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Thursday, June 24, 2010

CODA - Partnership Potential Amazing

On behalf of ANCA, I attended the annual Craft Organization Development Association on April 6 and 7, 2010. It was held in a riverside factory building restored by the Savannah College of Art & Design. Lovely big windows to admire the tankers coming into the Savannah port and the clean line of that arched bridge into South Carolina.

As hosts, the college and Camille and Bill Ronay, of Georgia Made Georgia Grown LLC, should be very proud of this year's conference.

In addition to the always anticipated networking of craft program administrations from across the North American continent and a great slot of speakers, the conference, this year, brought together a number of key players in the craft industry. In a time when continued funding from typical sources is less and less likely, partnerships between public and private, and between craft organizations, is key to providing ongoing great service to our artisans and retailers.

My hats off to the board. Their partnering beyond the traditional started at the 2007 annual CODA conference held in Calgary, Canada. Tom McFall, executive director of the Alberta Craft Council and host of the 2007 conference, was elected to the CODA board during this year's annual meeting held at the conference.

The board offered the opportunity to many public and private and craft organizations to collaborate.

They invited Wendy Rosen, founder of the Rosen Group. She is such a dynamo. She is so ready to share with everyone. It was just a joy to meet this fiercely focused, cut out the bull and let's get down to it woman who has built a business empire out of her deep love of the crafts industry.

I hope that many of the craft organizations take her up on her offer to provide an issue or was it a subscription to American Style as a gift for those who sign up as members during fund-raising drives. It's a package - it costs only $8 per new member. Contact American Style. And she had another program of interest - rubber stamping $10 bills with "FindAmericanMade.com. 600 craft galleries are participating.

I sat in on the World Craft Council North American meeting and became a member. There are five chapters. While the North American one has been dormant for 20 years, all the other chapters, but especially the Asian one with its 2,000 active members, have been collaborating on an incredible number of activities.

As well, an board member from the American Craft Council came to be part of the presentation of CODA's annual Leadership Award Presentation to "honor Andrew Glasgow; whose leadership, creative thinking and outstanding service have had a significant impact on the crafts field."

In these changing times, I commend CODA board members for giving us all an opportunity to sit at the same table.

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