Center for Craft 25th anniversary logo in red

Press Release

Front & center

May 13, 2021

Center for Craft launches 25th Anniversary with Virtual Benefit on May 26

In celebration of ᏔᎷᏣ The Basket

Spotlighting internationally renowned ceramicist Magdalene Odundo and Craft Futures Award Honoree Michael Sherrill

A graphic for the Center for Craft 25th Anniversary that reads, "Center for Craft, Celebrating twenty-five years of advancing craft"

Photo courtesy of

ASHEVILLE, NC (May 13, 2020)—On May 26 from 6-7 pm ET, the Center for Craft will kick off a year-long celebration of 25 years advancing the field of craft with their first-ever virtual benefit. The event provides an opportunity for craft enthusiasts from across the country to hear from program participants and support the organization as it envisions new programs to continue uplifting the field. 

The financial strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic has put more than 1 in 3 nonprofits in the United States in danger of closing within the next two years. With the help of partners and supporters, the Center remains a strong and resilient champion on behalf of the field it cares so deeply about. All funds raised from the 25th Anniversary Virtual Celebration & Benefit will provide critical resources to jumpstart the Center’s programming for emerging craft artists and scholars. 

Featured guests in the benefit include established ceramicists Michael Sherrill and Magdalene Odundo. Sherrill will be the recipient of the inaugural Craft Futures Award in honor of his volunteer service mentoring the next generation of craft artists and continued support of craft organizations across the country to include the Southern Highlands Craft Guild, James Renwick Alliance, and Archie Bray. World-renowned ceramic artist Magdalene Odundo, who traveled to Sherrill's studio in 2012 to conduct an artist residency in partnership with Appalachian State University, Western Carolina University, and UNC Asheville, will speak about her current work and upcoming exhibition in New York City. 

Founded in May 1996, the Center for Craft was created to advance the understanding of craft both in the western North Carolina region and beyond. "We are launching a year of celebration to thank our loyal supporters over the years and reach new audiences with the message of craft's importance and relevance," says Stephanie Moore, Executive Director. "Craft is uniquely positioned to build communities and provides a way for deeper connections and quality of life." 

The event also marks the start of a deep planning process to include a seminal Craft Think Tank facilitated by Creation in Commons to be held this fall that will help identify needs and opportunities in the field over the next decade. Additional input will be captured through audience surveys, a board ideation session facilitated by Climer Consulting, and a business plan consultancy with Arts Consulting Group

Benefit tickets are $25. Ticketed guests will also receive a complimentary inaugural Center for Craft Membership, a program set to launch this year in celebration of the 25th Anniversary.


Date and Time: Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 6 - 7 pm ET 

Event log-in instructions will be provided following registration. 

To learn more about the speakers in this event and to purchase tickets, visit 


ABOUT CENTER FOR CRAFT The Center for Craft is celebrating 25 years of advancing the field of craft through awarding grants, offering exhibitions and public programs, building strategic community and national partnerships, and spearheading initiatives in the United States. Founded in 1996, the Center is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential national 501c3 organizations working in the craft field today. For more information on ways to celebrate 25 years of craft and learn more about grants administered by Center for Craft, visit