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Who We Are

Safeguarding + Sustaining Artists’ Careers

Our Mission

CERF+ serves artists who work in craft disciplines by providing a safety net to support strong and sustainable careers. CERF+’s core services are education programs, advocacy, network building and emergency relief.


CERF+ is a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Our History

“Artists in the craft community wouldn’t see each other for a whole year—and we would discover that somebody’s barn had burned down, someone had been in an auto accident, or someone’s van had been broken into and they had lost all of their crafts.”

– Josh Simpson Co-founder
Craft Emergency Relief Fund

Art is America’s common wealth and artists are its most precious asset.

In 1985, the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (now a program of CERF+) began when co-founders Carol Sedestrom Ross, then president of American Craft Enterprises, and glassblower Josh Simpson recognized the inherent generosity within the craft community. Artists would “pass the hat” to collect monetary donations during shows and exhibitions in support of fellow artists dealing with emergencies. CERF+ was founded to expand this grassroots effort and has since provided almost $2 million in financial assistance and more than $400,000 in donated services to professional artists in craft disciplines nationwide.

Meet Our Staff

Our Board of Directors

Past Board Members
Tanya Aguiñiga
Polly Allen
John Andrew
Jorge Arango
Malene Barnett
Miriam Barnett
Barbara Bateman
Curtis Benzle
Barry Bergey
Eddie Bernard
Anthony Beverly
Sandy Blain
Bob Booker
Michelle Bufano
Sharon Campbell
Donald Clark
Barrie Cliff
Joao Cook
Robert Curry
Julie Gordon Dalgleish
Deirdre Donchian
Charley Dooley
Jennifer Dowley
Craig Dreeszen
Melvin Druin
Betty DuPree
Carol Eckert
David Ellsworth
Lisa Englander
Lucy Feller
Cecily Fox
Bill Fraser
Donald Friedlich
Gini Garcia
Martha Giberson
Julie Girardini
Gary Glant
Judy Gordon
Hortense Green
John Haworth
Helen Hamada
Lloyd Herman
Ricardo Hernandez
Paul Housberg
Curt Huddleston
Stacey Jarit
Pamela Joseph
Jan Katz
Charles Kegley
Pam Kingfisher
Mary Klein
Karen Koblitz
Richard Kooyman
Karen Krieger
William Lehr Jr
Jack Lenor Larsen
Mark Lyman
Robert Lynch
Gwen Magee
Ande Maricich
Susan Martin
Steve Maslach
Carolyn Mazloomi
Gail McCarthy
Mia McEldowney
Jean McLaughlin
Reed McMillan
Nancee Meeker
Alice Merritt
Terri Moreland
Craig Nutt
Mary Nyburg
Paula Owen
Jules Polk
Rachel Porter
Theo Portnoy
Dave Purvis
Bill Riker
Chris Robb
Wendy Rosen
Sylvie Rosenthal
Carol Ross
Lois Russell
Marilyn S
Paul Sacaridiz
Jane Sauer
Carol Sauvion
Jan Schachter
Anthony Schaller
Susan Schear
Felicia Shaw
Toni Sikes
Josh Simpson
Brent Skidmore
Susan Skinner
Marilyn Stevens
Olivia Surratt
John Venekamp
James Wilkinson
Lana Wilson


We’re all part of the Artists Safety Net

Celebrate the Artists Safety Net with Us!

If you support artists, you can be part of the “Artists Safety Net!” Whether you donate, attend workshops or tell a friend about CERF+, you help protect artists, their art and their careers. Tell us why you support art and the artists who make it by adding your own story here.

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CERF+ Impact: A Bird’s Eye View

(Oct 1, 2017 – Sep 30, 2022)

Emergency Relief Grants
COVID-19 Grants
Get Ready Grants
All Grants
Brokered Assistance
Grand Total
Jeana Eve Klein

Jeana Eve Klein, Fiber Artist and CERF+ Beneficiary

When I was facing the prospect of no work space, CERF+ came through for me when I really needed it and I was able to continue working without interruption. I’m in a much better financial place now.  I give to CERF+ so other artists can be helped in the future.

Collectors of Wood Art

Judy Chernoff, President, Collectors of Wood Art

Artists may experience tenuous unforeseen circumstances from time to time. Along with a wide variety of activities in support of the wood art movement, helping artists during such times fits in well with our mission.

James Aarons

James Aarons, Ceramic Artist

CERF+ helps us when we need some support, guidance, or advice. Sometimes we just need to know that we’re not alone, or if something knocks the wind out of us, CERF+ is a friend. CERF+ is critical part of the craft community.

