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Craft fund honored by American Craft Council

The Craft Emergency Relief Fund, which helps artists in crisis, was honored with the American Craft Council’s Award of Distinction.

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The annual award is presented to individuals, museums, organizations, publications or schools with at least 25 years of service who have made significant contributions to the craft field.

“The ACC is pleased to recognize CERF with the Award of Distinction for more than 30 years of leadership, compassion and support to professional craft artists in need. CERF encourages artists to thing proactively and to safeguard their careers from emergencies. They are an organization with humanity and love for artists at their core,” American Craft Council director of education Michael Radyk said in a statement.

CERF, based in Montpelier, Vt., was founded in 1985 as a mutual aid organization for craft artists facing challenging times and has since expanded significantly.

“The ACC’s recognition comes at a time of great need for our services as artists prepare for, and recover from, an ever-increasing number of natural and physical disasters,” CERF executive director Cornelia Carey says, citing daily calls from artists in Louisiana suffering economic losses from flooding.

To date, CERF has provided more than $2.4 million in grants, interest-free loans and in-kind assistance to hundreds of artists working in craft disciplines such as metal, wood, ceramics, fiber and glass who have experienced career-threatening emergencies.

CERF has also played a leading role in the National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For information on CERF, visit

This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue.

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