Monday, 12 September 2016

Results from data gathered for our 'Growing the Craft Ecology: 2' project

The NW Craft Network has been spending the year talking to makers, galleries, museums, craft and arts organisations from the region about what would make the most difference in terms of strengthening craft in the North West.

We thought you'd like to know what came out of it all.

One of our priority areas was maker development. This is what you said would make the most difference:

•    Professional development: coaching, mentoring, workshops
•    Incubation studios for emerging makers
•    Exhibitions and Residencies in NW venues

We've been looking at how to develop the market. This is what you said about that:

•    Take a group of NW makers to new audiences 
•    Makers and Museums – how they can work together for mutual economic benefit and to build audiences
•    A big NW (or Northern) Craft Festival

And with regards to advocacy about craft, that is, building confidence, getting the good news out there and promoting the sector within the NW and beyond, you picked out:

•    Reposition craft as part of the creative industries
•    An award of an international residency
•    A public facing website celebrating NW craft (but there were widely ranging opinions on how to deliver this)
•    Advocacy and education in community and schools

And finally, we wanted to see how we could develop our curators and curating of craft in the NW. These things were highlighted:

•    An international project – an exchange or collaboration with international venues and makers
•    Invigorating craft collections – a project across NW venues where makers respond to collections
•    A high profile touring exhibition of contemporary craft
•    Open studio tours to meet NW artists
•    Partnerships between freelance and collections curators to develop exhibition ideas
•    Work with online platforms for more craft presence
•    Digitisation of craft collections in NW museums and galleries

We've had a chance to sift through all of these and think about what to do next, and that's the subject of our next post…click here to view