Mission Statement: "The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts is a dynamic organization that fosters global education and appreciation for the ceramic arts. NCECA’s programs, exhibitions, publications, opportunities and resources inspire advancement of the field."
NCECA promotes and improves the ceramic arts through education, community-building, research and creative inspiration. NCECA offers programs, events and publications to support its membership of artists, educators, students, individual and corporate art patrons, gallery owners, museum curators and providers of ceramic arts-related products and services. As a dynamic, member-driven organization, NCECA is flexible in its program development, international in its perspective and responsive to the changing needs of its constituency.
NCECA provides membership levels designed to meet the needs of students, professionals, hobbyists, businesses and non-profit organizations. A new transitional membership level was recently introduced in order to provide a low-cost option for former students just striking out on their career paths in ceramic art and education. Along with membership revenue, conference registration, exhibitor table fees and art exhibition entry fees are the primary sources of support for the organization’s operations. Additional support in the forms of grants and donations will be essential to NCECA’s efforts to sustain, thrive and innovate as the organization approaches its 50th year.
How NCECA Performs its Work
NCECA is a membership organization that realizes its mission through a variety of programming and delivery strategies. These are realized by a very committed volunteer Board of Directors working along with a small staff. The most significant organizational effort goes into production of NCECA’s Annual Conference which includes dozens of panel discussions, lectures, and exhibition areas for institutional members- both for-profit ceramic suppliers and non-profit schools and organizations. New features of the conference also include publicly accessible programming that promotes and informs the public about new trends in ceramic art through gallery presentations, art sales, and interactive presentations by artists. Conferences are situated in cities throughout the US and future sites are currently being determined by the Board of Directors five years in advance. Concurrently with the conference NCECA generates two sponsored exhibitions and provides organizational and promotional support for dozens of others that take place in venues throughout the region of the conference.
Beyond the Annual Conference, NCECA provides opportunities for advanced study in ceramics by supporting residency experiences, scholarships and fellowships for select groups of artists and students. NCECA publishes and distributes teaching and research aids including critical writing, video documentaries and demonstrations that feature noted and emergent thinkers, writers and artists. These materials are available for purchase by the general public as well as members. While the Annual NCECA Conference can involve thousands of registrants, Symposia are developed and implemented in a more intimate format of 60 – 200 participants in order to engage in exploration of important issues arising within the ceramic field. Examples of recent Symposia include programs dedicated to Chinese ceramic art and education, and critical analysis, writing and publishing.
In a strategic plan adopted in summer 2010, three goals that NCECA strives to realize are:
- An ever increasing awareness of the ceramic arts in society
- Ever increasing value for NCECA members through essential, high quality and unique programs and services
- Robust structures and systems that respond to opportunities and adapt to changing conditions
In order to track progress towards goals NCECA sets forth objectives to:
- Create exhibitions that explore and reveal new insights, ideas and working methods in ceramic art;
- Issue calls for submissions that result in compelling programming content;
- Produce catalogs, DVDs and an annual journal that contribute to and preserve vital information about ceramic art works, pedagogy, critical theory and practice;
- Implement meaningful partnerships that expand capacity to reach new audiences;
- Provide deep learning and engagement in ceramic arts for professional, transitional and a-vocational practitioners and students through exhibitions, symposia, demonstrations, lectures and panel discussions
- Make deep learning in ceramics more accessible through scholarships and fellowships that support study, research and creative practice.