Maine Crafts Association + Maine Crafts Guild
Become One Maine Craft Organization

The Maine Crafts Association, a leading Maine non-profit arts organization established in 1983, and the Maine Crafts Guild, a prominent Maine craft institution promoting fine craft shows for over 44 years have joined forces to become one Maine craft organization.

Please join the Maine Crafts Association, our board of directors, exhibiting artists, members and friends to celebrate this momentous occasion and opening of our 2020 show season at the preview night of the MCA Guild Fine Craft Show: Mount Desert Island at Camp Beech Cliff, July 24th, 5-8pm. Buy tickets here

THE OUTCOME

The Maine Crafts Association is currently planning the four fine craft shows previously managed by the Maine Crafts Guild as well as the Portland Fine Craft Show- the MCA’s existing one-day, outdoor, downtown Portland show, now in its sixth year. The intent of the MCA Guild Fine Craft Shows, as it was under Maine Crafts Guild management, is to nurture a marketplace where the public can see, collect and learn about the highest quality craft objects made by Maine’s most dedicated, talented and trained craft artists who have mastered their tools, techniques and vision to create original fine craft objects for everyday use and special occasions.

“We are honored to carry on the legacy of the Maine Crafts Guild. This group of dedicated artists is known for their standards of excellence and fine craftsmanship, promoting professional fine crafts shows and supporting and highlighting many of the most talented craft artists in Maine. It makes sense for Maine’s craft artists and the public, for there to be a single, primary, strong Maine craft organization, serving Maine craft artists from emerging to masters. The Maine Crafts Association looks forward to continuing the work of both organizations and offering more opportunities to more Maine craft artists.”

– Sadie Bliss, Executive Director, Maine Crafts Association

THE PROCESS

The Maine Crafts Association and the Maine Crafts Guild entered into an agreement in February 2019 to pursue bringing the organizations together and formed a Transition Team made up of members from each organization. The Transition Team worked throughout the year with legal and accounting professionals to guide the process and carry out each step. Careful consideration was made to ensure each organization’s programming, events, and initiatives, as well as standards and values, would be carried on. Over the last twelve months the Maine Crafts Association became familiar with Guild operations. Three Guild members joined the Maine Crafts Association Board of Directors and at the end of 2019 the Maine Crafts Guild formally dissolved. Upon dissolution, all remaining Maine Crafts Guild assets were donated to the Maine Crafts Association. The Maine Crafts Guild’s primary purpose was to manage fine crafts shows which are now being managed and promoted by the Maine Crafts Association.

“The process to integrate Maine Crafts Guild and Maine Crafts Association has mirrored the process of each object made by our collective membership, demanding a skilled hand, thoughtful consideration, passion and patience. Throughout 2019, testament to the shared values and visions of nurturing and promoting fine craft and craft artists in Maine, the dedicated transition team worked to identify and resolve the many moving parts to bring the two organizations together. From the start of our discussions, the Transition Team vowed to make the process as transparent as possible, providing frequent updates to the respective memberships, as well as, listening to and reporting feedback from members and stakeholders; we believe this open dialog with our members has contributed to the success and strong support of bringing the two organizations together.”

– Tyler Gulden, President, Maine Crafts Association

WHY NOW?

The interest in becoming one organization surfaced throughout the collective histories of both organizations. Many Maine craft artists were members of both organizations, and there was some confusion from artists and the public deciphering between the two organizations or understanding the need for two separate entities. The Maine Crafts Association has facilities, staff and a non-profit structure and status. The Maine Crafts Guild had a legacy of excellence and established fine craft shows. It became clear that bringing together the resources of the two would be more efficient, less confusing, and financially effective- all the better to serve Maine’s craft artists.

Artists interested in learning more about exhibiting in the MCA craft shows and other MCA resources and opportunities please visit mainecrafts.org

“With the coming together of the Maine Crafts Guild and the Maine Crafts Association, there is now one central organization that will better be able to serve the needs of our statewide network of Maine craft artists. Maine craft artists will benefit from the wide scope of resources now conveniently located within one organization. Through professional development, networking opportunities, marketing resources and sales opportunities the Maine Craft Association can now better serve all Maine crafts artists from emerging craft artists to masters in their field. I am so very excited for Maine craft artists to now have one stronger, single statewide organization with the tools and resources to be able to support Maine craft artists in their pursuit of their craft.”

-Lisa Gent, former President, Maine Crafts Guild

2020 Maine Crafts Association Craft Shows:

JULY 24, 25, 26
MCA Guild Fine Craft Show: Camp Beech Cliff, MDI

AUGUST 14, 15, 16
MCA Guild Fine Craft Show: United Farmer’s Market of Maine, Belfast

AUGUST 22
Portland Fine Craft Show, Free Street, Portland

SEPTEMBER 19 & 20
MCA Guild Fine Craft Show: Camp Ketcha, Scarborough

OCTOBER 24 & 25
MCA Guild Fine Craft Show: Fort Andross, Brunswick

Celebrate with Us!

Please join the Maine Crafts Association, our board of directors, exhibiting artists, members and friends to celebrate this momentous occasion and opening of our 2020 show season at the preview night of the MCA Guild Fine Craft Show: Mount Desert at Camp Beech Cliff, July 24th, 5-8pm.

$100 Supporter Tickets and $40 Attendee Tickets now available. Tickets include admission to the Maine Craft Celebration at the Show Preview Party, weekend-long show admission, refreshments, drink ticket and merriment!

Meet Lizz Berry
Director, MCA Guild Fine Craft Shows

In 2018 Lizz Berry made the move from Pennsylvania to Maine to pursue the thriving craft scene and natural beauty of New England. Today she enjoys every minute of balancing her life as both an artist, and non profit arts organization employee.

“I am humbled to be a part of this exciting transition for fine craft in Maine. It is a wonderful state, filled to the brim with talented artists, and I’m happy to serve so many by continuing these long standing traditions. Every change needs something steady, and I’m prepared to be that something steady.”

– Lizz Berry, MCA Program Manager & MCA Guild Fine Craft Show Director

In 2019, the Transition Team recommended and coordinated for Lizz (who was working part time for the MCA) to be hired by the Maine Crafts Guild to manage their four annual craft shows during the organization’s final year. This achieved both the Guild’s need for one person to coordinate all four shows and the MCA’s need to be trained in Guild show operations. Coordinating one show per month from July through October in Mount Desert, Belfast, Scarborough and Brunswick, kept her busy for most of the summer, however in between shows Lizz continued to work part time for Maine Crafts Association as a Gallery Consultant at Maine Craft Portland.

In January 2020, Lizz was promoted as a full time MCA Program Manager and Director of MCA Guild Fine Craft Shows. She will no longer be found on gallery floor at Maine Craft Portland, but in addition to directing all four MCA Guild Fine Craft Shows, she will help manage other programs and initiatives for MCA such as the Craft Apprentice Program, Institutional Membership, Sponsorships and other administrative tasks.

Lizz is a trained textile artist specializing in handweaving, natural dyeing, and quilting. Her personal endeavor, The Wild Textile, produces small batch textiles that span from fashion to home decor. Her passion emanates primarily from her family heirlooms. Her grandmother was a missionary surgeon in Assam, India, and bestowed to her family a variety of vintage handwoven Indian saris, tapestries and fabrics. The standards of craftsmanship upheld by prior generations never ceased to inspire Lizz, and Maine’s vibrant craft scene is the perfect match for her love of old world techniques.

Contact Lizz: lizz@mainecrafts.org

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