECA @ Minneapolis, during which time NCC was further propelled into the national arts and ceramics spotlight, NCC is poised now more than ever to attract new talent and leadership.

It has been a true honor to serve this organization, the makers, educators, appreciators and the greater field of ceramics. Thank you for letting me lead what I truly believe is the best ceramic art center in the country.

All my best,

Sarah Millfelt



It is with both sadness and gratitude that the Board of Directors confirms the pending departure of Sarah Millfelt as the Executive Director of Northern Clay Center, effective October 31, 2019.

Sarah has passionately led Northern Clay Center as Executive Director since the fall of 2011, but her service to NCC began in 1999 and continued for 12 years in myriad educational and artist service positions with the Center. Her efforts over her 20 year tenure have been critical to the continued growth and success of our organization. She will be dearly missed by her fellow staff, the board of directors, and the greater constituency she so passionately served. We are eternally grateful for her commitment to raising the profile of Northern Clay Center on the national ceramic arts stage, and for helping to build a welcoming, accessible, and quality organization; we are equally grateful for her willingness to assist NCC during the transitional period.

The Clay Center has established a Transition Committee of the Board which has already begun the national search process to identify and then hire our next Executive Director. The job announcement will soon be shared. If you know of potential candidates who could help Northern Clay Center continue along its successful trajectory, please encourage them to contact me. For any questions, concerns or inquiries about the transitional process or the position, please email


Craig Bishop
Chair, Board of Directors
Northern Clay Center


Download the pdf version of this news release here.

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