Everyone has heard the expression "starving artist" and in the craft world it has been a common practice for artists to "pass the hat" for those who are going through difficult times.
In 1985 Carol Sedstrom Ross and Josh Simpson decided to tap into this generosity and founded CERF (Craft Emergency Relief Fund). Their mission? To strengthen and sustain the careers of craft artists across the United States. It is a non-profit, tax exempt organization and the only one of it's kind in the United States.
CERF also provides a voice in government and public policy as well as building alliances with other organizations in the effort to make awareness of the concerns of the craft community.
There are a couple of publications I would suggest you may be interested in. Cerfnews is produced twice a year and Cerfe-news is produced semi-monthy. If you are interested, please visit and sign up for more information at their sign up site.