Thursday, May 14, 2015

Western North Carolina's DEDICATED FACEBOOK PAGE

Inspiring Ideas 

for your successful ACW event


This “Inspiring Ideas” post follows up on the previous article about creating a dedicated website for your ACW event. Creating a Facebook page dedicated to your event is a free and productive tool to work alongside a website or to act as the centerpiece of your event’s web presence. Not only can you use the page to promote your event, but you can also use it all year long to foster support for craft in your community and recruit enthusiastic people to join the effort of planning and implementing your event.

Western North Carolina (WNC) has a long rich history of handmade craft and will continue to remain leaders in the industry because artists, retailers and patrons join forces to make stuff happen! One such group is simply called American Craft Week in Western North Carolina, and their mission is to “bring together individuals, small businesses and organizations in recognition of the countless ways handmade objects enrich our daily lives and contribute to our national aesthetic and economy.” Sherry Masters of the planning committee tells ACW that one of their keys to a successful week in October is running a Facebook page.

This exemplary page always has ready-made fresh content because it grabs news from all of the area participants in ACW. WNC uses the Facebook culture of invitations to drum up a crowd. “We invite you to join American Craft Week this year! We will be promoting all the great craft businesses in WNC. If you are an artist, gallery, museum, craft organization or art business we want you to be part by telling your story!” Participants will be compelled to join knowing the group’s Facebook page will in turn promote them. Another key invitation is publicizing when and where committee meetings take place and encouraging new people to attend. You might be surprised with the amount of help you receive when the public knows how much fun ACW will be!

Don’t think you have time to administer a Facebook page? Share the load. Try giving your page three administrators. Give each admin the responsibility of posting content once per week on an allocated day.

 Here are some inspiring ideas for your own dedicated Facebook page:
  • Invitations to planning meetings
  • Posts promoting participants’ events year round
  • News stories about craft and the region
  • Facebook events open to the public for your ACW events
  • Profile and cover photos borrowed from facebook.com/AmericanCraftWeek
  • Hashtags, including #ACW2015
  • Ask questions to encourage comments
  • Set goals for page likes and reach
  • Like the pages of other ACW participants and craft organizations

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Maine Craft Weekend’s DEDICATED EVENT WEBSITE


Inspiring Ideas
for your successful ACW event




Maine Crafts Association tells ACW that one of its best tools for Maine Craft Weekend’s success is a separate website dedicated to the event. According to mainecraftweekend.org, “Maine Craft Weekend (MCW), a statewide tour of Maine craft studios, breweries, businesses and events, is an opportunity for the public to explore the life and work of craft artists and craft brewers in Maine. MCW is a public, educational, community oriented, family friendly weekend October 3 + 4, 2015. MCW is scheduled in conjunction with American Craft Week, a nationwide event promoting craft events each October.”

The website is slick and simple, and serves two audiences: the public planning their visit and artists participating in the event.

Here are some inspiring ideas for your own dedicated event website:
  • Google map of event/participant locations
  • Featured profiles of select artists
  • Submission form for artists to register their participation
  • Testimonials from participants stating how the event was successful and beneficial to them
  • Downloadable promotional materials for participants such as posters, postcards and yard signs
  • Sponsor and grantor logos and/or advertising
  • Links to ACW website, local visitors bureaus and restaurants
  • Short description of ACW, which ties your event to a larger movement
  • ACW logo

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

GET YOUR PUBLIC LIBRARY INVOLVED

While you can still check out books from your local library, there’s probably a lot more going on there every day. Libraries have become creative!  Increasingly, they are “places where people can meet to share a hobby, use a 3D printer, edit a video, or use software to record their own music. Libraries offer access to the tools and technology essential to the economic and cultural lives of their communities,” says the National Library Association.

