NCECA Conference Scholarships

The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) is hosting its 52nd annual conference in Pittsburgh from March 14-17 in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. This year’s conference is entitled CrossCurrents: Clay and Culture. It “will explore personal, social, and aesthetic forces that animate creative work with elemental materials, methods and ideas in the midst of the information age.” NCECA is anticipating approximately 5,000 attendees at the conference and its accompanying free public events, some of which are noted in our latest Current Opportunities post.

AEC is excited to share that NCECA will be offering the Val Cushing and Bill Bracker Memorial Scholarships to Pittsburgh-area students and educators interested in attending the conference. Single-day pass scholarships will be available to 100 students from grades 6-12 and 10 teachers. Candidates from Southwestern Pennsylvania as well as neighboring counties in Ohio and West Virginia are welcome to apply.

These scholarships are possible because of the generous support of Anne W. Bracker of Bracker’s Good Earth Clays and retired Slippery Rock professor Richard Wukich. Wukich writes that his “support of this scholarship is a way of paying forward [Val Cushing’s] generosity as a teacher.” Cushing taught at Alfred University and helped bring renown to its ceramics program. A founding member of NCECA, Cushing’s work has been exhibited throughout the country. He passed away in 2013.

Bill Bracker taught art and design at the University of Kansas and was deputy chair before leaving to found Bracker’s Good Earth Clays, Inc. with his wife Anne in Lawrence, KS in 1982. She and their daughters have continued to run the business since Bill Bracker’s passing in 1993. “NCECA’s 52nd annual conference in Pittsburgh will provide an incredible experience for regional teachers and their students,” Anne says. They “will come into contact with many of the finest artist/craftsmen in the field today. I am pleased to help teachers and students, who represent the future of the field, access this opportunity.”

Interested teachers must contact Jacqueline Hardy (, and must provide their names, personal contact information, the name and contact information of their school, their preferred date (NCECA recommends a choice of Thursday, March 15 or Friday, March 16), and the first and last names of their students. Applicants will be considered on a first come, first served basis, and should plan on providing their own food and transportation.

AEC is thrilled to publicize this unique opportunity for educators, students, and artists to engage with ceramicists and the arts right here in Pittsburgh. More information about programming can be found on NCECA’s CrossCurrents program guide. Select events are open to the public free of charge.

williamscNCECA Conference Scholarships