Wednesday, 24 February 2016

North West Craft: curator collaboration event

Thurs 28 April 2016
1-5.30pm (with infomal chat and drinks until about 7pm)
The Manchester College, St. John's Centre

We're inviting people who curate contemporary craft in the North West
to look at how our practice can strengthen high quality craft in the region

If you're a curator of contemporary craft collections, a freelance curator, a gallery who sells, a maker-curator, an emerging curator or if you're at the cutting edge of craft research - we'd love to see you here.

The NW Craft Network is putting together an afternoon of networking and collaboration to address the challenges we face, enhance our strengths and make strategic and practical plans for the future.

We'd like to find ways to co-ordinate, build ideas, share expertise and provide encouragement. What we don't want to do is simply make more demands - it's about working cleverly together to get things done in a difficult economic and social climate and building a plan that will make a significant positive impact on the curating of contemporary Craft in the North West.

Participants will be able to share their ideas, explore best practice, identify promising projects and look at next steps. There will be time to meet others and network both formally and informally.

The afternoon will start with some case studies to get us thinking. Steven Whittle from the Atkinson, Southport is going to talk about the Creative Tensions project with reference to invigorating craft collections, and Kaylee Jenkinson of Manchester Craft and Design Centre is going to talk about showcasing emerging makers with the Crafts Council in the Hothouse Programme. We're working on one more case study to look at a critically engaged open exhibition and/or international collaborations.

From there, we're going to ask participants to look at some of the ideas and projects that have been suggested over the last two years of the NW Craft Networks activity, add more, and to assess them for feasibility, impact and priority.  Then we'll home in on two or three ideas that seem most promising and work them up into proposals that could be taken forward.

After the formal activities are done, we're hoping to head down to Manchester City Gallery for a look at the new Design Gallery, and then for a drink and chat in the café.

There are 30 places on this event, and we're hoping for a good representation from each area of curating. If you curate craft and you'd like to come, or you know someone who you think should come, please contact Victoria Scholes, the co-ordinator of the NW Craft Network at, and she'll arrange for an invitation.

The NW Craft Network is organising this curator collaboration day in conjunction with another event, 'Shaping the Future' that will bring the craft community together to look at building the NW craft market, maker support and advocacy. Together, the findings from these events will feed into the Network's strategy and plans for the next three years and aim to put NW craft on the map.

Lunch. The event begins at 1pm, but St John's centre has a restaurant where people arriving early can buy their lunch or bring their own.

The Manchester College. St. John's Centre, Quay Street M3 3BE (near Spinningfields and Old Granada Studios. See a map here
There is no on-site parking, but there are plenty of car parks around the centre. See Parkopedia to check nearby car parks. There are good train and tram links from surrounding cities and towns.

Organised by the NW Craft Network in partnership with The Manchester College