So let’s harness that creativity during American Craft Week! Check in with your local library and see if they will join the country’s largest celebration of handmade craft.
Here’s a suggestion list with ways your library can participate:
·         Exhibit the work of a local craftsperson
·         Feature a demonstration by a local artisan  
·         Hold a craft class for adults, children, or the entire family
·         Feature a special display of craft-centered books
·         Distribute information about community ACW events

There is no charge for public libraries to participate in ACW! We do ask them to register on our website, americancraftweek.com, and then they will appear on our participants list with a link to their website and activities.

We also ask that libraries use the ACW logo so that the general public is aware of our effort to spotlight handmade American goods and the artists who create them. When a library signs up on our site, they will be sent a welcome letter with an access code for the “Resource” section where they will find logos and lots of helpful materials.

Many libraries are excited about this opportunity to spotlight American craft. We hope you join us in this fun and creative effort!

ABOUT AMERICAN CRAFT WEEK

American Craft Week is a national, grassroots program to promote and celebrate fine handmade American craft. Produced by a volunteer committee of CRAFT (Craft Retailers and Artists for Tomorrow), it began in 2010, and last year included over 1,000 events in all 50 states! All the participants are listed on our website, Americancraftweek.com. They include galleries, craft organizations, individual artists, festivals, schools and craft tours, all scheduling unique craft-centered events in a ten-day week. To request further information, contact us at info@Americancraftweek.com.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

American Craft Week Turns Six by Celebrating All That Craft Creates

When we think of craft, visions of hand-blown glass or pottery may come to mind. But organizers of American Craft Week, the nation’s largest annual craft celebration, want you to think in broader terms. This year they are celebrating the fact that craft creates jobs, vibrant communities, and beautiful places.
“Craft creates beautiful objects, but there is so much more,” says Diane Sulg, founder of American Craft Week. “Craft creates jobs for thousands of Americans. The impact of this creative economy is profound, for individuals, communities, and the entire nation.”

“When we started American Craft Week, we wanted to involve galleries and festivals so we could draw the public’s attention to craft. But in the course of six years our vision has become so much wider, mainly because craft in this country is so pervasive and exciting.”

In 2014, American Craft Week encompassed events in all fifty states. Several states, including Vermont, Maine and Virginia have official celebrations backed by tourism and economic development dollars. In Pennsylvania and North Dakota, Visitor and Convention Bureaus coordinated craft-centered events, and large areas in North Carolina and California organize large, regional celebrations.

“In addition to the tangibles, such as jobs and tourism that craft creates, there are a host of very real but intangible byproducts of craft that are responsible for the growth of craft. People love knowing who made an item and seeing the hand of the artist in the work. Craft creates connections, memories, and strong emotions that simply do not exist with mass produced merchandise,” explained Diane Sulg.

“We know we are achieving our goal of raising appreciation of craft, because every day we see another article featuring American handmade, even in stores traditionally filled with manufactured imports, they want to get on our bandwagon!”

Thursday, October 2, 2014

American Craft Week celebrated in Philadelphia and all over country

CHARLOTTE, NC—It began as a small, grassroots effort to enhance the knowledge and appreciation of handmade craft. Now celebrating its fifth anniversary, American Craft Week is a well-established, national event celebrating the tradition of American craft in artists’ studios, galleries museums, schools, and festivals.

This year’s official celebration will be held Oct. 3 - 12, and for the first time all 50 states are participating, including the District of Columbia, and three foreign countries (US Army bases in Germany, Japan and South Korea). A highlight among the thousands of events taking place all over the country is a national event, Spinzilla. This has been described as a “monster of a spinning event” that has been designed to raise awareness about the value of handmade craft while raising money for the NeedleArts Mentoring program created by the National NeedleArts Association.

