2021 CONFERENCE PROPOSALS – Lectures, Co-Lectures, Panels, and Discussions

Rivers, Reflections, Reinventions
55th Annual conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Art – Cincinnati, Ohio March 17-20, 2021

Deadline MAY 27, 2020 (11:59PM EDT)

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NCECA seeks proposals for Programming proposals for the 55th Annual Conference, Rivers, Reflections, Reinventions, which takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio March 17-20, 2021. Waterways, natural and constructed, are key features of the Cincinnati region. Poet Langston Hughes captured an essential metaphor for the ways in which water courses through time and territory to mirror the experience of our inner lives. “My soul has grown deep like the rivers,” tells us that our lives are forever changing, our life spans occupying but a fraction of the events that occur throughout the natural and crafted world over time.

Many presenters who had invested months preparing outstanding content for the 2020 conference in Richmond have expressed interest in carrying this work forward into 2021 conference programming. Consideration of proposals for additional content for Cincinnati will be particularly thought provoking and challenging. Of particular interest will be presentations that contribute to new insights on the rich ceramic histories of the greater Cincinnati Region and those of relevance to our shifting strategies for teaching, learning, making, and connecting in the time of COVID 19. 

As creative fields innovate and respond to the changes in our studio, teaching, and learning practices, NCECA’s leadership looks forward to reviewing new proposals for conference lectures, panels, and discussions. Our peer review process includes enthusiasts, educators, students, makers, and culture workers with a depth of knowledge and experience in ceramic art. They will read proposals individually and consider them collectively to make selections for the conference program. 

What do we want to see in a proposal? A successful proposal will clearly demonstrate that…

… the topic to be presented is focus and pertinent to relevant issues in ceramic art, the conference theme, and or region; 

… diverse, and qualified presenters are prepared to share knowledge and experience incorporating informed, fresh, and unique approaches;

… thought provoking, divergent, or under-explored perspectives are being explored; 

… the overall program reflects the range of interests and audiences represented in the conference communities.

One way that NCECA organizes programming is through strands that provide guidance to those who may wish to expand knowledge and awareness in specific domains relevant inquiry within the field. When you make a proposal, please select the following strands that best match your topic and identify all potential target audiences:

Career Paths – Professional practices, business knowledge, and skills (planning, marketing, and networking) Presentations may run from 30-90 minutes.

Clay Discourse – Presentations on critical thinking, language and judgement, examining how we consider controversial issues in works of ceramic art. How do we analyze meaning, discern qualities, think about and evaluate works of art? What are the philosophical underpinnings pertaining to works of art and the creative process with clay? Presentations may run from 30-90 minutes.

Histories and Contexts – Presentations that shed new insights on ceramic traditions and/or expand awareness of clay work by peoples working at different periods. How did the environment and events taking place in different locales and eras impact the work that took place there? How was it influenced by neighboring or distant cultures? Presentations may run from 30-90 minutes.

Learning Modalities
– Presentations that involve innovations and or research in pedagogy, curriculum, instruction, and assessment. These presentations can be geared towards the interests of K-12, community education, museums, higher education, apprenticeship, practicum, or other forms of formal and informal education. Presentations may run from 30-90 minutes.

Materials and Technology – Clay nerds delight! Presentations on clay, glazes, firings, tools, etc. that inform understandings of the complex events that can occur through ceramic production. This is the place where the scientific and creative processes collide. Share the hard learned lessons you have earned through research, trial, error, and serendipity. Presentations may run from 30-90 minutes.

Social and Sustainable Impacts– Presentations on collaboration, community, and processes that offer new insights into how clay can be incorporated in programs and contexts that bring people together (alternative frameworks for creative production, creative encounters with clay in unanticipated places, working models that demonstrate relational and environmental concerns). Presentations may run from 30-90 minutes.

Please read the information below carefully to prepare for your Submittal.

Everyone is eligible to submit a proposal. Participation is generally limited to only one presentation per conference.

Lectures/Co-Lectures of 30 minutes and 60 minutes. Ideal for presenting specific information/ideas.

Panels of 90 minutes – Limited to one moderator and no more than 3 additional panelists for a total of no more than 4 presenters. Panelists are permitted to make brief individual presentations before the moderator convenes the group on the topic. Suitable for investigating topics that are best informed by varied perspectives.

