About ACF

Artists and Craftsmen of the Flathead (ACF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the arts, crafts and small business in the Flathead Valley. We provide small business growth information to our members in addition to hosting 2 craft shows per year, and the online ACF Market where our members can sell their handcrafted products.

We were founded in 1981 and have grown into a community of artists and crafters who are always happy to help each other, give advice, and learn small business tricks together. In order to grow our community even more, we are currently hosting workshops and “art nights” for local elementary and middle schools, teaching various crafts to other people and promoting the artistic accomplishments of young local artists.
Interested in becoming a member?  Click HERE for more information on how to join.

Learn More about ACF below

History of ACF

ACF was formed in May of 1981 as the brainchild of Kathy and John Harranon. John and Kathy were seeking alternative options for selling their products in the Flathead Valley since local art galleries were charging the artists 30% to 40% consignment fees. Farmers’ markets were another option but were very produce-oriented and did not seem like the right venue for artists and crafters at that time.  Additionally, Kathy and John learned that the Hockaday Museum was focusing its promotional efforts on out-of-town artists which ultimately excluded local, Kalispell-area artists. The fact that ACF grew so quickly in its first few years is a testament to the need to a local organization dedicated to supporting Flathead Valley artists and crafters.  Kathy and
John gathered a Steering Committee of 12 members to help them get ACF off the ground and running.  ACF’s logo was designed in 1981 by Vern Wyman.

In June of 1981, ACF had 31 members. By the following year, 1982, ACF had 118 members.  In its largest membership years, ACF had approximately 150 members. Membership numbers have fluctuated over the years, ranging anywhere from 30 to over 100.

The original name of ACF was “Artists and Craftsmen of the Flathead Valley.”  In 1992, the members felt that including the word “Valley” in the organization’s title and requiring members to “live in Flathead Valley proper” was misleading to members who live in Lake County rather than Flathead County.  Thus, the name was changed to “Artists and Craftsmen of the Flathead” and the Bylaws were amended.

In 1996, ACF implemented, for the first time, a voicemail contact number.  We are still using the same phone number today.

In 2015/2016/2017, ACF was hearing concerns from its few-remaining members that ACF was not fulfilling its purpose, was not recruiting new members and had a bad reputation around the Flathead Valley.  ACF formed a Reorganizational Committee to address these concerns and discuss ways to reinvigorate the organization.

In 2017, after learning that ACF could be saving $500 or more in reduced insurance fees if it re-filed with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, this application process was started.  In order to fit into the 501(c)(3) definition – charitable organization – ACF had to rewrite its Bylaws and restructure some of its policies.  After a lengthy General Meeting in October 2017, the new Bylaws were approved by majority vote of the General Membership.  ACF was awarded its new 501(c)(3) status on August 13, 2018 by the IRS.  ACF now enjoys reduced insurance policy rates for the same coverage its always had and many other non-profit benefits it was not able to participate in before.