CODA History Highlights Minimize

The Craft Organization Development Association serves organizations with education and professional development to foster public appreciation and understanding of craft.

CODA is an international nonprofit organization at the forefront of providing topical and innovative information and resources to craft organization leaders.

CODA works to strengthen craft organizations producing an annual international leadership conference to provide opportunities for professional development, communication, networking and collaboration among peers; doing research to provide advocacy tools and resources; hosting list serves and peer group discussion forums on the CODA website, as well as increasing visibility and public education for appreciating craft.
CODA History Highlights
CODA met for the first time in 1986 as a peer session during an American Craft Council national conference in Oakland, California.  The networking and information shared proved to be invaluable and informal gatherings were planned during other craft events over the next 3 years.         
Fran Redmon, Program Director of the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program, and Rita Steinberg, Executive Director of the Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation (now the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft), took the initiative to procure a grant from the Kentucky Arts Council to produce the first professional CODA Conference in Louisville, Kentucky with Dr. Craig Dreeszen, Ph.D. facilitating. This meeting was so productive participants decided it needed to be an annual event. A steering committee was elected to plan future conferences.
Conference in Deer Isle, Maine hosted by the Maine Crafts Association and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts; by-laws were adopted and annual dues initiated. It was at this meeting that the Year of American Craft 1993 became the focus for the next 4 years, successfully bringing national attention to the work of the hand, while strengthening and uniting the organization. 
Professionally presented management and administration workshops become an integral part of the annual conference after the very educational and motivating meeting in Columbus, Ohio hosted by the Ohio Designer Craftsmen.
Year of American Craft Celebration, conference held in Morristown, New Jersey hosted by Peters Valley Craftsmen. Hortense Green was honored for developing Hands Across America and the Year of American Craft 1993.
Partner with American Craft Council Southeast Annual Conference held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at the Sawtooth Center for Visual Art. This conference demonstrated the very different needs of administrators and artists.
It was during the 1998 Boston, Massachusetts conference hosted by George Little Management, LLC that The CODA Survey: The Impact of Crafts on the National Economy began. Committees were formed, pledges for funding were made, and HandMade In America was contracted to manage the project.                 
The conference was held at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where two new components were added: the Three Minutes of Fame Presentation, an opportunity for attendees to share highlights of their organization’s most innovative programs and facilities with colleagues (becoming a favorite session), and the 5 standing peer group breakout sessions.
Guilds/Membership Organizations
Schools/Education Centers/Univ.
Fairs, Festivals & Shows
Service Groups & Public Agencies
Crafts are big Business! The direct impact of sales of handmade crafts on the national economy is $14 billion, substantiated by The CODA Survey: The Impact of Crafts on the National Economy. The results of this landmark study were announced at the conference in Asheville, NC hosted by HandMade in America to over 100 leaders of the craft industry providing a much-needed tool at a time when many state departments of heritage, tourism and economic development recognized the potential in supporting craft programs. The Executive Summary is available on the CODA website along with breakout studies for 13 states.
Joan Mondale, former first lady was Keynote speaker. PHOTO: Carol Sedestrom Ross recognizing Mondale for her role in bringing national recognition to the work of the hand.
The growth of membership and administration prompted hiring Linda Van Trump as the first managing director, providing better access, communications and continuity by establishing a permanent address in North Central Arkansas.
The Conference was held at the Southwest School of Art & Craft in San Antonio, Texas; giving attendees the opportunity to witness first-hand how restorations of the historic site and the arts/crafts role in community development were instrumental to the revitalization of this culturally diverse urban community.
Leaders of CODA met at the annual conference in Pittsburgh, PA to complete its strategic planning process with Dr. Craig Dreeszen, Ph. D. facilitating . The information gathered at three planning meetings was used to create a formal strategic plan for CODA. After nearly seventeen years as an informal organization serving the information, networking and advocacy interests of craft organizations, Articles of Association and new Bylaws were adopted along with replacing “Organization Directors” with “Organization Development” in the name to underscore that the core constituents of CODA are the nation's craft organizations. CODA serves these organizations through the education and professional development of the directors and also board members and program staff.
CODA planning also refined the mission to emphasize that CODA works to ultimately foster public awareness and understanding of craft. This is achieved through its work to strengthen craft organizations and to do research, public education and advocacy.
The CODA Conference was hosted by the Louisiana Artworks a project of the Arts Council of New Orleans and marked a new beginning for CODA as an official 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. In the past CODA administration had been handled by the conference host for that year. This was a milestone for CODA that will enable it to produce projects needed by the crafts field and grow to its full potential.
The support and interest from the crafts industry have made CODA a strong and vital national organization, with an exciting future, having national conferences planned several years in advance.

