Lectures and Co-Lectures, Panel Presentations, Roundtables, Facilitated Community Discussions, Short Form, Demonstrating Artists, Makerspace, Project Space

Deadline Wednesday, 6/9/2021 (11:59PM EDT) – CLOSED

56th Annual Conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts –
Sacramento, California – March 16-19, 2022 – Fertile Ground

The annual conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) provides opportunities to build and strengthen professional networks and experience lifelong learning with friends, colleagues, mentors, and students. Presenting a content-rich session individually or as part of a team is a wonderful way to share knowledge, experiences, and ideas. The conference’s community-generated program will showcase future directions, best practices, stories of successful collaborations, lessons learned, and solutions to community-wide issues organized into overarching Programming Themes and Content Categories. NCECA strives to develop conference programming that provides a diverse range of representation from the field. Though occasional exceptions may be made, any individual may be limited to presenting in no more than one conference session per year.


NCECA’s 56th Annual Conference, Fertile Ground, takes place in Sacramento, California, March 16 – 19, 2022. Poet and activist Gary Snyder writes, “The great Central Valley region does not prefer English over Spanish or Japanese or Hmong. If it had any preferences at all, it might best like the languages it has heard for thousands of years, such as Maidu or Miwok, simply because it is used to them. Mythically speaking, it will welcome whomever chooses to observe the etiquette, express the gratitude, grasp the tools, and learn the songs that it takes to live there.”

Migrants to the region bearing cultural practices from all over the world have cultivated the rich evolution of Northern California’s arts and agriculture. Intermingling diverse traditions with innovations, expression in ceramic art has taken many forms: vessel, sculpture, architecture, and installation. Northern California is celebrated both for the emergence of unconventional clay practices and sustaining traditions. Enduring influences of Native wisdoms and vibrant multiculturalism are essential to the region’s contemporary context of ecologically and socially engaged creative practices.

The Farm to Fork Movement, which originated in Northern California, demonstrates how significant impact can occur when stewardship of the environment fully integrates cultural practice that is equally attentive to traditions and innovation. The territory of the Central Valley and Northern California are threaded with clay caches, rivers, coastline, and mountain ranges. These features are expressive of the natural environment that reflect a sense of awe and spirit of interconnectedness between the land and its people. Fertile Ground invites us to gather around an expansive and inclusive table for continued sustenance and dialogue through ceramic art, teaching, and learning.

Please read carefully before you begin work on your proposal.

If you have questions about any of the terms discussed in this call for proposals or the conference format, please email Chanda Zea programs@nceca.net and Dori Nielsen dori@nceca.net
If you require technical assistance with your submission, please contact BOTH support@nceca.net AND kate@nceca.net NCECA recommends using Google Chrome or Firefox when using forms on this site. Some forms do not respond well to Internet Explorer or Safari.

Relevance to the Field and Conference: To what extent does the proposal demonstrate relevance, importance, value, and/or interest to the field, Programming Themes, and/or Content Categories of this conference?

Presenter Knowledge: How do the submitted proposal materials demonstrate that the presenter (or presenters) has the knowledge and experience to address this topic?

Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, Inclusion and Belonging: How would the inclusion of this proposal in the program contribute toward representing the diverse voices and viewpoints of those working to advance the field?

Impact: To what degree does the proposal provide evidence that the material highlighted will be presented in a manner that is thought-provoking, divergent, or revelatory of under-explored perspectives that have promise to expand the scope of the field?

As you submit your proposal, please select any of the following delivery mode(s) for your presentation. (Optional)
Live presentation taking place in person at the convention center, which may also be live-streamed.
Live online presentation originating from a different location to audiences at the conference center or participating via the Internet.
Pre-recorded presentation
originating from a different location to a live audience at the conference center or participating via the Internet.

NCECA may request a change of presentation format, and/or duration for accepted presentations, according to needs determined by time, space, and program curation.
Select proposals that are not curated into the conference schedule may instead be invited to take part in other NCECA programming throughout the year.

Within the 2022 conference program, NCECA plans to organize four Programming Themes:
Advocacy & Activism, Education, Responsive Practice, and Global Community.

As you submit your proposal you may select one or more of the 2022 Programming Themes. This selection is optional and will not affect the review process for your proposal.
Advocacy & Activism – Questioning established canons and promoting change in ceramic art, teaching and learning; striving for equity that encompasses gender, class, race, and the work of communities.

