The Republican National Committee announced on July 1, 1999, that the site for its convention next year will be the First Union Center in July 2000, freeing up the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the Buyers Market of American Craft. Several other shows scheduled for the Pennsylvania Convention Center in the four weeks prior to the Republican event moved on to other convention cities, but The Rosen Group, producer of the Buyers Market, waited it out. An anticipated move to Atlantic City would have cost the Buyers Market nearly $500,000, reports show producer Wendy Rosen.

"We were only two days away from signing a contract to move the show to Atlantic City. The news was a big relief, continuity is so important to both our exhibitors and buyers," commented Rosen. "We've lost some time in preparing promotional material because the Republicans are a month late in making their decision, but we're thrilled that we'll be in Philly for the sixth summer next year."

The Buyers Market expects the summer show to grow to 1,500 exhibiting artists adding space for new exhibit categories and expanding the size of the existing show segments including: art glass, ceramics, wood and mixed media, art-to-wear and jewelry.

"The city of Philadelphia has always been our best supporter. Back in February, Mayor Ed Rendell promised the Buyers Market that he would do everything possible to make sure that the show remained in Philadelphia -- a promise that was well kept," Rosen added. Specific dates of the July 2000 Philadelphia Buyers Market will be announced shortly.