Program Details

MN NICE Program Details


MN NICE is for emerging makers with a minimum of 2 to 3 years of clay experience, and it is open to clay artists of all ages from around the world. Participants do not need a prior degree in ceramics, but since this program is not demonstration-based, makers should feel confident and independent in their studio skills. Participants should be at a point in their studio practice where they can work independently, conceive of and execute a project to completion, and are open to critique and development of their work. They need the time to commit to 7+ weekly hours to the cohort and an additional 15+ hours in their studio. Participants are required to have access to a studio space and kiln (either at NCC or off-site) for the duration of the program.

Schedule & Dates

  • Priority applications due: Friday, April 8, 2022 at 5 pm CT; applications accepted through June 1, 2022 at 5 pm CT
  • Block 1: Late-September through late-November, ending before Thanksgiving
  • Block 2: January – February
  • Block 3: April – May, ending before Memorial Day
  • Final exhibition: November

MN NICE begins with a weekend orientation session to introduce methods, concepts, and conversations that the group will pursue throughout the year.

The MN NICE program is comprised of three, 8-week blocks. During each 8-week block, participants convene on Mondays at NCC for a 5-hour seminar consisting of lecture and discussion. (Note: the annual schedule is always discussed with participants before being confirmed). The seminar includes ceramic science, history and theory, professional practice, and technical development.

Intersessions (December, March, summer months) are times for concentrated studio work. Certificates of Completion are awarded in November, and the group’s final exhibition is held in NCC’s Emily Galusha Gallery.

Additionally, the group meets weekly to attend enrichment activities such as artist lectures, gallery tours, and studio visits with established artists. MN NICE participants have 10 individual studio visits with Affiliated Artists throughout the program year (three visits in each of Blocks 1 and 2, and four visits in Block 3). Through meetings with experienced professionals, who are both mentors and artists, participants learn to articulate their individual choices, the relevance of their processes, and the content of their work. In addition to 7+ hours of direct weekly contact, participants are expected to work in the studio approximately 15+ additional hours per week and are also asked to complete weekly readings and research.

To complete the program, individuals participate in a final group exhibition and submit a portfolio consisting of 20 images, artist statement, artist biography, resume, and professional goals. In the final months, participants have two additional consultation hours with professionals in the field, intended to help guide their transition from the program. MN NICE participants are annually invited to attend American Pottery Festival as our guest, including the opening night party, weekend workshops, and artist talks.


The fee for each of the three, 8-week sessions is $1650. There is a registration fee of $200, which will be applied to the first bill. This deposit is non-refundable. Otherwise, payments of $550 are due monthly for nine months. Separate fees apply to participants who are renting studio space and/or firing at NCC.


Questions? Contact Morgan Lee, Education Manager at or 612.339.8007 x309