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CERF+ names new executive director

Ruby Lopez Harper 

Ruby Lopez Harper 

The Craft Emergency Relief Fund’s (CERF+) board of directors and staff have announced the appointment of Ruby Lopez Harper as its new executive director. Harper succeeds Cornelia Carey, who recently completed 25 years of service to the Montpelier, Vt.-based organization, also known as ‘The Artists Safety Net.’

Lopez Harper says she plans to expand upon the growth Carey achieved at CERF+, which offers educational resources and emergency-based financial assistance to studio-based artists.

She wants woodworkers to know they’re always included as part of the diverse community the organization serves, and that the craft is one of many she deeply respects and admires.

“I remember visiting a woodworking supply store in Columbus, Ohio, just after a visit to the Ohio Designer Craft Museum. Being able to touch and see the tools that turned a simple collection of wood pieces into beautiful functional pieces such as tables, cutting boards, trays and vessels. The way that woodworkers can draw life from a tree stump or a piece of wood,” Lopez Harper tells Woodshop News.

“Being able to support artists who deal with emergencies is a solemn duty and an honor to be present for so many in the arts and culture community. A community that thrives by supporting one another individually and collectively.”

Bringing with her a wealth of expertise in arts and disaster management, Lopez Harper fulfilled several roles at Americans for the Arts over the past six years, most recently as vice president of equity and local arts engagement.

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This article was originally published in the January 2023 issue.

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