Tennessee Association of Craft Artists (Tennessee Craft)
1312 Adams St., Suite 101
Nashville TN 37208
Tennessee Craft Fair, at the foot of the Parthenon
Mission Statement

Since 1965, Tennessee Craft has worked to continue and create Tennessee’s fine craft tradition.

Tennessee Craft champions the local fine craft movement by supporting growth and creative expression for all artists, building a platform for high-quality craftsmanship and reinforcing the importance of fine craft for the entire community.

We take pride in Tennessee’s craft heritage. We have preserved and advanced the rich history and tradition of Tennessee craft for nearly 50 years. Grounded in our state’s handmade heritage, we offer multiple stages for today’s makers to showcase their work to those engaged in the fine arts community.

One-of-a-kind work shines at our spring and fall Craft Fairs, while our Biennial Exhibitions showcase the best of Tennessee craft. With more than 600 members throughout the state, Tennessee Craft serves as the best connecting point for local, independent makers and their audiences through its Craft Fairs, exhibitions, demonstrations and other education and community outreach programs, such as the Master Artist Apprentice Program.

Tennessee Craft is the premiere statewide resource for artists, businesses and the public to connect, form lasting relationships and identify opportunities to deliver Tennessee’s fine craft pieces from a maker’s hands to a patron’s home. We encourage strong relationships between our members, offering opportunities for connection, mentorship and reunion throughout the year. Tennessee Craft welcomes a range of talent to join our community and develop their craft —from hobbyists, professionals, to master makers. Patrons and collectors support our work as donors and volunteers.

We work to continue and create Tennessee’s fine craft tradition by connecting emerging and experienced makers and the public with resources and opportunities to make their mark on our state’s handmade legacy.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Teri Alea
Board Chair Ms. Pat Moody
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired business owner, Metal sculptor
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 1972
Former Names
Tennessee Artist-Craftsmen's Association (TACA)
Tennessee Association of Craft Artists (TACA)
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Projected Expenses $444,510.00
Projected Annual Revenue $447,455.00 (2018)

Since 1965, Tennessee Craft has worked to continue and create Tennessee’s fine craft tradition.

Tennessee Craft champions the local fine craft movement by supporting growth and creative expression for all artists, building a platform for high-quality craftsmanship and reinforcing the importance of fine craft for the entire community.

We take pride in Tennessee’s craft heritage. We have preserved and advanced the rich history and tradition of Tennessee craft for nearly 50 years. Grounded in our state’s handmade heritage, we offer multiple stages for today’s makers to showcase their work to those engaged in the fine arts community.

One-of-a-kind work shines at our spring and fall Craft Fairs, while our Biennial Exhibitions showcase the best of Tennessee craft. With more than 600 members throughout the state, Tennessee Craft serves as the best connecting point for local, independent makers and their audiences through its Craft Fairs, exhibitions, demonstrations and other education and community outreach programs, such as the Master Artist Apprentice Program.

Tennessee Craft is the premiere statewide resource for artists, businesses and the public to connect, form lasting relationships and identify opportunities to deliver Tennessee’s fine craft pieces from a maker’s hands to a patron’s home. We encourage strong relationships between our members, offering opportunities for connection, mentorship and reunion throughout the year. Tennessee Craft welcomes a range of talent to join our community and develop their craft —from hobbyists, professionals, to master makers. Patrons and collectors support our work as donors and volunteers.

We work to continue and create Tennessee’s fine craft tradition by connecting emerging and experienced makers and the public with resources and opportunities to make their mark on our state’s handmade legacy.



Founded in 1965, Tennessee Craft developed as a volunteer organization for a decade, hired its first paid staff in 1976, all to encourage, develop and promote craft and craft people in Tennessee.

Tennessee Craft offers a multi-faceted approach to increase the interest in fine craft and career-viability for craftspeople in Tennessee, nurturing new generations of craft artists.

o Encouraging professionalism among craftspeople.

o Creating marketing opportunities for craft artists.

o Increasing public understanding of and appreciation for fine craft.

o Providing a forum for members to encourage mutual support.

Based on the Tennessee's developmental districts, Tennessee Craft created regional chapters, with seven now active, which receive seed money and a charge to provide local programming, allowing us a unique means of responding to member needs and interests across our wide state. The Governing Board is comprised of 22 members elected from the statewide membership and community supporters, with at least one representative from each Chapter.

In 1972, Tennessee Craft developed the Spring Craft Fair in Centennial Park, now in its 43rd year. The Fair has changed a great deal since the early days when folks threw sheets over the Park’s picnic tables and sold their wares. Our spring fair now showcases the largest selection of 21st century Tennessee craft exhibited at one time in the country. A second craft fair was added in the fall of 1978 and was designed to be a national show, jurying the best exhibitors from across the country and serving as inspiration to Tennessee artists and collectors.