A few of the local events featured are: Vermont celebrates American Craft Week with over 300 events all over the state including the Vermont Statewide Open Studio Tour. Maine is featuring to promote Maine Craft Weekend. Mendoco Californa combines Wine and Craft. Googleworks celebrates American Craft in Reading PA. Asheville, North Carolina celebrates with Open Studios and Food in the River Arts District. Virginia participates with its annual art show at The Mill in Edinburg that will include Open Studios, a Pop-up Art Market, and the outdoor showing of the new PBS show, Craft in America: Service.  The community is also invited to join in making a collaborative piece of art. Fargo North Dakota features flower making at the Fargo Library.  See also list of events in major markets at www.americancraftweek.com/participants

“American Craft Week has caught the imagination of so many supporters,” said Diane Sulg, founder and co-chair of the event. “With the growing appreciation of both artisan products and American-made goods, craft is highly regarded for its strong design, quality materials, expert workmanship and enduring value.” Since its inception in 2010, American Craft Week has grown from 240 to more than 1000 participating events, all inviting the general public to enjoy a wide variety of educational, commercial, charitable and festive ways to celebrate craft.

Co- chair, Sherry Masters points out that American Craft Week is having considerable growth in the cultural tourism arena.  “Many regions have found American Craft Week an excellent way to attract visitors. Organizers wrap a large number of craft-related events, artist studios, and galleries into a large celebration, and market it to both locals and tourists.” In the coming year, American Craft Week officials hope to attract more arts councils, arts districts, and tourism organizers to use the marketing power of American Craft Week to create distinctive, interesting events.

American Craft Week invites participation from every corner of the American craft community.  “The very essence of our event is to bring together everyone who is involved in craft, whether they make, sell, exhibit, celebrate, collect, or just plain love craft, to help put it in the national spotlight,” says Diane Sulg.  “You can design your own craft-centered event and become part of this national movement.” For more information, go to www.americancraftweek.com.

ABOUT AMERICAN CRAFT WEEK
The fifth annual American Craft Week will be held Oct. 3-12 in cities and towns across the nation. With hundreds of diverse events at galleries, artist studios, museums, schools, as well as fairs and festivals, it is the premier public celebration of handmade craft in America. American Craft Week is a program of Craft Retailers and Artists for Tomorrow (CRAFT), a trade association dedicated to the growth and vitality of American craft. For more information, visit http://www.Americancraftweek.com

Major Market Events

 Washington, DC
Appalachian Spring, the gallery that has brought beautiful handmade objects to the nation’s capitol for many years, is celebrating their 45th Anniversary during American Craft Week. Their celebration includes artist demonstrations, sweet treats, and “Trade Up for Handmade.” Just bring a generic coffee mug to the store and get 20% off on a new handmade mug. Appalachian Spring has two DC locations, in Georgetown and in Union Station.

The Indian Craft Shop is maintained by the US Department of the Interior at 1849 C St. NW.  The shop represents American Indian arts and crafts from across the US, including jewelry, pottery, fetish carvings, beadwork, weavings, basketry, sand-paintings and sculpture. The knowledgeable staff can tell you about the native traditions behind each piece and show you work representing all levels of craftsmanship from emerging artists to the very well-known.



Philadelphia

Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Fine Craft Fair, Rittenhouse Square, Oct. 10, 11 & 12
The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen brings American-made fine craft to the autumn environs of Rittenhouse Square for a second year.  During the 3-day event, patrons can peruse and buy original, hand-crafted works of contemporary furniture, functional and decorative pottery, designer clothing, fine jewelry, blown glass, and more. The Guild’s juried show brings craft lovers and collectors products of excellent workmanship, creative vision, and unique style.

Heart of the Home Gallery, 28 S. Main St., New Hope, PA
If you want to enjoy a fall drive from Philadelphia, consider the picturesque borough of New Hope which lies on the west bank of the Delaware River.  Here you’ll find Heart of the Home Gallery.  For American Craft Week they are presenting a trunk show with Connie McIndoe of Hopewell Pottery.  Her nature inspired work will be on display October 4, 5 & 6.


Boston

Eliot School, 24 Eliot St., Jamaica Plain, October 5, 6 pm
Bust out your knitting needles and unravel an experience unlike any other! In conjunction with American Craft Week, the Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts presents Yarn Bombing, a fun and unique way to express creativity by embracing the urban environment. Participants will attend a talk and demo with JP Yarn Bombers, and learn about the process of executing stealth art in public places. Come and hear about their artistic adventures, see examples of their work, and partake in a little creative mischief yourself. All are welcome!

Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Ave, Lowell
Wearable Art Extravaganza at Western Avenue Artist Studios: from the mild to the wild. Artists from all media will be creating and showcasing wearable art. Attendees will see everything from traditional clothing and earrings, to drag queens, all in “wearable” art. This event will raise money, through your generous donations, for children impacted by HIV/Aids. The event will begin at 6:30 pm following open studios and the artist reception in the Loading Dock Gallery. Cash bar and refreshments will be available. Suggested donation is $10 per person, $15 per couple.


Paradise City Arts Festival,  30 Industrial Drive, Northampton
Paradise City Arts Festival celebrates 20 years of remarkable art, stylish crafts, great food and cool jazz on Columbus Day Weekend, October 11-13. This is one of the country’s premier arts and craft festivals with 275 painters, sculptors and fine craft makers from every corner of America.  They fill four buildings and a giant tent at the County Fairgrounds in Northampton. Paradise City Arts Festival has been a sponsor and supporter of American Craft Week since its inception.


Valerie’s Gallery, 26 State Street, Newburyport
Visit this historic seaport town north of Boston and make sure you stop in at Valerie’s Gallery, one of the area’s fine galleries of handmade American craft.  During American Craft Week, October 3-12, they want to improve your beverage service.  Just bring an old, mass-produced mug into the gallery, and they will exchange it for 20% of a new American hand-crafted beauty.

ACW 2014 ~ Putting the National Spotlight on Craft

1. Meet the Potters of Deer Isle, Maine
If you are in Maine the second weekend of October, you will be surrounded by Maine Craft Weekend, held Oct. 11 & 12.  This American Craft Week event showcases Maine artisan crafts and breweries with open studios and special events throughout the state.  One scenic recommendation is to visit the potters on Deer Isle.  At the Greene Ziner Gallery you will see the exquisite work of potter Melissa Greene as well as the forged iron furniture of Eric Ziner and the work of other local craftspeople.  They are located in a gorgeous 1820’s post and beam barn at 73 Reach Road.  (For more info look under Maine at www.americancraftweek.com/participants )

2. Glassblowing with John Chiles in Orwell, VT
First off, we must tell you master glassblower, John Chiles, makes gorgeous glass. And it’s created in an idyllic setting, a rustic barn in the scenic Vermont countryside. As part of American Craft Week, he is giving demonstrations on October 4 and 5, and even more exciting, he will assist both adults and children in making their own glass holiday ornament. His studio is located at 690 Rte 73, in Orwell.  Learn more at www.americancraftweek.com/vermont


3. Wine Country Craft, Mendocino, CA
With its official celebration, “Mendocino County Celebrates American Craft Week”, this beautiful part of California is alive with the arts.  Touring the wineries?  On Oct. 3-5, at  Hadley Cellars in Philo you will be treated to delicious wine and food pairings., On Oct 12,  come to meet Monika Schulte Bisping, owner of the Bird House, exhibiting her handmade ceramic creations. Learn more at www.americancraftweek/mendocino 



4. Arts Festival Reading at Goggleworks
If you haven’t been to Goggleworks in Reading, PA, put it on your bucket list!  Named for the safety glasses which were once manufactured there, it is one cool arts place. On October 4 and 5, the Reading Arts Festival is there along with more than 30 open artist studios, hot glass demonstrations, music and more. This is a beautiful juried show in a very fun place. More info at www.americancraftweek.com/participants and www.goggleworks.org


5. River Arts District, Asheville, NC
If you would like to see more than 170 working artists, head to the River Arts District in Asheville. On Saturday, October 11, there are open studios, demonstrations, activities and restaurants all housed in 22 former industrial buildings in this great city for the arts.
Learn more at www.americancraftweek/wnc 


 6. Annual Art Show at the Mill,  Edinburg, VA
Would you like some history with your art?  Then come to the Edinburg Mill. Originally built in 1848, the mill was in continuous operation as a grist mill until 1978 and is one of the few mills  NOT burned by Sheridan during the Civil War. Now a museum and visitor center, the mill features art and craft by Shenandoah artists from October 11- 19. For more information, look under Virginia and Shenandoah at www.americancraftweek/participants.


