Conference Report: Sunday Morning

As I explained to our seminar crowd gathered in the Grand Ballroom last night, in the early years of the National Arts and Crafts Conference, we always had a seminar scheduled for Saturday evening, but as more people elected to leave the Grove Park Inn to go down the mountain into Asheville for dinner on Saturday night, I began getting complaints.

They felt they were missing out on a great seminar speaker.

So, I did as one of them suggested:  I began delivering the Saturday evening seminar myself.

Seems they didn’t mind choosing Bojangles over me.

(A trio among my great staff:  Christa, my wife Leigh Ann, and my conference registration manager Kate.)

But it didn’t take long before I began running out of things to say, as hard as that may be to believe, so I started looking for an alternative. Needless to say, a Saturday night movie solved the problem.

For those who elected to go out to dinner instead, they knew they could always watch it at home.

And for those who wanted something to do here at the Grove Park Inn on Saturday night, they have the option of settling in for a movie with a connection to the Arts and Crafts era.

At previous conferences, we have shown what I call the “Ken Burns style” documentaries, which always are well received. But this year I decided to try something a little different, choosing instead a movie that one would call “historical fiction,” as it is based on true events, but the dialogue has been invented by the screenwriters.

“Iron-Jawed Angels” is the story of the fight – and contrary to what we might have been taught, it was often a true, physical fight – to give women the right to vote, something we find hard to believe would even have been an issue. As the movie pointed out, women in New Zealand and Russia had the right to vote before women in the United States.

(The antiques dealers just before the crowd came pouring in on Saturday at noon.)


The movie was a hit, and we will select another one to play Saturday night at next year’s National Arts and Crafts Conference, so if you have any suggestions, please send me an email.

And if this column remains up for a few extra day, its because I’m still packing out at the Grove Park Inn. (Or taking long walks with Daisy and Jasper, whom I haven’t seen since last Monday.) I’ll have a complete conference wrap up as soon as I can!

Until next time.

Thanks for your support and encouragement.