Thursday, 13 June 2019

The North West Craft Network: how it works

The North West Craft Network (NWCN) was set up in 2012 by a group of organisations with a connection to contemporary craft. This is how the North West Craft Network works, its 'terms and consitions' if you like:

The aim of the NWCN is to work together to interrogate and improve the following
Market development including developing the collectors market
Maker development, improving access to funding, studios, equipment and support
Perception and advocacy of the craft sector in the region
Curatorial development including critical writing
  • The NWCN is simply made up its members, there is no separate ‘NWCN’ only a budget for a small amount of admin connected with its meetings and promoting our operation as a Network. We work within our own resources to do better together what we usually do alone, sharing ideas, resource and expertise around contemporary craft.
  • Members share news about events, openings, research via email. It’s important to do this directly, not via the coordinator - our aim is to get information flowing freely through the Network, not all going through a gatekeeper. If you’re a member, you can get an up to date list of other members from the co-ordinator. By joining the Network, it’s implied that you wish to share your work (or other supplied) email with your fellow professionals in it.
  • There are 2 meetings a year (and 2 steering group meetings to discuss finance and reporting)
  • We try and arrange a speaker and one or both meetings who addresses an issue of interest to members
  • Members arrange meetings with other members if they see an area of shared interest or a potential partnership on an ad hoc basis and to suit their own schedules.
  • Members sometimes come up with a project or idea to work on collectively and we usually create a working group of interested parties for these. For instance a collective letter (led by Tom Sutton of Bolton University) around educational policy, curatorial development events around the Jerwood Makers Open (Jennie McKellar of MAG) when it comes to Manchester or a NW touring craft show (Rebecca Hill, Gallery Oldham).
  • We have discussed whether we might apply for funding for projects, but this very much depends on whether individual members feel they can lead and resource this. If co-ordination time is needed, this would have to be resourced as well.
  • We have a logo. You can use this to promote events activites and news that you feel should be badged as a 'Network event'.