For its 2016 artist focus, American Craft Week chose to search for exceptional craftspeople under the age of thirty. The thirty winners comprise of a spotlight exhibit, Rising Stars, with the purpose to discover great craft and foster the careers of these talented and creative artists.
In the jurying process, The ACW National Committee looked for these characteristics:
excellence in design and skill level
an impressive body of work
a strong commitment to working as a craftsperson
work exhibited and/or offered for sale to the public
a commitment to community and social values