PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
I want to thank you in advance for taking a few minutes of your time today to help me/crafthaus with a really important task. Please read on, thanks!
Last fall, the American Craft Council led a Think Tank on developing an identity for craft in partnership with the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design and crafthaus. Its purpose was to examine to what extent the word 'craft' still had resonance and meaning in contemporary culture as a good descriptor of the creative work produced in studios today.
What is the background?
It seems obvious to many of us that most everybody in the craft world has their own definition of what craft is, which in turn can be contradictory and confusing for the outside world and, quite frankly, for us artists too. Shouldn't we begin to establish a common language about craft, what it is and does so that we can all better communicate with and engage our customers, partners and the broader audience outside of craft as well? Is it possible to establish a common brand for craft?
What can we do to talk about craft in a way that is more unified and easier to understand for more people?
The Think Tank brought together makers and leaders from across the craft field to get a start on this question. We began to develop an identity statement for craft, talked about the brand of craft, or lack thereof, and a list of commonly held values we all have when it comes to us and our work, values that capture the essence of the craft community.
This first attempt at a unifying statement is what we are putting in front of you now for your feedback and commentary. This is important, will you help us, please?
2 tasks: Answer 3 questions and fill out a brief survey.
(1) Look at the poster below (this is the craft identity statement our group came up with) and answer 3 questions about these statements. You don't have to agree with any of them or you might agree with all of them, either way please give us your honest opinion. Any additional suggestions or changes to the statements we came up with, feel free to mention them.
Part 1 Feedback Questions
(1) Does the above craft identity statement reflect your view of craft and the craft community?
o If yes, why?
o If no, what would you change?
(2) Does the identity statement have the right framework to elevate the public’s understanding of contemporary craft?
o If yes, why?
o If no, what wording would you change?
(3) Will the statement drive any action by those who do not understand craft?
o If yes, what actions?
o If no, what needs to be changed to engage the public to explore craft and the community?
Everyone on crafthaus can respond to these 3 questions publicly below or email me their responses privately to crafthauseditor_at_live_dot_com.
I will collect all answers and bring them to the American Craft Council where we will continue to work on this topic using your input. I will keep you informed as we move along with the statements.
Here is a link to the brief questionnaire which the American Craft Council asks the crafthaus community and everybody who is reading this and is involved with craft to respond to. This will provide invaluable insight so I urge everyone to spend 3 minutes of their time to help with this. Thank you!
Thank you so very much for your help ! I look forward to your comments.