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  1. #1
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    promoting crafts and arts

    Are there any established and working 'crafters' among us? Or anybody else who knows more about the craft industry in a business and exhibition orientated way?

    The Crafts Council in London is advertising a job in their press office for a general press assistant... My dream job! (Shit, I hope I am not advertising for more able people on these boards to apply for the post, and creating more competition for myself...!)

    I'm a long time knitter, sewer, photography loving person, and am just about to finish my degree in PR, with plenty of experience under my belt of promotion and media relations in other sectors. I am convinced I am meant for this job, however I feel like I would need to convince them more of how craft aware I am (or can become!), in a more general business and culture and society (as opposed to hobby for ones own enjoyment) sort of way...

    Does anybody know where I would start my research? Obviously I will be getting very familiar with craft and arts trade magazines first... but does anybody know of any other advice and hints to get this job?!

    thank you in advance..!

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  3. #2
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    I would go to trade websites like sewing.org and hobby.org -- look at their press links to get an idea of the type of press these organizations are getting - if this job is with a trade organization which it sounds like it is -- you need to be familiar with various crafting areas (not an expert in each but have a working knowledge) - you should also familiarize yourself with consumer crafting magazines and women's shelter magazines (woman's day, bhg, etc.) and see what each of these magazines promote with regard to crafts - and give ideas of what you would do if you had this job.
    For example, pitch a knitting story to woman's day xmas crafts for last minute gift ideas -
    do you write? a big part of this job is probably going to be writing press releases, if you have any writing samples bring them along on your interview. Hope this helps.

  4. #3
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    I don't know much about this, but my mom is involved in that world (in the U.S.), and I've picked up a bit.

    In the U.S., there seems to be a pretty big divide between the participatory craft movement and the art craft movement. (Those are my terms: I don't know what the formal terms for them are.) This division isn't absolute: often master craftspeople will do things like give workshops for ordinary folks who like to quilt or knit. But a lot of contemporary craft is conceived of as art. It's meant to be displayed and collected, and some of it isn't even functional. Many of the people who make that kind of craft have formal artistic training, although plenty don't.

    It looks to me like the Crafts Council is more on the art side of things than the commercial, participatory side. And in that case, it's probably not a bad idea to read up a bit on the history and theory of the craft movement. (There are big questions about what exactly defines craft anyway. I can drive my mom a bit nuts pushing her on this.) One book that looks useful is The Culture of Craft, edited by Peter Dormer, which is published by Manchester University Press.

    I'll try to think of anything else I can come up with. Good luck! It sounds like a great job, and you sound really qualified for it. There are lots of people wiith PR experience and lots of people who like crafts, but not too many people who have both!

  5. #4
    ada
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    I would make sure to look around at the other 'crafts' galleries in London, places like Lesley Craze, as another way to get a bit of a feel for the exhibition-of-crafts sector.

    Also, look on the Arts Council England website, they do regular research on all sorts of aspects of art in England, and publications are free for download - the one I was specifically thinking of is this survey of craft activity 2002-3: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/inform...&id=414&page=2
    and I imagine there may be other useful publications there too.

  6. #5
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    First things first- have you visited the place? The Crafts Council is very much arts lead, rather than the crafty goodness that you'll find on here- so I think that some of the recommendations to read up on craft v art theory- the development of the Crafts movement in the UK etc would be a good starting point. I guess at the end of the day your PR experience will probably be more important than your crafts knowledge- It will be good to show an awareness of current debate within craft and an empathy for crafting- but I imagine that it doesn't matter how good your knitting is if you can't write a press release!
    If you get the job let us know! (useful to have a contact there) and if not- there's always a volunteer position available at our shop and gallery in Bristol...heh heh heh- can you tell how desperate we are to get someone with PR knowledge on board- heck we might even end up getting paid if we were more PR savvy!

  7. #6
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    forgot to say- other magazines worth reading are a-n (www.a-n.co.uk) and Crafts (which is the Crafts council magazine I think)
    sorry if this is all totally obvious and basic


 

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