Education – Teaching modalities, resources, and models to create equitable and accessible learning environments and opportunities; critical responses to current circumstances and anti-racist approaches.

Responsive Practice – Theories and methods for building resilient, adaptive, and inclusive practices and opportunities in the ceramic arts.

Global Community – Examining the impact of intercultural exchange and creating communities of opportunity through ceramic art; celebrating global ceramic traditions and contemporary practices.

As you submit your proposal, you may select up to two of the following Content Categories to help clarify the focus of your presentation content and attract your target audience:
Clay Discourse – Approaches to critique and considerations of ceramics in relation to other art forms; trends, innovations, and conversations in contemporary ceramics.

Histories and Contexts – Examination of ceramic art traditions and innovations over time and from around the world.

Sustainability – Collaboration, community, and processes that bring people together; working models that demonstrate human, social, economic, and environmental well-being.

Teaching and Learning – Pedagogy, curriculum, instruction, and assessment at any level of formal or informal education. Presentations focused on teaching and learning with clay and through ceramic art whether in studios, community and arts centers, schools, or other settings.

Student Interests – Presentations developed and led by current students or by professionals interested in sharing knowledge that is particularly relevant to the experiences of students, their transitional experiences, and professional practices for emergent careers in the field.

Career Paths – Professional practices, business knowledge, and skills such as planning, marketing, and networking.

Making and Materiality – Presentations on clay, glazes, firings, tools, etc. that inform understandings of the events that can occur through ceramic production. (Clay Doctors, Glaze Doctors, Demonstrating Artists, Makerspace)

Clay Fab Lab – Presentations explore the intersection of new technologies and computer aided design with ceramic creation. (Presenters may be required to provide specialized equipment for in person demonstrations.)

Lectures and Co-Lectures (30 or 60 minutes including Q & A)
These sessions are opportunities to learn from a tightly focused exploration on a topic by one or two presenters who will share illustrated talks digitally or in-person.

Panel Presentations (60 or 90 minutes including Q & A)
Panels involve a moderator and up to four presenters and should represent two or more alternate viewpoints. The panel presentation is a succession of brief illustrated talks by each presenter followed by a moderated discussion. The best panels have diversity in perspectives as well as diversity of presenters — organizationally and demographically speaking.

Roundtables (60 or 90 minutes including Q & A)
Roundtable discussions provide an organized conversation with up to five discussants that bring a variety of perspectives to a subject and take the form of a lively group discussion with an audience who may simply observe or participate by asking questions. These presentations fully dedicate their time to discourse among the discussants and do not include a sequence of individual talks. Images may be displayed concurrently with the conversation but are not required.

Facilitated Community Discussions (60 or 90 minutes)
Centered on conversation among all participants, these presentations engage the audience in dialogue about specific topics or broad issues. Up to two facilitators of these sessions create a framework for the collective community experience to emerge among session attendees, without the use of presentation equipment. The goal of these sessions is to generate organic, topically relevant, peer-to-peer learning experiences and conversations at the conference.

Short Form (10 minutes, no Q & A)
These fast paced, image-driven presentations provide a format for one presenter to share projects still under development or a glimpse into a resource, initiative, experience, or event of interest to the ceramics community.

Demonstrating Artists (Six hours over two days)
Up to four Demonstrating Artists are programmed to present live working sessions during each conference. Historically, when artists are programmed at the convention center hosting the conference, two pairs of presenters are scheduled to work concurrently. Demonstrating Artists discuss their creative goals and challenges with one another and the audience while working onsite. NCECA strives to present artists who create work across the spectrum of ceramic creation from functional pottery to expressive vessels and sculpture.

Makerspace (45 minutes including Q & A)
These presentations involve one presenter giving a hands-on demonstration focusing on a specific process in a maker’s repertoire of creation. Audiences for these sessions are often other makers, teachers and learners looking for new approaches to working with form building and surface treatment in their own studios and classrooms following the conference.

Projects Space – (One-day, two-days, and three-days, in person delivery mode only)
A platform for ceramic artists to create and present works during the annual conference that incorporate clay as medium in time-based, performative, relational, or site responsive work. Invited artists will work within an assigned space (approximately 10’ x 20’) of the convention center to create evolving time-based and/or interactive works.