The Fairs have always included a special Emerging Makers, an incubator for emerging artists who may not have a tent, sufficient inventory, or feel they have the right experience to jury in as an exhibiting artist. For $25 each, member artists who want to test the waters at a professional craft fair have a sales and learning opportunity among their fellow chapter members, who share advice and experience.

Currently Tennessee Craft serves more than 500 members statewide; 30% of our members live in counties deemed more than 50% rural and Tennessee Craft provides them with a vital link to the larger craft community. More than 35% of our membership resides in the Midstate Chapter, a group of thirteen counties centered around Nashville, and more than 95% of our budget is expended within Davidson County.



1) Tennessee Craft Fairs pop-up twice-yearly in Nashville’s Centennial Park, as an expected part of Nashville’s culture, completely free and accessible to the public. These events build appreciation and craft careers, bringing talented artists and the community together to show and sell artist work. These complex productions engage hundreds of artists and dozens of businesses, having a significant economic impact, with annual spending for exhibiting artwork exceeding $1 million.

2) Tennessee Craft presented TENNESSEE CRAFT WEEK (TCW) for the second time, Oct. 6-15, 2016. TCW is an outgrowth of a larger organized effort called American Craft Week. Like Fashion Week, TCW shines a spotlight on the collective impact that Made in Tennessee craft has on our culture, community and economy. With the help of TN Tourism and others, Tennessee Craft presented and marketed 66 unique and often interactive events, up from 40 events in 2015. National awards recognized exceptional events, including the highest honor (Star Award) and two others (Most Innovative and Best Event at a Library). In 2016, Tennessee Craft swept five of the 25 awards, including Most Innovative, Outstanding Event, Outstanding Legacy of Craft Education and Demonstration, and Most Informative Speaker. An honorary chairperson lends credibility to our messaging and helps attract media attention, with Tennessee’s First Lady Crissy Haslam serving first, and Diamond Rio’s Gene Johnson, a wood woodworker, helping in 2016.

3) Tennessee Craft has been selected as one of 10 arts nonprofits (of 20 nonprofits total) to be featured in a 30-minute segment of the Nashville Education, Community, and Arts Television (NECAT)’s inaugural season of “Our Nashville”, a television program featuring Nashville nonprofits, selected from 103 applications. We’re proud to be part of such an innovative project!


1) Upgrade and customize Salesforce database (a $20k project), so we’re able to lower weekly staff time tracking memberships, donations, volunteers and other artists, allowing more time to communicate with segments of these populations. Upgrade includes adapted webforms that integrate better with database and adding applications that help normalize addresses (w/SmartyStreets) and prevent duplicate records (w/Cloudingo).

2) Expand efforts to promote our programming and craft artist members using social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter), whose follower numbers have risen in response to increased variety, quality and quantity of postings. A mix of content -- entrepreneurial advice, marketing tips and other professional development content and opportunities, plus exhibit and sales opportunities, will continue to offer benefits and build our following.

3) Find funding in order to research demographics and economic impact at our craft fair, to better define those who benefit from what we do.




Tennessee Craft’s primary needs relate to ensuring the sustainability of our organization and building the success of Tennessee Craft Week.

We need:

·A craft champion, who is connected to the greater philanthropic community.

·Honorary chairperson with celebrity profile to help draw attention to Tennessee Craft Week, October 2017. We invite nominations of those known to appreciate or make fine craft;

· $25,000 in corporate sponsorships plus $20,000 in foundation and $20,000 in private donations annually, to enhance our educational and community outreach programs and direct artist support and sustain our free events, plus build a donor appreciation element;

· Board members and volunteers to provide expert guidance in the areas of marketing, fundraising, event-management and estate-planning;

· Pro Bono public relations assistance in managing a statewide media campaign.

Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer

Many opportunities exist for individuals, businesses or organizations to support Tennessee Craft and the work we do. Monetary donations are the most versatile form of support, whether it is through Giving Matters, a mailed check to our address, or a PayPal payment (using your credit card) through our website. Each gift directly impacts our work to continue and create Tennessee’s fine craft tradition.

In-kind donations are also needed. We value a variety of items from food to technology. At every fair, companies such as Provence Bakery, Great Harvest Bread Company, Sweet 16th Bakery, Costco and Bacon & Caviar Gourmet Catering provide food donations to feed exhibiting artists a free breakfast each morning of the fair. We encourage you to work with your company to provide food to upgrade the benefits we offer our community of exhibiting artists. Tennessee Craft’s staff also appreciates donations of software and hardware that allow us to easily and effectively carry out the mission and good work of the organization. Email or call if you think you can help!

