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Crafting an Identity Statement for Craft

From Gwynne Rukenbrod, SNAG Executive Director:

In 2012, I was invited to participate in the first American Craft Council/crafthaus Craft Think Tank, where about 30 craft professionals gathered at Touchstone Center for Crafts located in Farmington, PA.  There the idea of creating an identity statement for the word ‘craft’ was first discussed.  As expected the conversation was heated and a great debate ensued.  Fast forward to a year and 1/2 later and the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design, located in Asheville, NC, hosted the next ACC/crafthaus Craft Think Tank, where we focused specifically on the subject of creating an identity statement for the word ‘craft’.

We explored if the word craft still had resonance and meaning in contemporary culture as a good descriptor of the creative work produced in studios today.  It is obvious that everyone has their own definition of the word craft, but could we create a common language, feeling or brand around the word that everyone could understand within and outside of the field?

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 is what I present to you today.  Can you please take a quick moment to weigh in and let us know your thoughts around this?

Task One:
Please fill out this brief anonymous survey: ACC Craft Identity Survey

Task Two:
Please email me the answers to the following questions in relation to this poster:

Craft

(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?

I will gather all of the answers I receive and send them onto ACC.

I need your answers and survey completed by April 15, 2014 please.

Thank you for taking the time to help give us your input.
Gwynne Rukenbrod
SNAG Executive Director


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