We are now roughly 5 months from the opening of our 50th anniversary conference.  As everyone’s excitement builds, our valiant Programs Director, Mary Cloonan, will begin to bring you insights and information into this year’s programming.  “Mondays with Mary” will begin next week.  Be sure to check the blog regularly to get all the insider information.

For those who are new to NCECA, the Simultaneous Demonstrations which run on 9-12 and 1-4 on both Thursday & Friday have long been one of the most anticipated aspects of the conference.  Each year, the board receives more applications in the demonstrator category than any other area of programming.  When the board meets each spring to determine the programming, we all labor over deciding on the demonstrators.  It is important to us as a board to have equal representation between potters and sculptors, men and women, and even have at least one international artist.

This year, those who were charged with reviewing and presenting all the demonstrators came to the full board with a different idea, which would include seeking demonstrators from outside of the pool of applicants.  Now, I will openly admit, I was already preparing to object and I sat at the table, dubious from the first words.  From that moment, I requested speaking time, planning to oppose the suggestion.  When my time came up, this is what I said:

Well, I was absolutely prepared to speak against this, but I freaking LOVE this idea”

Yes, seriously, those were my exact words, and the only words I could find.  (…and it’s not often that I am left speechless)  I remember it so clearly.  So, what was the idea, you may wonder?  To honor our theme, Makers, Mentors & Milestones, and invite those people who ARE our mentors from our field to be our demonstrators.  I admit, I got stars in my eyes at the names that were being thrown out.  If you got the NCECA poster in the mail, you may already have an idea of who one or two of the demonstrators will be.  If not, be sure to stay tuned to the blog for Mondays with Mary, as all shall be revealed soon!