We invite you to volunteer at our craft fairs in Centennial Park, in our office doing administrative or special project work, or coordinating small events that bring visibility and connection to our craft artists . This help is a valuable contribution to Tennessee Craft. Having extra hands extends our ability to provide resources, opportunities and programming to artists and outreach to the arts-loving community.

We encourage artists to become members to receive unique benefits while helping us be the statewide advocate for fine craft in Tennessee.

Even signing up to receive our E-newsletter and helping to advocate for our cause is helpful and appreciated. See www.tennesseecraft.org for more information.

All contributions are impactful ways to ensure craft is supported and continues to be practiced in Tennessee. What is supported, endures.

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Arts & Culture
Secondary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Professional Societies & Associations
Tertiary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Community Celebrations
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Tennessee Craft is a statewide organization. With a home base in middle Tennessee, our most impactful program – our two juried craft fairs – are produced and presented locally. Statewide, our seven volunteer-run chapters serve their local area with programs, events and education for their region.
Board Chair Statement

Tennessee Craft welcomes anyone interested in craft. From one who appreciates to a beginning artist to a master craftsman there is a place for all in one of seven chapters across our state. Our Board of Directors consists of both community professionals and craft artists. When serving on committees they focus on the goals and objectives of our Strategic Plan working together to assure the value and importance of our mission to continue the tradition of fine craft in Tennessee.


CEO Statement

At the core of Tennessee Craft are artists helping artists.

As the only open membership organization in Tennessee devoted exclusively to craft and craft artists, we continue to explore the changing ways artists need our help to grow in their craft and business.

With a policy of open membership, we provide services for anyone interested in craft, from the beginner to the professional, encouraging them in their development to the next step. Our newsletters, e-news blasts, website and social media presence bring vital information and opportunities to all members and beyond. Individually, members take advantage of such programs as our business management workshops and juried craft fairs, group shows and marketing opportunities, as well as our statewide competition/exhibition. Education and outreach serves to enrich understanding and appreciation of fine craft. From training programs for rising artists to education programs for fair attendees, Tennessee Craft exposes thousands of people to this accessible art form every year. Programs that excite and educate the public to the value of hand-crafted work contribute markedly to the success of those working full-time in the field.

Our programs preserve fine craft traditions that people care about. By providing direct access for the public to craftspeople and their creative process, we heighten the public’s appreciation for the individual artists behind the work. Most people have some meaningful connection to or daily interaction with a handcrafted item, making craft a highly accessible medium that many can relate to. And craft objects have a longer life than any individual, making them heirlooms valued for their history and the stories they tell. Their treasure is the ongoing narrative of the object, of why artists make work, what inspires them, why that medium, texture, color or embellishment; and of the provenance of the piece – who gave it to whom, and why.

Tennessee Craft will continue to explore ideas for new initiatives that can bring craft to more people and inspire our future craft artists and appreciators, to be sure our living craft culture survives. This organization enriches the city’s circle of fine arts, enhancing Nashville’s identity as a creative community.


Tennessee Craft is most known for its twice-yearly juried craft shows in Nashville’s Centennial Park, where 45-50,000 visitors each fair connect with craft artists firsthand and learn about the making process directly from the artist. The craftwork’s story links the artist’s experience – how and why it was made – to the fairgoer’s own need to find meaning in the everyday, in using a handmade object and appreciating their own creative urge. Our spring fair showcases the largest selection of 21st century Tennessee craft exhibited at one time in the country, jurying in 200 fine craft artists. The fairs are free to the public and held in accessible settings.

For artists, the competition and awards signify achievement and recognition and build résumés. Fairgoers watch as craft artists demonstrate a variety of crafts, allowing the public to meet the maker. For children, a kids’ tent provides the opportunity to experience creative activities, nurturing our next generation of craft artists and collectors. A combination of public and private sponsors make the craft fairs possible.

Budget 150,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Visual Arts Festivals
Population Served General/Unspecified, Other Named Groups,
Short Term Success

Short-term, exhibiting artists are able to sell their crafts, develop a repeat client base, and educate the public about handmade craft, their commitment to excellence and the passing on of handmade skills and knowledge to other artists learning their craft. Documented spending in excess of $1mm in artwork purchases per year creates an economic impact many times that amount. Excellence and professionalism are held up as artists compete for a limited number of juried slots at each fair. A supportive public is educated about craft-making and an appreciation for fine craft is further developed at each fair. Additionally, craft artists consider the fair an opportunity to network, mentioning on exit surveys how Tennessee Craft Fairs feel like family, as they share ideas, tips and resources with others who make their living making craft.

Long term Success

Like theatre and other arts media, craft provides outlets for expression that are understood and appreciated by others.