6. American Craft Week at the West Vliet Street Distict, Milwaukee, WI
The studios and galleries in this creative district have joined in a celebration of Milwaukee-made art and craft.  Free events on Oct. 3 and 4 include Open Studios, a Pop-up Art Market, and the outdoor showing of the new PBS show, Craft in America: Service.  The community is also invited to join in making a collaborative piece of art.  Complete info at: www.salvagedstudio.com
  

8. Flower Making at the Fargo Library, Fargo, ND
The Fargo-Moorehead area is gearing up for a large American Craft Week celebration. one fun activity for both adults and teens is whimsical flower making at the library. These lovely blooms can be made in any style and color to decorate gifts, parties, and more! Program is offered Oct. 6 and 11.  For details check under North Dakota at www.americancraftweek/participants 


9. Spinzilla, Nationwide, USA
Spinzilla is a “monster of a spinning event” where competing teams and individuals challenge each other to see who can spin the most yarn in a week! Spinzilla 2014 will be held October 6  through 12. In 2013, Spinzilla's first year, over 600 spinners spun nearly 1.4 million yards of yarn. This year, there are over 1,000+ registered spinners, so the hope is for enough yarn to go coast-to-coast. The program is a fundraiser for the NeedleArts Mentoring program.  Look for more info at Nationwide events, www.americancraftweek.com/participants


10. Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon, American Craft Council, Minneapolis, MN
Help update our knowledge and information about America’s women artists. Come to the ACC’s Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon during American Craft Week to focus on adding information about female craft artists to Wikipedia.  It will be held Saturday, October 11, from 10 -3. at the ACC Library, 1224 Marshall St. in Minneapolis. It is free, with refreshments, and you are invited to attend for as long as you like.  More info: http://craftcouncil.org/event/art-feminism-wikipedia-edit-thon.



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Madison Art Guild Celebrates 100 Years during MMoCAs Gallery Night & American Craft Week

Friday, October 10, 2014
5-9 pm

Madison, WI – 2014 marks the centennial celebration of the Madison Art Guild.  Join us in celebration of inspiring art and artists in the Madison area on October 10th from 5p-9p, at CafĂ© Zoma, 2326 Atwood Ave. This exhibit will highlight 10 members and is presented in conjunction with the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s Gallery Night and American Craft Week (October 3-12, 2014). 

Featured artists include: Steven Kozar, Ruth Manning, Beverly Gordon, Daryl Sherman, Donald Sylvester, Trudi Theisen, David Carpenter and Louise Joyce.  Kerri Shannon and Charmaine Harbort will join us during the reception for a trunk show highlighting their extensive lines of jewelry. 

The Madison Art Guild is a non-profit organization of over 100 artists in south-central Wisconsin. Their purpose is to interact with other artists, share knowledge, provide artistic support and encouragement, offer educational experiences, exhibit member work, and advance the appreciation of art.  MAG artists work in a wide variety of visual art forms including ceramics, drawing, fiber, jewelry, painting, printing, sculpture, stained glass, photography, watercolor, wood, and more. MAG supports community outreach programs, scholarships for art students, exhibitions, art fairs, critiques, and workshops; as well as, exhibit their work in international, national, regional and local shows, and competitions.

Please join us in celebration of this momentous occasion for the Madison Arts Guild and the member artists. Enjoy live music by Phoebe Frenette and Friends and light refreshments will be served during the reception.  The exhibit will run October 6th – November 1, 2014.

Contact: Meghan Blake-Horst, 608-347-0267 or meghan@absolutelyartllc.com
                        
Photographs available upon request


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