Making Changes in Craft - Craft Expertise Phase One report is a new important study from Dr Karen Patel and Birmingham City University’s Craft Expertise project and the Crafts Council which aims to support greater diversity in craft.
The project has highlighted the challenges faced by women of colour in the sector including racism and micro-aggressions in craft spaces, the challenges presented by social media, and issues with gaining recognition as expert makers. The work is informing Crafts Council’s approach to tackling racism and inequality in the craft sector.
The recommendations include important recommendations for education as well as the wider cultural and creative industries.They call on craft organisations, retailers, local and national government, Arts Council England, funding bodies, educators and craft guilds, to:
1. Reframe the narrative to tackle the way histories and stories about craft are dominated by a Eurocentric perspective
2. Establish industry codes of conduct to change the culture of racism and microaggressions in craft organisations, craft fairs, markets and galleries, retailers, guilds and creative industries and arts organisations
3. Improve our evidence base to ensure data about the crafts sector accurately represents the breadth of makers and build a detailed picture of key challenges to find potential solutions and networks that could help
4. Embed and support craft in education to address inequalities in staffing, in support to students from ethnically diverse backgrounds and in opportunities and careers education and advice to pursue craft courses at all levels of education
5. Enhance financial support for makers to prioritise positive change in the sector, revisit funding criteria and ensure panels are ethnically diverse for funding decisions, application processes and language.