CERF+ Impact: A Bird’s Eye View

$1,074,820 in Grants to 533 Artists
$993,920 in Loans to 504 Artists
$428,308 in In-Kind for 359 Artists
100% of grantees cited CERF+ assistance as a contributing factor to their financial recovery after an emergency.


For over 30 years, CERF+ has been the Artists Safety Net. We have provided resources and information, education and training, advocacy and research, and emergency readiness and relief to artists working in craft disciplines because of a national community of supporters that care about artists and their work.


The board and staff of CERF+, as well as the thousands of artists we serve every year are grateful for the participation, engagement, and financial support which have been generously given by you. We are inspired and humbled by your support and what it tells us about your confidence in our work.
GuideStar Exchange Gold Participant
Joan Mitchell Foundation logo
National Endowment for the Arts logo

Windgate Charitable

Ruby Lopez Harper
Executive Director

Ruby began as Executive Director of CERF+ in November, 2022. A national arts leader who advocates for artists, she brings over 15 years of arts and disaster management experience. She fulfilled several roles at Americans for the Arts (AFTA) over the past six years, most recently as Vice President of Equity and Local Arts Engagement. Prior to AFTA, she served as Grants and Services Director of the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

Cameron Baxter Lewis
Director of Grants and Programs

Cameron joined CERF+ in July of 2019. Prior to that, he served as Program Specialist at Save the Children, where he directed their largest disaster response program, Child Friendly Spaces, which provides safety and security for children who find themselves displaced in an emergency. Cameron received his Bachelor of Arts in advertising from Appalachian State University and his Master of Arts in public administration with a concentration in emergency management from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Cameron brings more than a decade of experience working in volunteer management, training and development, recruitment, and disaster preparedness and response programs.

Contact Cameron
[email protected]


Heather Beffa
Readiness + Relief Coordinator

Heather joined CERF+ in the summer of 2021 as the Readiness and Relief Coordinator. Prior to joining our staff, Heather served as the Grants Program Manager at ArtsKC in Kansas City, Missouri where she oversaw administering competitive and needs-based funding for hundreds of artists annually. She is dedicated to transparency, ethics, and demonstrating impact. Art is the center of Heather’s personal and professional life. Heather completed a Bachelor in Fine Arts at Kansas City Art Institute in Printmaking and has studied Art History at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Carrie Cleveland
Development + Outreach Manager

If you want art to exist, you have to support artists.

Carrie came to CERF+ in the spring of 2008 and since then has participated in all aspects of the organization’s work to help artists have resilient careers, from counseling artists seeking emergency assistance to leading $100,000 fundraising appeals to teaching emergency preparedness workshops. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history, with extensive work in the visual arts, from Marlboro College and prior to her time at CERF+, she spent several years living in New York City where she was an entomologist’s assistant by day and a tenor saxophone player by night. Happily re-ensconced in her home state, Carrie and her husband live in Montpelier, Vermont in a household where musical instruments outnumber the human inhabitants 5 to 1.

Contact Carrie
[email protected]

James Hafferman
Deputy Director

Art brings the world joy and opens our eyes to the beauty around us.

James joined the CERF+ staff in the Spring of 2018 as the Deputy Director. Previously he served as the Executive Director of Green Mountain Farm-to-School in Newport, Vermont. Over his 18-year career, James has held key leadership positions including, Chief Operating Officer of an international energy efficiency nonprofit in Washington, D.C., where he was instrumental in managing and developing the organization from a small start-up to a global presence. He has worked with a variety of nonprofits addressing issues related to health and human services, education, energy-efficiency and the arts.

Contact James
[email protected]

Charity Hall
Communications Manager

Charity Hall joined CERF+ staff in June of 2022. Prior to joining CERF+, Charity worked on contract as a writer for CERF+, writing and editing a variety of materials, including launching and writing the CERF+ blog. Charity is also a metalsmith and enamelist who creates biologically-inspired jewelry and teaches workshops at a variety of craft schools and art centers, including the John C. Campbell Folk School, Pocosin Arts School of Fine Craft, and Metalwerx. She received her Master of Fine Arts from East Carolina University, where she studied under Bob Ebendorf, Linda Darty, Tim Lazure, and Mi-Sook Hur.

