The National Basketry Organization is a non-profit organization that unites people interested in basketry to provide education and to promote basket making. Founded in the late 1990’s, the organization now has approximately 600 members, most of whom live in the United States and Canada. Although most of NBO’s members are basket makers, membership includes collectors, gallery owners, scholars, craft and art schools and museums.
NBO welcomes those who make baskets as well as those who have an interest in or a curiosity about basketry.
NBO’s membership reflects the diversity of basketry in America. Its members include basket makers working in traditional materials and techniques as well as those who are using basketry materials and techniques to work in more contemporary and sculptural forms. Membership includes those who exhibit and sell their work as well as those whose interest is not commercial or professional.
The organization is governed by a Board of Trustees, which is comprised of members who represent the diversity of the membership.
NBO’s programs are guided by a mission statement that directs the organization:
- To build a sense of community by providing ways for people to connect and communicate.
- To provide opportunities for members to improve their skills in basket making and to learn how to promote their work.
- To increase public appreciation of basketry and basket makers.
- To promote the preservation and study of baskets.
Chief amongst NBO’s efforts is our magazine, The Quarterly Review, which features articles on specific basket makers as well as techniques and events. NBO maintains a website with a wide range of information about events, individual basket makers and basketry guilds. The site includes information about scholarships and grants as well as videos with instructional and historical information.
NBO is also active in social media, maintaining a Facebook page where members can post information about events as well as images of their work. NBO also maintains accounts in Flickr, Google+, Twitter and YouTube. A monthly electronic newsletter provides up-to-date information on calendar events as well as postings of member work and news. This newsletter is free for non-members as well.
NBO has recently initiated a Guild Advisory Committee to help NBO better serve guild members.
Recognizing that most education, especially for beginning basket makers, happens at the local and regional level, NBO actively supports local and regional guilds. Guilds are given an active link to their own website so people will be able to find them easily. Workshops offered by guilds and by individual members are regularly included in all publications.
A recent grant will allow NBO to start producing instructional videos for distribution on the website.
Every other year NBO sponsors a very popular national conference that attracts basket makers from around the country. The main focus of the conference is intensive three-day workshops with the country’s best basket makers. The conference moves around the country and each conference emphasizes the local materials and techniques of its site.
Every other year, in conjunction with the national conference, NBO sponsors a juried exhibition, All Things Considered. A catalog is published for each exhibition, leaving a historical record of the work being done.
NBO is launching a major traveling exhibition Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: The History of American Basketry at the University of Missouri in 2016. Five additional sites are being planned. Also in the planning stage is an exhibition that will document the status of basketry materials across the country.
NBO offers an NBO Award to be given as part of exhibitions featuring basketry.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is the most prestigious award made by NBO, recognizing the work of basket makers who have made a significant contribution to American basketry during their lifetimes and celebrating the excellence of their work.
The Mentor/Mentee program is designed to encourage and support younger basket makers by allowing a team of one teacher and one student to attend the national conference together at no cost. Additional scholarships to the conference are funded by an auction held at each conference.
We welcome your support of our many efforts!
National Basketry Organization, Inc.
PO Box 1524
Gloucester, MA 01931-1524
Telephone: 617.863.0366 (Leave a message and someone will get back to you)
Submit events and notices for all of our NBO calendars including our Facebook page, Over/Under, the website calendar and The Quarterly Review at: firstname.lastname@example.org