Tuesday, 30 October 2018

North West Craft Network - what we've achieved

Here are just a few things the NW Craft Network has been working on in the last six months. Get in touch if you see anything that interests you, you can see a potential for partnership or something that you want to get involved with...

Intelligence exchange

  • Excellent NW Craft exhibitions - invitations shared, including Thread Bearing Witness by Alice Kettle at the Whitworth, The Other in Mother (with ARC) at Manchester Art Gallery), Eunmi Kim at Manchester Craft And Design Centre, The University of Bolton School of the Arts Commemorative Show, Kate Hayward at Manchester Art Gallery, Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, Alice Rawsthorn Lecture at Bluecoat Display Centre to name just a few.
  • Relevant Research exchanged. For example, research from Cockpit Arts about disruptions in the craft sector, The Crafts Council’s new video series ‘What’s Your Craft’, and Tom Sutton’s presentation ‘No Line on the Horizon’ summarising how current educational policy could impact on craft education and attainment in the future.
  • Awards and opportunities for makers shared with Development Group and wider networks

Sharing members’ expertise and good practice

  • An ‘Audience Targeting for Craft Sales’ session for organisations selling craftwill be offered by specialist Jo Kay at  the next Meeting of the NW Craft Development Group (March 2019)
  • Exploring the value of craft for health and wellbeing: Contact has been made with Clive Parkinson of The Manchester Institute for Arts, Health and Social Change to discuss potential speaks on craft and wellbeing for a future meeting. 
  • ARC (Arts for Recovery in the Community) are creating a development programme for volunteers that will connect with various Network members and their expertise and experience.
  • Manchester Folk Festival created a programme of craft workshops to complement their music, driven by Jo Kay and encouraged by network members.
  • Building the case for the value of craft : We’re preparing a collective letter about the value of Craft to Education for circulation to educational policy makers

Building infrastructure for collaborative work and resource sharing (joint projects and exhibitions)

  • Conversation is still bubbling away about making an outstanding NW generated Craft showcase touring exhibition happen. This follows on from initial research in the previous years of the NWCN 
  • Bluecoat Display Centre is talking with ARC about outreach programmes and funding opportunities and ARC’s contact with Bolton School of Art has lead to tutor Faye Power being offered an exhibition ‘Movement Maps’ at ARC Gallery in Spring 2019

Supporting a healthy craft ecology

  • Professional coach and maker Victoria Scholes delivered a business review day for contacts of Manchester Craft and Design Centre in August 2018. Plans are underway for a further day to be offered in January 2019.
  • Manchester Craft and Design Centre (MCDC) continues to look at collaborations that will build the scale, value and audience for craft. Currently they are working with Yorkshire Artspace. Future possibilities include Creative Lancashire, NESTA, Crafts Council and ARC.