Jono Anzalone, Chair
Executive Director, Kennebunkport Climate Initiative

Jono is the Executive Director of the Kennebunkport Climate Initiative (KCI), a nonpartisan organization that inspires to educate, empower, and active 10 million youth around climate action by 2025. He joined the after a long tenure as both a Red Cross, where he started as a youth volunteer in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska. Most recently, Jono served as the Head of Disaster and Crisis, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for the Americas and Caribbean region, based in Panama, Panama and also served as the Vice President of International Services at the American Red Cross based out of Washington, DC. Jono’s hundreds of national and international disaster assignments with the American Red Cross, IFRC, and ICRC have led him to serve in places such as Mexico, Belize, Suriname, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Liberia, and Haiti, to include being detailed to the United States Agency on International Development (USAID) during the 2010 Haiti Earthquake and assigned to their Response Management Team to lead the agencies donations management activity. Jono served as the Advocacy Committee chair for the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) from 2012-2015. Jono graduated from Creighton University with a BA in Political Science, the University of Nebraska with an MS in Economics, a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Higher Education at the University of Nebraska, and the Harvard School of Public Health and Kennedy School of Government National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, and has earned the International Association of Emergency Management Certified Emergency Manager (CEM®) credential.

“CERF+ is filling a critical mission space for both preparing artists before a disaster strikes, as well as ensuring a safety net is visible for artists impacted by disasters. Time and time again, I have seen firsthand how disaster impacted artists struggle, like many nonartists, to navigate the complex disaster assistance ecosystem. With the impacts of climate change having more negative impacts on vulnerable communities, the role of CERF+ is even more important.” – Jono Anzalone

Vivian Beer
Furniture Designer/Maker/Sculpture, Pembroke, New Hampshire

Vivian Beer is a furniture designer/maker based in New England, where she operates her studio, Vivian Beer Studio Works. Her sleek, abstracted metal and concrete furniture combines the aesthetic sensibilities of contemporary design, craft, and sculpture. Her furniture alters expectations and interfaces with the domestic landscape. With a strong foundation in contemporary furniture design, her research into the history of American industry, architecture, and transportation — supported in part by a 2014 Research Fellowship at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum—adds intellectual rigor and specificity to her work.

Beer’s work is included in museum collections, including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Metals Museum, and the Museum of Arts and Design (New York City). Her public art is exhibited in Portland, Maine and Cambridge, Massachusetts. She holds an undergraduate degree from Maine College of Art and a Masters of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy. Beer has held numerous residencies at The Penland School of Craft, The State University of New York at Purchase, and San Diego State University.

“There are so few resources out there to directly and quickly help artists who have experienced a disaster. CERF+ bridges the gap that so many creatives, like myself, can fall through when things go wrong. So many of us that work in the creative sector live on the edge, project to project. With a little help we can get back up, but no one can do it alone. CERF+ was there for me when I had my own crisis and I hope, with them, to help be there for others in the same way.” – Vivian Beer

Molly Bell, Secretary
Executive Vice President-Rio Grande Jewelry Supply

Molly grew up surrounded by a large, exceptionally creative family. Rio Grande Jewelers Supply began as a family operation where she worked alongside her father and siblings and honed her understanding of the challenges of business.

Molly is an advocate for arts in the workplace, in education, and in the community. She appreciates artists’ contributions to the quality of life and knows that artists provide heart and soul to our culture, communities, and experiences. She embraces the unifying power of art, craft, and creativity, and describes art as a universal way to enrich lives and celebrate the diversity of our shared humanity. She has served as a board member of several organizations including Harwood Art Center; Escuela del Sol Montessori; Creative Albuquerque; and Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America. Molly and Rio Grande have supported Sweeps for CERF+ and the Toolbox Initiative since their inception. Molly currently serves as a board member of Leadership New Mexico; Women’s Jewelry Association; and WESST.

“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to serve on the board of CERF+, an organization I have admired and supported for years. In addition to the remarkable work CERF+ does to provide assistance to artisans after a disaster or setback, I am an avid fan of the “Get Ready” programming. The artisan sector is a key driver of cultural preservation and economic growth in our communities. CERF+’s proactive educational resources and guidance contributes to artisans resiliency and stability through the course of their careers.” – Molly Bell

Deb Dormody
Strategist, Arts Leader, Grantmaker

Deb Dormody most recently served for over seven years as the Deputy Director for the Artist Communities Alliance – an international association providing services to the artist residency field – where she directed operational practices and policies to support the organization’s strategic initiatives and equitable values. As the Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Providence, she acted as the liaison to the city’s arts and cultural community. Deb is a professional bookbinder whose work has been featured in American Craft, HGTV, Handmade Nation, among others. She has presented seminars on practical techniques for independent artists to sustain businesses at venues including Fuller Craft Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Maine College of Art, National Arts Marketing Project, AIGA, and the Craft Congress. Deb is currently a mentor for the Interlace Grant Writing Mentorship Program for Emerging and Mid-Career Visual Artists; was previously appointed as co-chair of the Dirt Palace Public Projects board of directors – an intersectional feminist art space and residency program; and is a former co-owner of Craftland – a shop showcasing work by independent artists. Deb understands the role of collaboration and networks in sparking collective change, and is invested in mending the historic distribution of power and resources in the arts.