Tennessee Craft has been an integral part of this state’s craft history for nearly five decades. Our aim is to provide service to craftspeople that safeguards traditional craftsmanship by developing the local market and creating conditions that will encourage artisans to continue producing crafts of all kinds. By passing on these skills and knowledge, we help ensure that crafts continue to be practiced within our communities, providing livelihoods to makers and reflecting the creativity and adaptation of our times. Through all this, Tennessee's cultural vitality is raised and the economic viability of craft artists, crafts-based enterprises and Tennessee's crafts sector is improved.
Program Success Monitored By

1)     A successful show requires attracting the highest-quality artists, which in turn attracts loyalty and repeat attendance by fairgoers. Success is also reflected in the numbers of application and rating averages of exhibiting artists. Over the past several years the cutoff rating for inviting artists has consistently risen incrementally.

2) Tennessee Craft upholds its quality with a two-tier review process. First, a team of jurors scores each application in a blind image review. A second review is conducted on-site to evaluate the content and quality of the objects. A standards committee also walks the fair to ferret out exhibitors whose work does not meet our eligibility guidelines. The process stresses quality, equal opportunity, fairness, and diversity.

Surveys measuring exhibiting artist satisfaction, administered each fair, are analyzed by the Fair Committee to identify areas of needed improvement.
Examples of Program Success

Success is seen in the crowds who repeatedly turn out to support the fair, and by local t.v. coverage, typically by multiple channels, who broadcast the crowds and quality as an example of a premier Nashville event. Success is also measured internally by an increase in donor base and level of giving from individuals, corporations and foundations. Though anecdotal, an overwhelming proportion of customers share that they return year after year, visiting and appreciating the familiar while searching for the new and exciting. Stories are shared telling of significant gifts chosen from the artist to mark an anniversary, graduation or special date. Connection is created and Tennessee Craft’s mission of building appreciation and understanding of fine craft and connecting artist with their public is achieved.


Artists acquire and refine skills for their craft and business through our workshops, formal and informal mentorships, demonstrations, scholarships and résumé-building exhibit opportunities. Participating in these activities connects one with a professional and social network that supports, educates, challenges and encourages the artist.

Mentorship serves as a cornerstone of the work we do. Informally, artists work with others in their area to gain skills and knowledge about their craft and business. Individuals connect in-person at local chapter meetings, statewide committee meetings and online, via digital resources we provide to members. Formally, artist pairs participate in the Master Artist Apprentice Program, a funded one-on-one mentoring program supported by the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Through fundraising events and special funding we continue to fund scholarships for students with need, financial and otherwise.
Budget 45,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Artists' Services
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short Term Success

We expect outcomes from these activities to contribute to the participants’ confidence and their level of knowledge and skill, which can be used in his or her profession or vocation as a craft artist.

Long term Success

Tennessee Craft’s aim is to create conditions that will encourage craft makers to continue producing crafts of all kinds, and transmit their skills and knowledge to others. Tennessee Craft’s educational programs directly support craft artists’ endeavors to increase their craft knowledge and skills and learn how to apply related business knowledge so their craft can be their livelihood. Additionally, these programs develop an appreciation and market for fine craft.

Program Success Monitored By

Tennessee Craft’s success in delivering these activities is measured by expressed satisfaction in surveys with the quality and quantity of workshop content, mentorships, and other educational opportunities provided by or supported by Tennessee Craft. This information is shared with the appropriate committee before being presented to the board of directors and is considered when developing future educational events.

Examples of Program Success

Annual membership survey responses indicate that participating emerging craft artists increase their knowledge and skills, which allows them to progress toward a self-sustaining lifestyle from their creative works. Participation in the MAAP program increases the likelihood of the apprentice’s success as a future craft artist, and the master designation applied to the mentor has proven to bring attention and opportunities to those career artists willing to share their talent, skills and knowledge with others. Some masters have reported increased commission and teaching opportunities since participating in this program. At least one noted it had changed the trajectory of her career.


Tennessee Craft works to ensure adults and children have experiences that inspire our next generation of craft artists and appreciators. This happens in the form of educational demonstrations or hands-on activities, at our fairs, in schools and elsewhere in the community.


* NEW: Tennessee Craft presented its inaugural TENNESSEE CRAFT WEEK, Oct. 2-11, 2015, and again Oct. 6-15, 2016. Tennessee Craft’s efforts has been in community organizing, encouraging unique and interactive events that draw publicity to craft and craft artists (see accomplishments).

* With the Big Payback 2017, we hope to fund additional scholarships for artists.

* In the Demonstration Tent at each Craft Fair, Tennessee Craft partners with artists and organizations to illustrate a broad range of fine craft techniques, often engaging selected artists from our Master Artist Apprentice Program to help promote that program to artists and the public. Additionally, Tennessee Craft collaborates with area arts organizations in our Kids' Tent to develop and present diverse craft activities that encourage children and their families to understand better the skills needed to create craft as they make and take home their own treasure. All are welcome, participation is free.

