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
  • 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


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, “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


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,, 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!


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, 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

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!”