“As a bookbinder and arts administrator, I am thrilled to join with CERF+ toward disaster preparedness and prevention so that fellow artists may sustain fulfilling careers. I am particularly eager to participate in CERF+’s efforts to reach artists who work outside traditional contexts or who have been systematically marginalized, by making resources more visible, sharing tools for resiliency, and building strong networks. This is a critical time for responsive change and I’m grateful to serve!”

Dr. Allison Druin, Treasurer
Associate Provost for Research & Strategic Partnerships, Pratt Institute

Dr. Allison Druin is currently the Associate Provost for Research & Strategic Partnerships at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, renowned for its leadership in art, architecture, design, and information studies. Prior to her work at Pratt, Dr. Druin was a Professor, Lab Director, Associate Dean, and Chief Futurist at the University of Maryland for more than 20 years. Allison earned a BFA (1985) in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design, an MS (1987) in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab, and a Ph.D. (1997) from the University of New Mexico College of Education.

With a lifelong passion for bringing people together to promote discussion, research, and change, Dr. Druin established co-founded The Future of Information Alliance, co-chaired the CHI 2016 conference, the largest CHI gathering to date with almost 4,000 attendees, and was named in 2018, ACM SIGCHI Chair for Inclusion. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her research: named ACM Fellow in 2017, inducted into the CHI Academy in 2016, named ACM Distinguished Scientist in 2014, and received the SIGCHI Social Impact Award in 2010.

“There is nothing more important than supporting the crafts community to sustain and thrive, especially during times of crisis. As the daughter of a long-time enamelist, I have seen first-hand how critical CERF+ is. Decades ago, my father, Melvin Druin, was a CERF+ leader on the Board of Directors, and I am honored now to carry on his love of CERF+ by serving on today’s board.” 

Rashida Ferdinand
Founder and CEO of Sankofa Community Development Corporation, Sculptor/Visual Artist

Rashida Ferdinand is the founder and CEO of Sankofa Community Development Corporation (CDC), founded in 2008 to support health-centered economic development in the Lower Ninth Ward area after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina Disaster. Ferdinand brings her background and experience as a sculptor and visual artist to her work to creatively inspire community development in the Lower Ninth Ward area, with her Mandala sculpture installed on Caffin and Claiborne Avenues in the Lower Ninth Ward as a part of the Arts Council of New Orleans public art program. Ferdinand leads Sankofa CDC through engagement in community-driven planning and infrastructure development projects to improve the built environment of the Lower Ninth Ward and other under-resourced neighborhoods through facilities for access to healthy food, environmentally sustainable use of land, and community health programs to support equitable, sustainable, and progressive growth.

“Building, transforming, and helping to create healthy, just, and equitable spaces is at the core of what being an artist is.”

Dan Friday
Glass Artist / Friday Glass, Shoreline, Washington

Daniel Joseph Friday is a Native of the Lummi Nation and a lifelong resident of Washington State’s Puget Sound region. Drawing from cultural themes and using modern processes, Friday’s work is contemporary in format while maintaining basic Native American qualities. Dan has spent the past two decades working with artists such as Dale Chihuly, Paul Marioni, and Preston Singletary. Friday lives in Seattle, where he maintains an independent glass studio. His work can be found in collections around the world.

“When I saw glass blowing for the first time, it felt as though I grew an inch! That is to say, a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I had finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up. This was no small feat for someone who, as a youth, was rebellious and misguided. Glass altered my life. In spite of my colorful past, and by the grace of a loving community, I found my passion in glass. Living as an artist may not be directly saving the world, but perhaps we are saving ourselves and hopefully, in the process, making the world a better place.” – Dan Friday

Cinda Holt
Nonprofit Board Development Consultant

As a staff member of a state arts agency (and state government) I see many ways our goals intersect with CERF+’s goals. We both want to help artists realize their dreams and make the most of their talent and ensure their ability to thrive. I am on the board because I think we can do this better together!