Please read the information below carefully to prepare for your submittal.
It is recommended to save the proposal text to your computer as back up.

All proposals must be made through NCECA’s Online Submittal process (a link to the form is provided below). Your ONLINE submittal form must include the following or it will not be considered. NCECA asks all applicants to note and adhere to word count limitations that are identified in open fields. Please prepare BEFORE starting the form:

All group submissions must identify a primary contact person who will be responsible for collecting and submitting presentation materials and journal articles. This person will be NCECA’s point of contact.

The following items, unless noted as optional, are required for each person included in the proposal:

• Names
• Address
• Phone number (cell preferred)
• Email address (NCECA’s primary form of communication)
• Tell us about your experience and engagement with the topic of your presentation.  (Limit 250 words)
• Short Bio (Limit 50 words)
• Headshot (upload as .jpg, portrait mode at a size of 6” h x 4” w at 300 ppi)
• Proposal title – Limit 6 words
• Proposal description – (Limit 300 words)
• Program Guide description – (Limit 50 words). This description will be included in the agreement for presenters. Any proposed changes to the description must be included when the presenter returns their signed agreement. NCECA reserves the right to edit descriptions to meet word count and style guidelines for its publications.

Optional resources to support your proposal:
Other Social Media (Please specify)
Resume (2-page limit, upload as .doc, .docx or .pdf, not to exceed 2MB)

IMAGES and VIDEO/AUDIO SUBMISSION SPECIFICATION – Please review Guidelines to prepare your media files for submission

Please include only image and video/audio materials that will strengthen the proposal. If your presentation is not something that can be documented with imagery (images that directly reference the actual proposal) you may disregard this requirement.

Image or video/audio details to include:
• Title
• Relevance to presentation – (Limit 50 words)
• Brief description – (Limit 50 words) To include Artist name, process or type of clay, firing, date of piece, dimensions (H x W x D) in inches, and photo credit.

All proposals are reviewed by the NCECA Board of Directors and NCECA’s Programming Review Committee. Once selections are made, content will be organized into a programming schedule. Incomplete proposals may be excluded from the assessment process. Notification on the outcome of the review will be shared by email as soon as possible after decisions have been made. Because NCECA is evolving toward a model of year-round program delivery, some proposals submitted for the conference may be recommended for delivery at other points in the year.

Presenters will receive a 2022 conference registration and NCECA membership for the 2022 calendar year. The Board is committed to providing a monetary honorarium, the amount of which will be determined when the 2022-2023 budget is finalized.

If your proposal is accepted, your commitment to NCECA will be to meet all deadlines outlined in your presenter agreement, including but not limited to all requested presentation content which includes the following:

• Written and visual documentation to publish in the NCECA Journal and other promotions.

• Promotional images/videos for dedicated marketing use on Social Media platforms. Marketing formats and deadlines will be outlined in the presenter agreement.

• Live presentations may require submission of presentation files prior to conference according to agreement. (PowerPoint, Google Slides, Keynote, etc.).

• Virtual presentations may require submission of a pre-recorded video. The pre-recorded formats, guidelines and deadlines will be outlined in the presenter agreement.

• All presenters will be asked to provide a 15-30 second self-introduction and greeting video that will be used by NCECA to help build interest in the conference and/or year-round programming. Video formats, guidelines, and deadlines will be outlined in the presenter agreement.

Please note: Late submission of materials may result in a presentation’s exclusion from programming. Thank you in advance for meeting all deadlines.


QUESTIONS AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE – If you have questions about any of the terms discussed in this call for proposals or the conference format, please email: Chanda Zea programs@nceca.net and Dori Nielsen dori@nceca.net

If you require technical assistance with your submission, please contact BOTH support@nceca.net AND kate@nceca.net NCECA recommends using Google Chrome or Firefox when using forms on this site. Some forms do not respond well to Internet Explorer or Safari.

After you complete your online submission form for this opportunity, please hit SUBMIT only one time. The form data could take several minutes to submit particularly with multiple images. A confirmation email will be generated through NCECA’s database to let you know that your application has been successfully transmitted and received. Please save the confirmation email. If you do not receive this confirmation message within an hour after the time that you submitted your proposal, please email kate@nceca.net