Thursday, October 16, 2008

Press Release – North Carolina Pottery Center Announces Fundraising Success


From: North Carolina Pottery Center, Seagrove, NC

Press Release – North Carolina Pottery Center Announces Fundraising Success

Despite an economy that seems to be “going to pot,” the recent fundraising campaign organized to support the North Carolina Pottery Center fired-up the North Carolina pottery community and raised significantly more than the original target of $100,000.

To date, a general fundraising letter has raised $48,500, a recent auction at Leland Little Auction and Estate Sales in Hillsborough of old NC pots centered on the legendary collection of Dr. Everette James, raised $35,000, the North Carolina Arts Council has provided a $25,000 grant, and an anonymous donor has capped the fundraising drive with a generous $10,000 donation in honor of Dr's. Everette James and Nancy Farmer. That make’s a total of $118,500.

The Pottery Center, located in Seagrove, is an anchor for the ceramic traditions of North Carolina, and provides a focal point for the contemporary expression of the state’s ceramic heritage. These funds will keep the Pottery Center open for the next fiscal year, enabling it to fulfill its mission to “promote public awareness and appreciation of the history, heritage, and ongoing tradition of pottery making in North Carolina through educational programs, public services, collection and preservation, and research and documentation.”

Over13,000 people have visited the Pottery Center during each of the last several years, with domestic visitors traveling form as far away as Alaska, California, North Dakota, and Maine (in fact there have been visitors from every state, including Hawaii), while overseas visitors from New Zealand, Japan, Sweden, and throughout Europe have also enjoyed access to this remarkable institution. Such global interest in what is going on in the tiny community of Seagrove (located south of Asheboro, not far from the NC Zoo) is a testament to the enduring power of North Carolina’s pots and potters. These visitors provide a much needed economic stimulus not only to the Seagrove pottery community and surrounding businesses, but also to the wider pottery community throughout the state - in the Catawba Valley region, around Penland in the mountains, as well as Down East.

In his recent book on Wood-Fired Stoneware and Porcelain, renowned Pennsylvania potter Jack Troy declares that “if North America has a ‘pottery state,’ it must be North Carolina. . . . There is probably no other state with such a highly developed pottery-consciousness.” Articles extolling the local traditions regularly appear in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times. The Pottery Center’s recent fundraising success has been spontaneous, generous, and widespread, and is a heartwarming recognition of the continuing joy people derive from the friendly beauty residing in each and every pot made in North Carolina.

The Pottery Center would like to thank its many supporters for their passionate commitment to the state’s ceramic heritage, and extends an invitation to visitors to travel to the Center to see for themselves the award-winning building and its collection of magnificent pots, and also encourages pottery lovers to continue their ongoing support of the many potters in Seagrove and throughout the state.