Discussions of 60 and 90 minutes – May include up to one moderator and one additional participant for a total of no more than 5 presenters. Discussions may not include individualized slide presentations although visuals may continually cycle during the conversation. The moderator will introduce the topic and pose questions of the commentators as well as invite questions and comments from the audience.

All proposals must be submitted using NCECA’s Online Submittal process (a link to the form is provided below). Proposals related to the conference theme of Rivers, Reflections, Reinventions will receive preference. Your ONLINE submittal form must include the following or it will not be considered. (Only .doc, .docx, .JPEG or .PDF files will be accepted) Please prepare BEFORE starting the form:

For all presenters/panelist/moderators (We must have the following from everyone participating and/or proposing a lecture, co-lecture, panel or discussion): 

• Names
• Address
• Phone number (cell preferred)
• Email address (preferred method of contact)
• Resume (2-page limit, upload as .doc, .docx or .pdf, not to exceed 2MB)
• Short Bio (Limit 50 words)
• Headshot (upload as jpg, 100dpi 2”x3”)

90-Minute Panelist/Moderators and 60 and 90 Minute Discussions
(Panels are limited to no more than three panelists plus a moderator)
(Discussions may include up to one moderator and one additional participant for a total of no more than 5 participants)

• Panel title – Limit 6 words
• Proposal description – Limit 300 words
• Resume (2-page limit, upload as .doc, .docx or .pdf, not to exceed 2MB)
• Program Guide description – (Limit 50 words) If your proposal is accepted, this will be printed in the Program Guide

IMAGES –
• Images representative of the presentation’s focus (up to 10 images total). (.jpg ONLY. Each image no larger than 800 KB) (Image Submission Guidelines)

Lastly, please only include images that will strengthen the proposal. If your presentation/panel is not something that can be documented with imagery, (only images that directly reference the actual proposal), please disregard this requirement.

Image details to include:
            • Image Title
• Relevance to presentation – (Limit 50 words)
• Brief Image description – (Limit 50 words) To include Artist name, type of clay, firing, date of piece, dimensions (H x W x D)

30 and 60-Minute Lectures and 60-Minute Co-Lectures
(Co-lectures – two individuals presenting different aspects of the same topic)

• Lecture title – Limit 6 words
• Proposal description – Limit 300 words
• Resume (2-page limit, upload as .doc, .docx or .pdf, not to exceed 2MB)

• Program Guide description – (Limit 50 words) If your proposal is accepted, this will be printed in the Program Guide

IMAGES – Images representative of the presentation’s focus (up to 10 images total).
(.jpg ONLY. Each image no larger than 800 KB) (Image Submission Guidelines)

Lastly, please only include images that will strengthen the proposal. If your presentation/panel is not something that can be documented with imagery, (only images that directly reference the actual proposal), please disregard this requirement.

Image details to include:
            • Image Title
• Relevance to presentation – Limit 50 words
• Brief Image description – Limit 50 words. To include Artist name, type of clay, firing, date of piece, dimensions (H x W x D)

Is there a special mentor, colleague or friend who attends the conference that you would like to recommend to provide an introduction to your presentation? (NCECA reserves the right to assign individuals to introduce presentations when this field is left blank or the recommended person is unavailable.) Please provide his/her Name, Cell phone, Email.

Proposal abstracts, images and support materials will be made available to NCECA Board Members for review prior to making selections at the June Board meeting.  Make sure your online submittal is complete, as incomplete proposals will not be considered.  NCECA will notify you of the Board’s decision by email as soon as possible after the Board meeting. If you have questions, please email: Mary Cloonan mkcloonan.nceca@gmail.com and Dori Nielsen dori@nceca.net 

Panelists, moderators and lecturers will receive a 2021 conference registration and NCECA membership for the 2021 calendar year.  The Board is committed to providing a monetary honorarium, the amount of which will be determined when the 2020-2021 budget is finalized.

If chosen to present, your commitment to NCECA will be: 

• Meeting all deadlines as outlined by your signed agreement, which include the following: 

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

• A PowerPoint presentation (If images are not appropriate, please make note of it in your proposal)


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If you encounter problems and require technical assistance with your submission, please contact BOTH support@nceca.net AND kate@nceca.net