The National Arts & Crafts Conference Pre-Conference Packets: What Should You Know?
by Kate Nixon
If you’re heading to the 32nd National Arts and Crafts Conference at the Omni Grove Park Inn this upcoming February, you’ll want to check your mailboxes this week. Starting this week, if you have purchased an Arts & Crafts Weekend Package at the Grove Park Inn or a Conference Events Pass from our offices, then you will receive a Pre-Conference Packet from our offices, filled with the information you’ll need to have in advance. Longtime Conference Attendees have come to expect what’s inside, but if you’re a first time attendee, what should you know? We pack a lot of information into our packet, but we try to make it as simple as possible to navigate the priority information.
Steps to a Perfect Arts & Crafts Weekend – review immediately
One of the first pages in our packet lists out the priority steps an attendee should take to stay organized for the Conference. These steps include the last step of the registration process, calling your hotel, making dinner reservations, further information about small group discussions, and of course, making your room reservations for next year’s conference. Follow them in order and you’ll have a far more pleasant time than trying to organize it all last minute.
Registration, parking information, dining information, transportation information and GPS directions, room reservations and refund policies can be found in this section of the packet. Additionally, recommendations for child care and security processes for purchasing high end items at the shows are located in this section.
Pre-Conference Workshops and Discussion Groups
Fees and Pre-Conference Workshop descriptions are also included in the packet. As discussed in an earlier article about the workshops, it is important to note that these Pre-Conference Workshops are a separate cost from the Conference Events Pass. Additionally, the Printmaking Workshop with Laura Wilder is sold out for 2019 – but the other three workshops (Coppersmithing, Embroidery, and Introduction to Metalworking) have available spots. To sign up for the Workshops, please call our offices at (828) 628-1915 to arrange for payment. We also cover what you will need to know about Small Group Discussions and the Book Club Discussions – including an early list of Small Group Discussion topics to look out for in addition to the book club selection for the conference. The two book club selections, The Saturday Evening Girls Club and The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City: Spectacle and Assassination at the 1901 World’s Fair can be found on Amazon in hardcover, paperback, Kindle and other forms OR you can visit your local bookstore.
Forms – Fill out soon
These forms are to inform you of special fundraiser events happening at our conference and provide you the opportunity to get involved in the fun. We recommend that you fill these out and send them off soon if you’d like to participate in any of these events. These events are fundraisers, so they will be at an extra cost separate from the events of the conference, which your pass allows you access to. Please note that some of the forms should be mailed or emailed to the appropriate office and some forms allow you to purchase online tickets.
Silent Auction Donation Form: every year, we hold a silent auction to fund the non-profit Arts and Crafts Research Fund. The fund goes to support friends and people researching different areas of the Arts and Crafts movement. If you have an Arts and Crafts item you’d like to donate towards this cause, fill out this form and include it with your name badge in the self addressed envelope.
Historic Home Tour Form: the historic home tour, where participants can explore the exterior and interior of five or more historic Asheville homes, will take place both Saturday, February 16th and Sunday, February 17th. Fill out the form and mail it – along with your payment – to the supplied address. No refunds will be made after February 1st.
Important note: you will be able to pick up your House Tour pass at the Preservation Society table across from the Conference Registration desk in the Sammons Wing, not to be confused with the Conference Events Pass, which allows you entrance to the Seminars, Exhibitor Shows, Grove Park Inn tours and Discussion groups.
Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms Party: This year, The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms will celebrate their 30th Anniversary with BBQ, Brew, Bluegrass and Friends on Valentine’s Day, Thursday, February 14th, 2019 at 7:00 PM (new time) in the Skyline Room at the Grove Park Inn. Your evening will include a BBQ dinner, local craft beer and wine, live bluegrass music, door prizes, and a commemorative beer mug for participants. A portion of your ticket purchase will directly support the National Historic Landmark, Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms in Parisppany, New Jersey. The tickets are available online by going to www.stickleymuseum.org Tickets are $150 each ($50 tax deductible) and you must RSVP by February 8, 2019.
An Evening with the Asheville Art Museum: The history of American Art Pottery & Women is highlighted in this special presentation by the Asheville Art Museum on Saturday. Speaker Whitney Richardson, the Museum’s assistant curator who specializes in craft, decorative arts, and architecture of the 20th and 21st centuries, will lead “Women & American Art Pottery” covering the female artists of the time and their contributions to the craft movement of the early 20th century. An optional tour of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church – an original Arts & Crafts style building designed by Richard Sharp Smith of Biltmore Estate fame – will be given earlier at 4:30 before the presentation. Transportation is provided by the Grove Park Inn to the presentation. To register for the tour and presentation, please visit the Asheville Art Museum’s website at ashevilleart.org
Airport Transfer Form: For those of you flying in from the Asheville Airport, you may wish to use the Airport Transfer form to sign up for transportation to the Grove Park Inn. Accents on Asheville, one of our Conference partners, provides transportation from the Asheville Regional Airport directly to the Grove Park Inn. Simply fill out the form with contact information, your flight arrival and departure information, and your credit card information (AmEx, MasterCard, or Visa only). You may email, fax or send through the mail using the information provided on the form.
Name Badge Form: the very last step of the registration process for all conference attendees. The form will be a pastel green color towards the back of the packet. This badge must be sent back to us either through the mail or scanned and sent back to us ASAP. Simply fill out your name the exact way you want it to appear on your badge, your city and state, and how many years you have attended the conference. It’s also important to fill out the information on the right hand side – contact information, whether or not you are staying at the Grove Park Inn and if you are an exhibitor. Again, please either send through email or send in the mail – we no longer have a fax number, so we will not be able to receive faxes. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Inside the packet, we have included 2 brochures that show the agenda of the Conference. It’s important to give a brochure to a friend whom you think would be interested in the shows. The brochure shows the whole Conference Agenda from Thursday to Sunday – all tours, presentations, and show times are listed in the brochure. To see a digital copy of the brochure, please visit the registration page on our website, www.artsandcraftsconference.com
What to do if you have not purchased a Conference Events Pass
If you have not yet purchased a Grove Park Inn Weekend Package or a Conference Events Pass, you recommend you do so now as we could sell out at any time. We do want to remind you that in 2019, Valentine’s Day falls on the day before our conference starts. We are anticipating a complete sellout of all Grove Park Inn rooms for the event. Room requests (location, floor level, bed type, view type, etc). are filled in the order received.
If you want to purchase an Arts and Crafts weekend package and guarantee a room at the Grove Park Inn, we recommend you make your reservation now. Call the Grove Park Inn, ask for group reservations, and ask for the Arts and Crafts Conference group.
Reserving your room for the 2020 Conference
These packets have been mailed out starting this past weekend so that attendees should receive them after Christmas but before New Year’s. The reason we do this is so attendees who would like to purchase tickets to fundraisers tours or reserve their favorite room for 2020 can do so well in advance. You may notice a glaring reminder on the front page of our packet – Starting January 3rd of 2019, you can make a room reservation for the February 21st – 23rd, 2020 Conference by calling (828) 252-2711. This may seem odd to book a room a year in advance, but we cover room requests in the order of date the reservation was made – so the sooner, the better.
If you have any questions, please call our offices at (828) 628-1915.
We hope to see you in February!