* We continue to seek out opportunities to display and demonstrate Tennessee’s enduring handmade tradition with the help of partners, such as TN State Museum, Cheekwood and others.


Budget 35000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Visual Arts
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short Term Success

Tennessee Craft partners with organizations whose audience has interest in our education and outreach efforts. In recent years, we have partnered with the Tennessee State Museum, Cheekwood and Arts at the Airport to present fine craft demonstrations in a public setting and we expect to continue those partnerships. For the past two years, Tourism has partnered on our Tennessee Craft Week project, allowing us to engage fourteen artists for a day of demonstration in each of Tennessee’s Welcome Centers. Statewide, Tennessee Craft Week received national recognition for its innovative approach to programming, sweeping five of the twenty-five national awards presented by American Craft Week.

This sort of collaborating allows us to use other venues and resources to extend our reach and get in front of new audiences.

Long term Success

Education and outreach are a tradition at each craft fair, when the public can most easily access our collection of activities presented as craft fairs. We create art enthusiasts and the desire in some to become future craft artists, by seeking out hands-on activities that will develop children and parents’ appreciation for the skills needed to make fine craft, hoping this will keep parents and their children asking for more at each craft fair. Tennessee Craft Week is shaping up to become a significant influence on the craft community across the state, having grown from 40 events in 2015 to 66 in 2016.


Program Success Monitored By

Tennessee Craft measures the Kids’ Tent as a success based on number of artworks made and taken (more than 1,900 for spring 2014), plus the observations of staff, volunteers and board members, community participation and feedback, and repeat engagement of local nonprofits. Additionally, the Kids’ Tent has received the strongest vote of support through repeat sponsorship by Publix over the past ten plus fairs. Tennessee Craft Week will be monitored to be sure event quality and quantity are constant or growing, and they produce media attention and artist participation as well as sales, to benefit artists in our community.

Anecdotally, craft artists tell us of experiences growing up when they learned how to make a craft then were impressed with the range of possibility displayed at a festival or fair. The impact of successfully securing sponsorships is measured by our increased ability to fund other programming, such as scholarships, awards, workshops, and additional mentoring and marketing opportunities.

Seven regional chapters across the state serve as vehicles by which craft artists initiate activities in their home communities. Chapters bring the business and process of creating fine craft to life with neighbors, other business owners, and interested community organizations. Members plan and execute local projects such as artist studio tours, auctions, exhibits, show-and-tell meetings, and other learning content that expands understanding of individual media and its use in fine craft. Informal mentorships, one of the most popular Tennessee Craft sponsored activities, are also developed at the chapter level.

Regional chapter workshops about business issues, information sharing among members, and active involvement in membership recruitment and retention are all fruitful ways that regional chapters help each other. Local chapters organize their own participation in our Emerging Makers Tent at each of the two craft fairs. Here, members incubate their businesses to graduate to their own tent.


Budget 60000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Artists' Services
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short Term Success

Chapter sponsored events meet the needs of the individual members; future plans are based on chapter member expressed desires.

Long term Success

Tennessee Craft provides seed funds plus staff and information resources to activate chapter activities. For the membership aspect of TC’s programming, staff maintains records, accounting and other requirements for 501(c)(3) status so chapter activities are considered nonprofit. By providing background, examples and benchmarks that inform decision-making and processes at the chapter level, this support results, ideally, in annual increases in chapter membership by seasoned and emerging craft artists and increased engagement and activities within the group and their communities.

Program Success Monitored By

Discussion of usefulness and success of chapter sponsored events are solicited from participants quarterly and yearly and considered by the chapter officers in regular meetings. Future programs, at chapter and statewide level, are responsive to members’ input.

Examples of Program Success Members repeatedly share that the most valuable benefit of being a Tennessee Craft member or participating in our activities is learning from other artists what works and having a network of like-minded individuals.

The first Tennessee Craft Biennial Exhibition entitled The Best of Tennessee Craft occurred in 1966 and has been ongoing since. This important and prestigious gallery or museum exhibition is selected by an out-of-state juror and showcases the works of Tennessee craft artists, including those who no longer exhibit in outdoor venues and others now collected nationally. Tennessee Craft celebrates this opportunity to spotlight a unique part of Tennessee culture plus recognize, encourage and build professional experience and reward excellence with cash awards and purchases. This event raises the profile of craft and allows artists to have their work in front of many esteemed eyes. Museum purchases preserve fine work for future generations to appreciate and understand. Acceptance into Tennessee Craft’s museum exhibit can serve to launch a Tennessee artist into national circles.

Budget 20000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Visual Arts Exhibitions
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short Term Success

The museum exhibits serve to elevate professionalism among Tennessee craftspeople and raise the standard of excellence through its competitive process and prominent exhibit venue. Selection into this exhibit adds prestige to one’s professional status and reputation. Awards augment a craft professional’s résumé and contribute to the public’s understanding of what constitutes the best of fine craft.

