Thanksgiving has come and gone, pumpkins are wilted and Christmas trees are already nervously dreading their curbside pick-up dates. Time itself is on its fourth cup of coffee and third shot of Red Bull. We’ve hit another holiday season full of family, friendship and lifelong memories.

Your volunteer NCECA board met in Providence, Rhode Island in October to address some important business for the Council. We were generously hosted by the RISD Museum for a highly attended launch party for the 2015 Conference and were thrilled that so many of our friends and members were able to attend. In November, Red Star Studios and Crane Yard Clay in Kansas City hosted another high-energy launch event for NCECA’s 2016 Conference planning. Please join us in thanking these wonderful hosts for sharing their warmth, friendship and generosity.

Since these uplifting events, the losses of some major figures in our field have sadly affected many of us. With very heavy hearts we have shared some of the impact of these losses when we notified you of the passing of our honored friends and mentors. During our October meeting in Providence, NCECA made the decision to transfer lifetime Honorary and Fellow awardee benefits to surviving spouses with the hope that they will join us in celebrating their legacies and the seeds of love for clay that were so thoughtfully planted and nurtured by these founding and essential members.

Our 48th Annual Conference programming for Milwaukee is coming together and you won’t believe this year’s line-up of speakers, demonstrators and stimulating panels. The board heard the membership through our surveys so you will see some changes in the programming structure, which will run two concurrent sessions rather than three. We’ve been highly selective in reviewing programming proposals and have a diverse array of top tier presentations and speakers with regional, national and international appeal. You will want to make sure your NCECA membership is active and register early to lock in the bestEarly Bird rates.

We continue to update our Bylaws and Guide to the Board to remain relevant and align with the workings of the Council. Other important notes from our board meeting include protocols for the new electronic voting for board positions that will be implemented this year. The candidates for open positions will soon be submitting videos that you will be able to view prior to voting. Members will be asked to submit their votes for open board positions by using their NCECA log-ins. To insure that everyone has an opportunity to experience the new voting system, prior to the board election, we will be hosting a poll that will ask members to cast votes on a small set of questions that are pertinent to NCECA’s future direction. This non-binding poll will enable members to experience the voting system while helping NCECA gain valuable knowledge about our members’ interests. Links and instructions about this pre-election ballot will be coming to you in the next few weeks.

We’ve also made advancements in our 50th year planning for the NCECA anniversary celebration in Kansas City for 2016. We continue to work on special projects for this important celebration. Executive Director, Josh Green and I have been engaged on behalf of NCECA in some intensive training for non-profit board leaders that further educates and refines what we do and how we do it through the Annenberg Foundation’s Alchemy+ program. This great opportunity is guiding us to align the work of the Council with best practices of the most successful non-profit organizations. We continue to strive to be one of the nation’s premier arts organizations serving our membership with efficiency and effectiveness.

Even though we have our feet full force and square on the brake of the New Year… it will inevitably come crashing through the window of 2013. NCECA is undertaking projects that advance the mission of the Council and the greater field through exhibitions, publications, and support for artists through fellowships, residency programs and special projects for our 50th anniversary. For three years running, your volunteer NCECA board achieved its goal of 100 percent participation in financial contributions to the organization to which they already donate hundreds of hours. In 2012 we almost doubled our combined annual contribution. This year we have pledged to surpass our 2012 total board giving. As you wrap up this year’s numbers and receipts we hope that you will join us in making a tax-deductible year-end contribution to NCECA.

I personally have learned so much about how important this support and acknowledgement from the membership is. There was a time as a very young maker that I scoffed at the idea of making a financial contribution to an entity that was not my studio practice. Through the years, I have learned to acknowledge that my studio practice has been fueled, stimulated, supplemented and bolstered by all the benefits that I have garnered by being a member of NCECA. It has provided me with insights, networks and friendships that are priceless. To sustain that gift for others I made the decision to give my time and happily give my money. I’ve also seen how carefully committed NCECA’s Board and staff are to managing and allocating resources in ways that benefit the organization and its membership. Understanding this commitment has made me a confident donor because I know my support is going to the right places. Please visit www.nceca.net to make your year-end gift now.

My very best wishes to you as we drive through the tunnel to the light of the New Year. I’m taking my foot off the brake and setting cruise control for the last couple of miles. With all my hopes that you achieve everything your hearts desire in the New Year. As always, drop us a line with any NCECA thoughts you might have. We’ll see you all in three very short months.

Patsy Cox
NCECA President


During its recent meeting in Providence, Rhode Island in compliance with its bylaws NCECA’s Board ratified new candidates for positions that will transition at the conclusion of the 2014 Conference. Candidates are listed below by position. Names are provided in alphabetical order. The candidates with asterisks following their names were ratified as nominees by NCECA’s Board of Directors as required in the organization’s bylaws.

Director-at-Large 2014-2017
Rebecca Harvey*
Scott Lykens
Jane Shellenbarger*
Russell Wrankle

Student Director-at-Large 2014-2016
Jennifer Chua
James (Alex) Ferrante
Eleanor Heimbaugh

Secretary 2014-2017 
Jill Oberman*
Donna Rozman*

All candidates have been invited to submit headshots, a brief text about their qualifications and interest in NCECA service, and a short video that will be linked for viewing via YouTube. NCECA will send notifications via its e-News and social media as these materials become available.

For the first time in its history NCECA is untethering participation in board elections from attendance at the Second Members Business Meeting at the Annual Conference. Every active member of NCECA will be able to cast one vote for each of these positions through an e-ballot system that will open approximately six-weeks prior to the conference and close at 4pm, Friday, March 21, 2014. All currently active members will be required to use the e-balloting portal to cast votes.  Paper ballots will only be provided at the conference to those who purchase memberships through on-site conference registration in Milwaukee.

Watch for additional information on a non-binding pilot vote of the e-ballot system in upcoming NCECA e-News. Thanks to all of those who forwarded names to NCECA’s Nominations Committee, as well as those who expressed interest in candidacy, following through with the submission of nominations procedures prior to the autumn deadline. The number and quality of those who came forward is testament to the commitment and vision of our members.


Major Sponsorships Deadline Rapidly Approaches: December 14, 2013
The improved and upgraded NCECA app offers the best way to put your brand, event or exhibition in the palm of the clay community’s hand at the 2014 conference and beyond! A limited number of app sponsorship opportunities outlined below remain available for a short time only so act fast.

More details here

Porcelain Package (SOLD OUT) $2,200
Stoneware Package (4 STILL AVAILABLE) $900
Earthenware package (4 STILL AVAILABLE) $300
Banner Ads– 640 x 150 pixels (8 LEFT) $650
Click Scavenger Hunt Game Destination (12 available) $150
Push Notifications at conference (8 LEFT) $50
Push Notifications ($25 per notification; before or after conference)
Add a link to a notification for your exhibition or event $15
Enhanced Business Listing (add images, pdfs, links, etc.)


Commercial Booths and Resource Tables still available.
Full details here

Reserve your space prior to December 17, 2014 to be included in the print Program Guide.