In the latter part of 2012 I had an idea, to work collectively with our colleagues across the country to develop an audience development project that would help to cultivate a popular understanding of craft, and deepen public interest and appreciation of Canadian craft, while also creating a framework for craft organizations to strengthen their promotion and support of craft practices.
The project began under the working name Rematerializing Craft, and ultimately looked to benefit the entire Canadian craft sector. In the original application we wrote that “while the term ‘craft’ brings with it varied perceptions, there are many core values and reason, which drive people to either make or consume craft within Canada.” We also talked about the significant contributions craft makes to the economy, as a point to demonstrate why investment was required. We talked of the need to reclaim the term craft and make widely known what this vibrant sector is all about.
The intent of this project was to develop a new understanding of craft in Canada and to use this message to further promote the individuals we support to a national and international community, consequently opening up opportunities to access new markets and develop sustainable relationships of exchange between craftspeople and consumers.
Let`s take a look at the Manifesto.
To date, the movement has received fantastic support from form people doing just that, visiting the website, using the #CITIZENSOFCRAFT hashtag when sharing our manifesto and promoting craft, and by wearing the Citizens of Craft™ buttons and t-shirts
The Citizens of Craft website and campaign were launched in Toronto on March 14, 2015 •In just 7 weeks, the website generated: •Pageviews – 12,226 •Social Shares (facebook, twitter) – 1,167 •Badge Downloads – 907 •Video views – 2,382
Citizens of Craft presentation
# OF CANADIAN NATIONAL CRAFT
# OF PROVINCIAL AND TERRITORIAL CRAFT
COUNCILS IN CANADA: 12
# OF CRAFT COUNCIL MEMBERS: 5300
# OF PUBLIC INTERPRETATIONS OF THE
WORD CRAFT: ENDLESS
THE TERM ‘CRAFT’ HAS
CONFUSED WITHIN AN
OVERBEARING MILIEU OF
1. Increase comprehension and relevance –
clarify/deepen the public’s understanding
of what craft really is
2. Create a new public face for craft
including look and feel that can be
utilized nation-wide to broaden awareness
3. Create tactics for use by associations to
promote craft regionally and nationally
WHAT DID WEDO
1. We looked at existing research here in
Canada and around the world;
2. We talked to stakeholders – makers,
academics, gallery owners, patrons;
3. We looked at similar fields – through case
study and research
4. We tapped into the depths of knowledge of
those on the steering committee who have
been involved in Canadian craft for decades
Defining Craft is a global challenge
Broadening the audience for Craft is also a
The questions we asked:
How do we reclaim the word Craft?
What does Craft really mean – more than
the definition – to the people who make,
love and use it?
So what was the connection?