Another measure of success, the securing of a sponsor, enhances our ability to offer prizes and bring recognition to more artists, extend related programming to the public, and make extra efforts to promote the show beyond Nashville’s borders.

Long term Success

Acceptance into Tennessee Craft’s biennial has brought promotional and other opportunities to artists and served to launch Tennessee artists into national circles. Biennial exhibits are one way Tennessee Craft promotes and elevates more accomplished craft artists, helping them along their pathway. Related programming, such as receptions, panels and demonstrations, can help less experienced artists meet and learn from those who have preceded them. 

Program Success Monitored By

Tennessee Craft collects success stories and shares with other members, via our newsletter communications, which encourages rising artists to reach for similar recognition. Press releases and media coverage shares the work and artists’ success with the public, further connecting fine craftsmen with these audiences. Sales of artists’ work further meets our goals of making craft a viable career.

Examples of Program Success

The Tennessee Craft Best of Tennessee museum exhibit is an event appreciated by artists, collectors and the public at-large. In 2014, the Tennessee State Museum purchased 19 pieces from the show for their permanent collection. This acts as a stamp of approval on the work and the show. It also highlights the importance of our work to preserve Tennessee’s craft heritage for future generations, by inclusion of the work in museum collections.

Kem Alexander, winner of the 2012 TACA Biennial Best of Show, reveals, “The "Best of Show" honor is spectacular. It is like the biggest pat-on-the-back I've ever felt. This honor says to me that I'm on the right track and folks are responding positively to what I love creating. I feel like my imagination combined with my concrete-building skills (Kem’s medium is concrete) got a big round of applause. Receiving this award means experiencing wonderful unimagined art opportunities.”

Kem’s reaction lets us know we too are “on the right track.”
CEO Comments

Adding Tennessee Craft Week (TCW) as a new program in 2015 and continuing it in 2016 was a large undertaking and an extension of our resources beyond what we had, but it’s an idea we recognized as a fulfillment of one of five strategic goals set in 2012. Once we recognized the value of this idea, a significant increase in our Metro Arts grant award in 2014 was the catalyst that allowed us to hire the right project manager who could assist in the planning and launching of what has already become a significant program.

Since 2012, a committee charged with “exploring and developing new craft marketing opportunities” seriously considered dozens of promotion options that benefitted various segments of the craft artist population. Some ideas could be launched at the chapter level and have been, such as the State Parks program, where craft exhibits in chapter-provided pedestals and vitrines are displayed in selected state park centers. Others, such as an indoor craft fair or a wholesale program, would utilize staff resources at the state level and would necessitate earned revenue to launch and sustain. To evaluate options, the committee considered resources needed, which segments and what percentage of the craft artist population would be supported, whether we might engage interested partners rather than paying for venues or other needed resources, and if revenue could be generated. Monetizing craft activities can be difficult, as pay-for-experience models typically exclude visual art. People don’t expect to pay to shop at craft fairs or attend a gallery opening, although in other cities craft fairs of our caliber typically charge $8-$10 per day.

TCW, of all the new craft marketing options considered, best serves our state’s craft artist population, our Craft Marketing Committee believed. TCW engages the chapters to develop and launch craft-based activities, ties to a national effort in place whose messages are clearly articulated for us, and builds on a promotional platform already used by the tourism industry. While this program was successful in its first year with a group of 40 events across the state, our hope is to find in-kind and cash sponsorships equal to at least $100,000 in order to fulfill our larger vision – for Craft Week in Tennessee to be something people never miss and always look forward to-- as they do our biennial Craft Fairs, and for similar reasons, because one finds beautiful craft, gets to meet the artist, experiences hands-on activities and discovers the joy of making something, plus feels the satisfaction of knowing they are supporting the local economy and the ability of artists to move our culture forward.

Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Pat Moody
Company Affiliation Retired business owner, Metal sculptor
Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2018
Email pmoodles@bellsouth.net
Board Members
Ms. Sally Bebawy Vanderbilt Univ. Med. Ctr., Research coordinatorVoting
Ms. Julie Fawn Boisseau-Craig Craft artist, clayVoting
Ms. Pat Chaffee Retired Fedex; Craft artist, JewelerVoting
Ms. Natalie Cuicchi HCA Healthcare, Senior product analystVoting
Mr. Nick DeFord Prog. Director, Arrowmont School of Arts & CraftsVoting
Mr. Reneau Dubberley Retired engineer, Craft artist, wood turningVoting
Mr. Richard Dwyer Retired CEO; Craft artist, wood turnerVoting
Ms. Rose Fang Young Leaders Intern; CPA, KPMG, LLPNonVoting
Mr. Tim Hintz Craft artist, Chair-makerVoting
Ms. Eve Hutcherson Dir.of Business Dev., Frost, Brown, Todd, LLCVoting
Ms. Morganne Keel KraftCPAs, Senior Mgr, entrepreneurial srvs.Voting
Ms. Michele Lambert Gallery Owner; Artist- painter and clayVoting
Mr. Doug Lawrence Craft artist, wood furnitureVoting
Mrs. Colleen Lentini Retired, Craft artist, jewelryVoting
Ms. Danielle McDaniel Owner-Clay Lady's Campus; Craft artist, clayVoting
Ms. Pat Moody Retired small business owner; Craft artist, Metal sculptorVoting
Mrs. Linda Nutt Retired Ph.D. Social Work, Craft collectorVoting
Mr. Dave Stempel Attorney, Bradley, Arant, Boult, Cummings, LLCVoting
Mrs. Nancy Wallace Retired teacher; Craft artist, book artsVoting
Ms. Colleen Williams Craft artist, clayVoting
Ms. Kimberly Winkle Professor, Appalachian Ctr for Craft, & Craft artist, Wood furnitureVoting
Ms. Cara Young High school art teacher; Craft artist, fiberVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 18
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 2
Other 0 1-Egyptian
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 16
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 72%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 92%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Program / Program Planning
Board Development / Board Orientation
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability
General Property Coverage
Special Event Liability
CEO Comments

As revealed in Tennessee Craft’s strategic plan, one current goal is to develop a more diversified board and stronger committee structure that will sustain the organization’s ability to meet its mission, with emphasis on fundraising and connecting to the community. An ad hoc Diversity Committee, now a permanent committee, has laid the groundwork for ongoing relationship building with other nonprofits focused on specific cultures, including those serving immigrants and refugees. Meeting with the TN Arts Commission's folklife specialist was an initial step, followed by the collection of all known cultural organizations into a list and contact made to begin conversation. Many of our initial contacts have resulted in participation by their group offering a craft activity in the Kids' Tent that children can make and take home, fitting into our fair's current structure.
    The goal is to find interested craft artists who may want to benefit from demonstrating at our fairs or otherwise participating in our events and activities. Free memberships have been earmarked to facilitate these beginning steps. 
     An advisory council has been formed of individuals who care about our mission and will make themselves available to offer advice, open doors and speak knowledgeably about Tennessee Craft to others in the community.

Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Teri Alea
Term Start Apr 2011
Email ExecDirector@tennesseecraft.org

Hired in April 2011 with May 5, 2011 as starting day, Teri comes to Tennessee Craft with ten years experience at Metro Nashville Arts Commission (MNAC), more than seven years in book retail management with national chains, and three plus years in research analysis at Borders Group national returns center, plus abilities from various business positions in the creative fields, including gallery work, photography studio management, and production support at a local art and advertising agency.
At MNAC, Teri managed workshops, forums, and online content including MNAC’s artist registry, directory of arts organizations and other web-based resources; conducted grants management (over $2m annual budget); then public art project management (and managed over $10m public art fund), plus oversight of the agency’s procurement, finances and research projects throughout her tenure.
She graduated summa cum laude with a BA degree from Belmont University’s Honors Program in Studio Art and Organizational Development, with MBA coursework during graduate assistantship at Belmont University.

Former CEOs
Mr. Bill Mullins Jan 2009 - Apr 2010
Ms. Elaine Wood Apr 2010 - Nov 2010
Full Time Staff 3
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 75
Contractors 6
Retention Rate 67%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Yes
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers 4
When was Strategic Plan adopted? Aug 2015
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? No
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? Yes
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
Center for Nonprofit Management Excellence Network1997
Top 20 Events in the Southeast - TACA Fall Craft Fair NashvilleSoutheast Tourism Society1986
Top 20 Events in the Southeast - TACA Spring Craft Fair NashvilleSoutheast Tourism Society2005
Governor's Award in the ArtsTennessee Arts Commission1994
Star Award for Top EventAmerican Craft Week2015
Most Innovative Event ConceptAmerican Craft Week2015
Best Event by a LibraryAmerican Craft Week2015
Most Innovative Event Concept-Clay Lady's Campus progressive dinnerAmerican Craft Week2016
Most Innovative Event Concept-InFlux, 12x12 Exhibit at Dozen BakeryAmerican Craft Week2016
Outstanding Event-Shimai Gallery of Contemporary Craft, Heart & Soul of Middle TN at Bellevue Branch of Nashville Public LibraryAmerican Craft Week2016
Most Informative Speaker-Gene Johnson, Honorary Chairman, Tennessee Craft WeekAmerican Craft Week2016
Outstanding Legacy of Craft Education and Demonstration-Pink Palace Crafts FairAmerican Craft Week2016
Senior Staff
Title Program Director
Experience/Biography Hired in March 2006, Hannah holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a focus in ceramics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a Master of Business Administration specializing in non-profit management from Lipscomb University. Since coming to TACA, she has successfully led efforts to create TACA’s permanent collection, developed a guest artist demonstration series held at each TACA Fall Craft Fair and is most fully engaged when seeking ways to bring innovative programming to TACA’s enduring mission. Although her creative outlets are diverse, her current pursuit is building a green, sustainable rammed earth construction in which to house her own growing craft collection.
Title Communications Manager