CODA took another major leap this year with the launch of a website, which proved to be the best way to disseminate and archive news, information, resources, opportunities, advocacy tools and communications with list serves and on-line discussion forums.
“Building Communities: Partnerships in Craft” conference hosted by Kentucky Craft Marketing Program, Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Kentucky School of Craft (in Hindman), focusing on new issues in craft education and cultural economic development. Kentucky’s support of craft and resources brings a new level of programming and recognition to the conference.
Conference held in Portland, Oregon hosted by Contemporary Crafts Museum & Gallery, and Oregon College of Art and Craft; “Create Value/Provoke Change: The Future of Craft,” one of CODA’s most provocative conferences, sparking conversations on redefining craft and young professionals. 
The Special Recognition Award presented to Carol Sedestrom Ross and George Little Management, LLC for long-term dedication to the development of and service to the crafts field began a new tradition during the annual conference. CODA is among the many organizations and individuals who have benefited from Carol’s vast expertise and the support of George Little Management, LLC. 
“Craft Has no Boundaries” an international leadership conference held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada as part of Canadian “Craft Year 2007”, a nation-wide festival of professional craft with hundreds of events. CODA explored the vibrant, growing inter-relationship of American and Canadian craft practice, hosted by the Alberta Craft Council and the Canadian Crafts Federation at the Alberta College of Art and Design. The theme of this year’s conference, “Craft Has No Boundaries,” will provoke discussions on the future of craft and included topics such as Young Professionals in Craft Culture and investigated issues of global competition and how the aspect of identity (ideas, cultural distinctiveness and innovation) creates the distinguishing edge.
The Craft Organization Development Association Award for Leadership, Creative Thinking and Outstanding Service was presented to Fran Redmon, Program Director of the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program (a division of the Kentucky Arts Council), who has made a significant impact on the crafts field.
Little Rock, Arkansas   •   Hosts: Arkansas Arts Center and Arkansas Arts Council
This conference explored the Relationship of Collectors and Institutions, Interior Designers Using Craft Items, Selling Craft on Organization Websites, Wisdom of Hands (Art in Education Program Concept - Doug Stowe), Marketing and Promoting Your Craft Organization (Lynette Jennings), Creative Economies Assessment and the Arkansas Study (Stuart Rosenfeld). Featuring a reception at the home of Robyn and John Horn, sharing their extensive contemporary crafts collection. CODA recognized their leadership in the crafts field with the Craft Organization Development Association Award for leadership, creative thinking and outstanding service.

St. Paul, Minnesota   •   April 23-26, 2009 • Host: American Association of Woodturners
Keynote by: Ann Markusen — Entrepreneurial Artists: The Hidden Arts Dividend for Regional Economies. Featuring CraftNet, an international alliance of community colleges and technical schools that emphasize training programs in crafts, (explored partnerships and networking with craft organizations); “CODAchrome-A Snapshot of Craft in America” a special exhibition of contemporary crafts; and the CODA Award for Leadership was presented to the Craft Emergency Relief Fund.
CODA Conference 20th Anniversary
“Aspects of Identity”
Tuesday, April 6 thru Thursday, April 8, 2010
Savannah, Georgia
As organizations struggle to market themselves, grow and attract customers and funders, establishing a clear understanding of the organization’s identity is a critical step toward successfully reaching its goals. This identity embodies a deeper understanding of what organizations want to accomplish and who they serve and their ability to communicate that message effectively to their audiences.
Conference Highlights:
Craft Advocacy and Dealing with the Economy
The Savannah Story
Transitioning Craft Students into the Workplace  
Crafts and Arts in Education
Post-Conference Tour of Georgia’s Coast featuring the Geechee, descendents of the slaves who were brought over from Africa 200 years ago to work the Coast’s indigo, rice and cotton plantations. We’ll visit the Kunda Geechee Cultural Center, enjoy a performance of the Darien Shouters, and see the Saltwater Geechee Enterprise crafts created by artisans on Sapelo Island.

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