search  current discussion  categories  events - nceca 

nceca and save the craft center

updated mon 31 mar 97


Vince Pitelka on sun 30 mar 97

To all my dear Clayart friends -

Many of you have heard this as early as last Summer, but I shall repeat an
abbreviated version for the benefit of all the new Clayart members. Those
who wrote letters last summer and fall, PLEASE WRITE MORE. We really need
it right now.

Due to recent funding cuts at Tennessee Technological University, the future
of the Appalachian Center for Crafts has been placed in serious jeopardy.
It is doubly sad that this should happen now, as we currently have the
largest enrollments in the 17-year history of the facility. We are one of
the premier academic craft-studio programs in the country, committed to
professional fine craft education and the ongoing evolution of fine craft
media. The Center was built in 1979 with the largest federal grants ever
allocated for the fine crafts, and was intended to serve the people of
Tennessee and the Nation. If this facility closes, it will be a serious
loss to the future of fine craft.

Some very positive things have happened since this crisis began almost a
year ago. We have managed to maintain our enrollment despite forcasts of
doom by the Tennessee Tech administration. We have formed FACCT, The
Friends of the Appalachian Center for Crafts, a nonprofit organization
devoted to the support and preservation of programs at the Craft Center.
Email me if you would like to receive membership information. FACCT is
currently aggressively lobbying state politics, and is beginning to organize
fundraising efforts.

A little bit about the Center: The Appalachian Center for Crafts is part of
the Art Department at Tennessee Technological University, and is located
sixty miles east of Nashville in central Tennessee, on a wilderness tract
overlooking Center Hill Lake. The Center is one of the finest facilities in
the country devoted entirely to professional fine craft education, with
studio concentrations in clay, glass, wood, fibers, and metals. We offer the
BFA degree, one-year and two-year professional craft certificates, portfolio
development opportunities, and an extensive summer workshop program. The
facility includes sales and exhibition galleries, cafe, supply store,
audiovisual facilities, conference rooms, and dormitory apartments. The
ceramics facility includes more than 10,000 square feet of studio space,
with a large roofed kiln area outside. Kilns include standard gas and
electric, wood, salt, soda, sagger, and raku, plus facilities for sawdust
and bonfire processes.

The state of Tennessee is experiencing a budget crunch, and the Craft Center
could become a victim. Fine craft is alive and well in the Mid-South
region, and Kentucky and North Carolina have recognized that the fine crafts
and cultural tourism have a very significant and growing economic impact.
Tennessee is missing the boat, and the precarious situation at the
Appalachian Center for Crafts is hard evidence.

budget session could make or break us. Please send letters to the
addresses below and voice your support for the Craft Center and the
importance of fine craft in America. If you are within Tennessee, write to
your own legislators as well. If you are outside of Tennessee, please
affirm that the Appalachian Center for Crafts is known throughout the
nation, and attracts lots of positive attention and TOURIST DOLLARS to the
state of Tennessee.

Governor Don Sundquist, Tennessee State Capitol, Nashville, TN 37243

Dr. Charles Smith, Chancellor, Tenn. Board of Regents, 1415 Murfreesboro Rd.
Nashville, TN 37217, 615/366-4400

Lt. Governor John Wilder, #1 Legislative Plaza, Nashville, TN 37243

State Rep. Jere Hargrove, 310 E. Broad St., Cookeville, TN 38501

Jimmy Naifeh, Speaker of the House, #19 Legislative Plaza, Nashville, TN 37243

Dr. Angelo Volpe, President, Tennessee Tech. Univ., Cookeville, TN 38505

Feel free to email me if you have any questions or comments. And THANK YOU
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for your efforts in our behalf.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka -
Phone - home 615/597-5376, work 615/597-6801
Appalachian Center for Crafts
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166

Vince Pitelka on mon 31 mar 97

In my post yesterday about the Appalachian Center for Crafts, I mentioned
NCECA in the subject line, and then didn't say a thing about it in the text.
If you will be at NCECA and want to know more about the situation here at
the Center, or if you want information on becoming a member of FACCT
(Friends of the Appalachian Center for Crafts of Tennessee), stop by my
table in the non-profit exhibitor's area. Or stop by if you just want to
say hi. Hope to see lots of you at the Clayart breakfast.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka -
Phone - home 615/597-5376, work 615/597-6801
Appalachian Center for Crafts
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166