Hired in July 2015, Angela Wiggins has a Master of Education in Community Development and Action from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Auburn University. She has 15 years experience leading national award-winning marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 brands and nonprofits across diverse industries. In the community, Angela serves on The Creatives Project Board of Directors in Atlanta and the leadership team for Creative Mornings Nashville. She brings knowledge and experience in branding, strategy, marketing, event management, nonprofit management, social media and arts education to the organization and is excited to be part of Tennessee Craft’s future development. She is also a potter and a certified executive coach.

Title Membership Manager

Hired in October 2016, Jessica has a Master of Arts in Folklore with a concentration in Public Practice from Indiana University, Bloomington. Her graduate studies focused on museums and material culture, particularly traditional folk arts in contemporary markets. A henna (mehandi) artist herself, Jessica researched henna artistry in northern India for her Master’s thesis. She has assisted with collections research and educational programming at museums in Nashville and Washington, D.C. Before relocating to Nashville in 2016, Jessica worked in nonprofit association membership, database, and event management in Washington, D.C.

CEO Comments

Attracting fine craft enthusiasts who believe in Tennessee Craft's mission enough to serve on our board and committees will be pivotal to our continued success. We expect as we raise our visibility with our new brand and through craft and craft artists programming and promotion, we’ll gain traction in our ability to garner support from foundations and sponsors.

Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30 2018
Projected Revenue $447,455.00
Projected Expenses $444,510.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Percentage (if selected) 0%
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$112,505$90,720$80,380
Individual Contributions$38,142$40,959$78,466
Investment Income, Net of Losses$631$366$0
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$332,817$313,374$292,108
Administration Expense$156,539$132,584$127,803
Fundraising Expense$11,562$11,381$22,337
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.021.031.06
Program Expense/Total Expenses66%69%66%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue7%8%13%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$251,827$226,130$205,627
Current Assets$231,964$213,162$191,403
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$22,190$9,463$1,865
Total Net Assets$229,637$216,667$203,762
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities10.4522.53102.63
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Revenue $335,509Program Revenue $318,304Program Revenue $293,425
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountLocal Government Grants $61,775State Government Grants $47,720Government Grants $80,380
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountState Government Grants $50,730Local Government Grants $43,000Contributions, Gifts & Grants $78,466
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
Capital Campaign Goal $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires Dec 2018
Organization Comments

Tennessee Craft’s most immediate financial challenge is in building a broad base of donor support. Fundraising wisdom claims long-term donors, however low the donation amount, are the foundation on which nonprofits should rely. Tennessee Craft’s numbers are low. An active Fundraising Committee has begun turning the board’s culture toward acknowledging their fundraising responsibility, and that has already helped build our donor base. Sustained emphasis on this responsibility at each board meeting has brought more board support to Tennessee Craft’s fundraising efforts.

Sponsorships of the craft fairs that garner so much in fair goer support are a revenue stream that should be easy to increase. Yet lack of funds for demographic research and ED work load are obstacles to adequately turning opportunities into sponsorships. Increasing overall revenue could allow for hiring of a part-time staff person to relieve some of the work load.

GivingMatters.com Financial Comments
Financials taken from the 990 and audit.
Financials prepared by Bellenfant & Miles, PLLC.
Comments provided by Kathryn Bennett 11/30/17.
Nonprofit Tennessee Association of Craft Artists (Tennessee Craft)
Address 1312 Adams St., Suite 101
Nashville, TN 37208
Primary Phone (615) 736-7600
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Teri Alea
Board Chair Ms. Pat Moody
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired business owner, Metal sculptor
Year of Incorporation 1972
Former Names
Tennessee Artist-Craftsmen's Association (TACA)
Tennessee Association of Craft Artists (TACA)

Related Information

Cultural and Ethnic Diversity

The United States stands out among nations as a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. Demographers predict that by 2050, no single majority group will exist in the United States. Diversity is a key part of Middle Tennessee’s past, present and future. Nashville, especially, is a model of the American "melting pot," with an active Native American population, thriving Hispanic community and growing Middle Eastern and Asian presence. Different cultures, religions, ideas and customs come together harmoniously in Music City.