Marjorie Hunt
Folklife Curator and Education Specialist, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Marjorie Hunt is a Folklife Curator and Education Specialist with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Since joining the Center in 1982, she has curated numerous programs for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, directed and produced documentary films, and created online educational resources, including the Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Interviewing Guide. She holds an MA and Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Hunt’s curated Folklife Festival programs include The Grand Generation: Memory, Mastery and Legacy (1984), White House Workers (1992), Masters of Traditional Arts (1994), Working at the Smithsonian (1996), Masters of the Building Arts (2001), and Carriers of Culture: Living Native Basket Traditions (2006). She was co-curator of the 2013 program One World, Many Voices: Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage. Her publications include The Grand Generation: Memory, Mastery Legacy and The Stone Carvers: Masters Craftsmen of Washington National Cathedral. Dr. Hunt is the co-producer and director of the documentary films The Stone Carvers, The Grand Generation, Workers at the White House, and Good Work: Masters of the Building Arts.

“I am inspired and energized by the critically important mission and goals of CERF+ and feel honored to join the board. As a folklorist, I am especially excited to help CERF+ with its targeted outreach efforts and strong commitment to serving folk and traditional artists, artists of color, and artists who do not participate in the national marketplace.” – Marjorie Hunt

Jaydan Moore
Metalsmith, Printmaker

Jaydan Moore is a metalsmith and printmaker who was born into a family of fourth-generation tombstone makers in northern California. He spent most of his childhood at the family business, where he would rummage through other people’s objects that were left behind, and listen to family members making burial arrangements for their loved ones. It is through these experiences he began to value the heirlooms and objects chosen to become markers for significant moments that occur during the human experience.

Jaydan’s work is in the permanent collection of the Carnegie Museum of Art (PA), Museum of Fine Arts-Houston (TX), and Honolulu Museum of Art (HI). He completed several artist in residence programs at Penland School of Crafts, Kohler Arts/Industry Program, the Fountainhead Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth Universities Craft/Material Studies Program, and Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and has received numerous grants and awards through the Virginia A. Groot Foundation, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the American Craft Council’s Emerging Voices Program, North Carolina Arts Fellowship, and the Peter S. Reed Foundation. Jaydan has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, Rhode Island School of Design, California College of the Arts, Penland School of Crafts, and Haystack Mountain School of Craft.

“CERF+ is paramount to our artist community for its generosity and care for those in need. Having relief for the multitudes of artists around the country helps keep them where they need to be, making artwork in their studios.”

Jaime Suárez
Ceramist, Sculptor, Architect, Set Designer, and Professor

Jaime Suárez is considered one of the driving forces behind the development of contemporary ceramics in Puerto Rico. He cofounded Estudio Caparra in 1972 and Grupo Manos in 1976, paving the way for the creation of Casa Candina in 1980, which was instrumental in establishing the ceramic medium as one of the principal artistic movements on the island. In his extensive ceramic career, he has exhibited in Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, New York, New Mexico, Colombia, Italy, France, Japan, Korea, and Greece. He has been awarded prizes in international ceramic exhibitions and competitions in Faenza, Italy, and Zagreb, Croatia. His work is included in prestigious international collections in Europe, Asia, the United States, and Latin America. He is the creator of the monumental Telluric Totem at the Fifth Centennial Plaza in Old San Juan and various other public art sculptures and murals integrated into architecture and public spaces. He is also recognized for his leadership and collaborations with cultural institutions on the island.

“I feel both honored to have the opportunity to serve as Board member and grateful, not only for the help you are giving in Puerto Rico, but also for giving Puerto Rico, through me, a voice at CERF +.”

Pati Young, MSW
Psychotherapist (Retired), Collector/Craft Advocate, Former JRA and ACC Board Member

Pati Young, MSW, is a collector of studio crafts and has been involved in creativity and the arts for most of her adult life. She received her MSW in Clinical Social Work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore (UMAB) and her BS in Interpersonal Dynamics from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst’s University Without Walls. In addition to a focus on family therapy at UMAB, she also studied Art Therapy, which she used for 15 years as a practicing psychotherapist. While semi-retired from her role as a psychotherapist since 2000, her last business endeavor, “Monkey C, Monkey Do,” offered professional organizing services to artists, psychotherapists, and creative others and helped them to promote their art and maximize their creativity. She served five years on the Board of Directors of the James Renwick Alliance (JRA) and the American Craft Council’s Board of Trustees from 2013-2019. Her interests in creativity have led her to dabble in a number of craft areas including ceramics, photography, stained glass, blown glass, fused glass, as well as wearable art clothing and jewelry.

“I’m excited to bring my expertise in organizations and human resource development skills, my training as a psychotherapist, and my passion for the arts to CERF+,” Pati says. “I believe these skills lend me insight and understanding of the ‘creative other’ and ‘organizational self,’ strengthening my ability to work towards a successful future of craft, its makers, and the organizations that support the arts.”

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