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My family and I lost our home in the Joplin EF-5 tornado in May of 2011. I had just begun to seriously pursue a full-time career in ceramics when the house and studio blew away that day.

We had homeowner’s insurance and car insurance. That took care of our immediate lives, but not my long term life in my studio. I put that problem on the back burner and figured I’d get to it once we had our home re-established.

As a member of Best of Missouri Hands, I was made aware of CERF+. The people of CERF+ were (and continue to be) incredible. They were patient and assured me there was no expiration date on my assistance claim. They were available to answer questions and guide me during the entire process.

I am 100% sure that my studio and ceramics career would not be what it is today without the wonderful assistance of the CERF+ program. I was able to use my grant to completely re-stock my glazing area and replace several major tools that blew away. This program was a Godsend! I think of this great organization every time I glaze a load of work, and I always will.

I am honored to tell everyone who will listen what a tremendous group this is and how they helped me put my life back together. As an artist, I MUST create. There is no other option. CERF+ gave me the opportunity to create again and I will be forever grateful!

Angel Brame online


“I am able to work full time due to the help I received from CERF+. I have been able to increase my gallery representation by two more galleries this year. I know my rebound to working artist status would have taken so much longer without CERF+.”