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Artisans Center to host craft leadership event

  
Staff Report
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The Artisans Center of Virginia has announced plans to form a Statewide Leadership Council for Craft, dedicated to coordinating artisan efforts from all areas of the state.

The ACV plans to convene the first meeting of the leadership council at its biannual Virginia Craft Conference and Business Institute on Saturday, Jan. 23, in Roanoke.

“ACV is proud to facilitate a synchronized effort to bring together champions of craft from every corner of the Commonwealth and in doing so create a coordinated awareness with the potential for collaborative opportunities that strengthen the sustainable framework of Virginia’s artisan industry and help artisan entrepreneurs meet the challenges of the current economic climate,” said Sherri Smith, director of the Artisans Center of Virginia, which is headquartered in Waynesboro.

“As part of a year-long strategic planning process focusing on statewide opportunities for Virginia’s artisans, ACV’s Board of Trustees identified a need to unify regional and local groups thereby advancing Virginia’s Artisan Industry as a powerful economic and cultural attribute of Virginia communities and the state as a whole. The formation of this leadership council further ensures that ACV can achieve its mission of promoting the culture of Virginia artisans through education, entrepreneurship, research, galleries and exhibitions and the belief that quality, handmade fine craft strengthens the cultural, educational and economic vitality of local communities,” Smith said.

The Artisans Center of Virginia looks to build strong connections with Virginia communities, urban and rural, enhancing and exploring partnerships and alliances with craft organizations, entrepreneurs, retailers, arts groups, museums and academic institutions across the state. Additionally, just as the Virginia Exports division of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership enhances the economic base of Virginia manufacturers, the Artisans Center of Virginia and by extension, the Statewide Leadership Council for Craft will look for ways to collaboratively develop opportunities for artisan businesses that desire to expand beyond local venues and sales galleries and thus establish a unified and global distinction for Virginia Artisan-Made Craft.

“The artisans of Virginia represent hundreds of small businesses that make a significant contribution to local economies in all parts of the Commonwealth. Because these artisans usually work on their own, their significance to the state economy is often overlooked. The Leadership Council is a way of providing a voice for the many outstanding artisans of the Commonwealth. The Artisans Center promotes recognition of the high quality of Virginia crafts and assists Virginia artisans in marketing their work and building stronger business skills.” Peggy Baggett, the executive director of The Virginia Commission for the Arts.

  


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