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CERF+ executive director bids farewell


After 25 years as executive director for CERF+ (The Craft Emergency Relief Fund), Cornelia Carey will be stepping down from her position this fall. Based in Montpelier, Vt., the non-profit organization helps artists with programs that bolster their success through financial relief, advocacy and education. As she prepares for her departure, Carey says artists can expect that same support in the future, and that woodworkers are no exception.

“I am so thankful to the woodworking community for all you’ve contributed to CERF+ over the years,” Carey tells Woodshop News.

“Together we’ve assisted hundreds of artists who’ve faced crises in their lives and helped them build more resilient careers. Whether hand chiseling a dovetail joint for a drawer or turning a maple burl on a lathe, the skill and care that woodworkers apply to their art is magical and has been so inspiring to me. Woodworkers are an important part of our community, and I am so proud of all we have done together.”

During her tenure, Carey helped expand CERF+ into all 50 states and broadened its outreach to assist marginalized artist communities throughout the country, according to the organization. She also developed a critical education and preparedness program that encourages artists to be more resilient before disaster strikes.

“Cornelia’s impact during her time leading CERF+ is immeasurable. It is felt in every corner of our organization, from her mentorship of the staff to her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, to her steady hand in piloting CERF+ during historic climate-related disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cinda Holt, chair of the CERF+ board, said in a statement. “We are also deeply grateful for her untiring advocacy on behalf of artists in times of emergency, both within and outside the cultural sector.”

A search committee for the next executive director has been assembled and is co-chaired by CERF+ board members Wendy Maruyama and Robert Booker. Carey has offered to participate in an advisory capacity through the new director’s orientation and first months on the job.

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This article was originally published in the June 2022 issue.

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