In October 2013, NCECA members Michael Sherrill, Michael Strand, Board Member Garth Johnson and Executive Director Josh Green participated in a Think Tank led by the American Crafts Council 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. In our cohort, we examined how and whether the meaning of “craft” carries understandings to larger audiences in the broader culture.
We wondered whether the application of “craft” to everything from galleries and museums, to church sales, lawn care, cuisine and beer is making the “C-word” confusing for the outside world. We also discussed whether working together across a range of media interests to establish effective, shared language about craft can make an impact on communications to engage broader audiences.
The extent to which a communications effort like this can impact awareness, attitudes and decision-making changes favorable to craft work is perhaps unknowable. But it is important that we work to test some of our group’s efforts within our own communities before taking them to broader audiences.
The Think Tank brought together makers and leaders from across the craft field to consider questions including…
- Can we communicate about craft with greater clarity and vibrancy?
- What words, ideas, and value propositions might lead to heightened interest?
- How can we be more inclusive and encourage people to participate?
Out of our discussions, we began to identify shared values as an essence of the craft community. From this, we began to develop an identity statement for craft. 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 follow this survey link to help NCECA provide feedback on the Craft Identity Statement that came out of our Think Tank efforts.
Open until April 6, this survey link is set for one-time use per person. Once you answer the questions and exit – you will not be able to reenter and change responses. All individual responses will remain confidential.
ACC will work to synthesize NCECA generated responses with those that come in from other involved groups.