Tomorrow kicks off American Craft Week, a holiday celebrating local handmade crafts. Fun fact: it actually lasts longer than a week.
What is American Craft Week?
American Craft Week is a celebration of “the wonders of American craft”. It’s a way of honoring all of the work that American artisans and crafters are doing each day. Crafting is increasingly getting attention and respect from the wider world but more can still be done to celebrate the individuals who chose to make this a regular part of their lives.
American Craft Week specifically recognizes crafters here in this nation in a “keep it local” kind of way. I love crocheters from all around the world (and I’ve written a lot about fair trade crochet from other countries) but it’s great to take time to celebrate the crocheters who are working right here and now! There aer participants from all 50 states.
American Craft Week is a project of Craft Retailers & Artists for Tomorrow (CRAFT). It starts tomorrow and runs through October 14th.
Special Essay Contest This Year
I’d like to note that there’s a special essay contest associated with American Craft Week this year, which you can enter to win a gift certificate to spend to support a local artisan. Essays must be 500 words or less and must answer the question, “if you could go to dinner with any traditional American craft artist, living or deceased, who would it be? And what would you like to talk about?” Deadline to enter is October 20, 2012. There are three winners; first place gets a $500 gift certificate to spend at a gallery or studio participating in this year’s American Craft Week.
Why Celebrate American Craft Week?
The website for American Craft Week says it best:
“American Craft enriches our homes, wardrobes, offices and public spaces. It contributes to our nation’s economy, our balance of trade, and the fabric of our national history. It is original, beautiful and enduring, so let’s tell the world!”
How to Celebrate American Craft Week
Here are some ways that you can celebrate American Craft Week:
- Purchase a handmade, American-made item this week
- Sell your own handmade item this week
- Attend or participate in a craft fair
- Visit a local artisan’s studio
- Visit a store participating in American Craft Week; see the list by state here
- Become a member of CRAFT and get listed as a participant
- Friend American Craft Week on Facebook
- Spread the word about this holiday; that’s what I’m doing!
- Find your own unique way to celebrate crafting
Will you do anything to celebrate American Craft Week this year?