A Call For Small Group Discussions

In the early years of the Arts and Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn, our seminar audience was small enough to enable attendees to ask questions of the speakers or to engage in a spirited discussion of the topic at hand. But once our numbers began to swell that was no longer feasible, so upon the suggestion of Patsy and Bill Porter, who have attended all 30 Arts and Crafts Conferences at the Grove Park Inn, we initiated our daily Small Group Discussions.

Led by volunteers, these Small Group Discussions cover a wide range of topics, from advice for beginning collectors and particular firms to specific historical figures and topics of concern to Arts and Crafts enthusiasts. The volunteer leaders are not presenters; instead, their purpose is to initiate the discussion and to serve as moderators during the one-hour sessions.

Some of our topics are so popular and well-attended that we repeat them the following year, for as with any lively discussion, no two are ever the same. We also offer new topics at each February’s conference, exploring areas which might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

While the February 16-18 Arts and Crafts Conference is still two months away, the printer’s deadline for our 88-page Conference Catalog is fast approaching. Inside the catalog we devote an entire page to listing each day’s topics, volunteer leaders, and room locations. No pre-registration is required. You simply selected the topic that interests you and arrive a few minutes before the designated time.

And the only complaint we receive about the Small Group Discussions is that it is difficult to choose which one to attend. We purposely schedule each day’s topics simultaneously, not to frustrate you but instead to insure that each group will remain small enough for people to feel comfortable voicing their opinions and asking questions.

For that reason, we are asking today for you to email us your suggestion for a Small Group Discussion topic. And if you are interested, to offer to serve as a moderator for one of the discussions. A typical group will range in size from 10-20 people, and we meet in any available space, from Grove Park Inn meeting rooms to hallway alcoves.

If you would like to see a list of some of the topics which we have featured at prior Arts and Crafts Conferences, please click on this link:


Thanks for your assistance in helping to make sure the Arts and Crafts Conference continues to meet the needs of every Arts and Crafts collector.

Together we grow stronger.

Bruce Johnson

Conference Director