Carol Sauvion is the creator of the Peabody Award winning PBS series Craft in America. The documentary series celebrates American craft and the artists who bring it to life. She is also the Executive Director of the Craft in America non-profit organization which has the mission is to promote and advance original handcrafted work through educational programs in all media. Craft is Sauvion’s lifelong passion. For over 40 years she has been the director of Freehand, her Los Angeles gallery specializing in functional craft. Prior to opening Freehand, Sauvion was a professional potter for ten years. Sauvion has her degree in Art History from Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. She has served on the boards of the Craft Emergency Relief Fund and the American Craft Council.
Executive Producer & Director
Patricia Bischetti has produced the Craft in America series since its beginning in 2007. She has produced documentaries for PBS, American Masters, American Experience, Netflix, Prime Video, Discovery, National Geographic, TBS, TNT, TCM, CNN, Lifetime, Starz, and Showtime. Her work includes the Emmy Award-winning Mel Brooks Make a Noise, Oscar nominated Last Days in Vietnam featured at the Sundance Film Festival, Peabody Award-winning Black Sky: The Race for Space, Take Every Wave featured at Sundance, Code Black winner of the LA Film Festival, and PBS primetime series Tavis Smiley Reports. As Executive Producer at Big Buddha Baba Productions, Bischetti also produced interactive media and experience design projects for Walt Disney Imagineering.
Craft in America Center Director & Curator
Emily Zaiden is Director and lead curator of the Craft in America Center, where she has curated over sixty exhibitions for the Center and partner venues since 2010. In addition to overseeing public and educational programming, she publishes catalogues and writes for journals including Archives of American Art Journal, American Tapestry Alliance, and Metalsmith. She has served as juror and lectured widely. Zaiden has an M.A. from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture and a B.A. in American Studies from University of California Berkeley. She was a Research Associate to the Decorative Arts department at LACMA and research editor for Architectural Digest prior to joining the organization.
Denise Kang has worked on every aspect of the Craft in America project since joining the organization in 2006. Kang works on pre-production shoot planning, assists the crew and director at on-location shoots, and post production including archival research and licensing, image retouching, on-screen text, and digital deliverables. In addition, Kang also works on in-house graphic design and branding, manages website and social media content. Kang also produces the filming of the Craft in America Center talks as well as the digital-only content. Kang graduated from the University of Southern California with a BFA in ceramics, printmaking, and graphic design, and continues to make pottery today.
Erin Cooney joined Craft in America as the Production Manager/Coordinator in 2022. They graduated from USC with a B.A. in Creative Writing and an M.A. in Literary Editing and Publishing. They are originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, and in their free time, they also write and illustrate comics.
Emilia Shaffer-Del Valle
Associate Producer & Curatorial Assistant
Emilia Shaffer-Del Valle has worked as production coordinator for Craft in America since 2019, and began her role as curatorial assistant at the Craft in America Center in 2021. She has also independently curated exhibitions, organized educational programs, and published writing, always approaching the arts as a critical tool for education and change. Shaffer-Del Valle graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in English and Art History.
Post Production Supervisor
Theo Rasmussen began working as Craft in America’s Post Production Supervisor in 2022. He has been involved with the post production of art related documentary programming for many years. Graduating with a B.A. in Film and Digital Media from UCSC, he then became the principal editor at Santa Monica’s CityTV; as well as an associate producer on their documentary series “Wave”. He is a multidisciplinary artist that specializes in film and digital media.
Michelle Starks has worked as the Production Controller for Craft in America since 2019. Having studied Art, Design and Architecture, she graduated from California State University, Northridge with a B.A. in Art and also holds a Certificate in Set Design. Having worked with Designers and an Art handling service throughout the years, she is passionate about all forms of creativity and persists in her oil painting and restoring antiques and furniture.
Terry de Castro
Terry de Castro became involved with Craft in America in 2011 while working at Freehand Gallery, a retail store specializing in fine American craft. In 2012, she started curating a series of concerts at the Craft in America Center, which has hosted more than 40 concerts. A musician herself, she performed in and co-coordinated Craft in America’s 10th anniversary music festival at Olvera Street in Downtown LA in 2018. She took over the role of Communications in 2019.
Craft in America Center Coordinator
Victoria May has been the Craft in America Center Coordinator since mid 2022. Prior to that she was the Program Coordinator for the Cabrillo Gallery of Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, where she also taught a wide range of studio art classes. She is also an exhibiting artist. She received a BA in Design from the University of California, Los Angeles and a MFA from San José State University.
Craft in America Center Education Coordinator
Sam Sermeno joined Craft In America in 2022 as the Education Programs Coordinator. Shaped by a vibrant Northwest punk and grassroots arts community, they bring a ceramics-painting undergraduate degree, teaching artist, and MLIS archives-librarian background. Sam is happiest working with young people and their families across many communities. Years prior to her teaching-artist and education programming work in Los Angeles, Sam worked in the Seattle Public Libraries, K-12 schools, community colleges, Queer/Trans youth music camps, Latinx and Asian Pacific Islander literacy programs. In their spare time Sam likes to paint, support local artists/shows, and read speculative fiction.
Alejandro Nam joined Craft in America in 2019 as the Web Manager and also provides IT and technical support for the organization. Originally from Sydney, Australia, he has 20+ years experience in the Arts, Crafts and Design industry globally. He taught Product and Furniture Design at the University of Technology Sydney (his alma mater) before moving to Los Angeles.