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Supporting Craft in the Highlands and Islands
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  1. Supporting Craft in the Highlands and Islands Community Cultural Network 1st December 2007

  2. Craft HI~Arts is the Arts Development Agency for the Highlands and Islands We are contracted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and funded by the Scottish Arts Council We have delivered a range of development programmes in different art forms: theatre, music, literature Our support for the Craft sector has included collaborating on the creation of craftscotland, and providing small awards for Makers 1

  3. Scoping Study Craft • 49 interviews • 86 survey responses • 11 telephone interviews with associations • 2 focus groups Amanda Bryan, Aigas Associates 2

  4. Key Issues Craft • Lack of understanding of the craft sector • Diversity of the sector • Lack of audience awareness • Variable development support for the sector • What is quality? • Lack of cohesion in the sector • The challenges of information dissemination and communication. 3

  5. Makers’ Needs Craft • Creative and Professional Skills Development • Low Cost Workshop Space • Advice and Funds for Business Development • Reducing Isolation Northlands Glass, Lybster 4

  6. Rec. 1: Pilot TrainingProgramme Craft • tailored for craft makers • central funding and management • delivered locally across the Highlands and Islands. • networking opportunities. CEO training event 5

  7. Rec. 2: Pilot ‘Go See’ Craft • build networks • raise the bar in terms of quality and professionalism • experience competition form other areas • consider presentation and pricing issues • different levels with different styles of event in Scotland, Harrogate and London attended. London Craft Fair 6

  8. Rec. 3: Craft Development Officer Craft • cover North and East Highland • manageable geographically • critical mass of craft makers • Shetland, and Skye & Wester Ross have existing posts • focus on growing the capacity of individual makers • establish a more cohesive and confident sector in North and East Highland 7

  9. Rec. 4: Administrator Craft • support the craft development officer • support the delivery of the Makers Scheme • Quality Assessment Scheme and the Mentoring Scheme • Web tasks (see later recommendations) 8

  10. Rec. 5: targeted support Craft • Expanded Makers Awards Scheme • Quality Assessment scheme which will help target makers’ needs for support • One-to-one surgeries • Mentoring Scheme for makers focussing on craft skills rather than business skills Patricia Shone, recipient of HI~Arts Maker’s Award 9

  11. Rec. 6: Quality Assessment Craft • an independent study addressing the issue of the definition of quality • a consistent, widely acceptable and transparent quality assessment process • identify the type of support that makers may require in order to develop • draw on the Shetland experience Bonhoga Gallery, Shetland 10

  12. Rec. 7: ‘Subscription’ Activity Craft • endorsement of the artistic product • curators, reviewers, peer advocacy, retailers, collectors etc. • improve the image of craft and help with market segmentation. • must be achieved across the Highlands and Islands. Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh 11

  13. Rec. 8: Socio-economic impact Craft • identify the number of makers, geographical distribution • economic value of craft businesses in total and also as a contribution to the micro economies in which they are based, • economic multipliers, • social benefits including links with formal and informal education • comparison with other key sectors in these areas • level of return based on public sector funds invested per annum. 12

  14. Rec. 9: Web resources Craft • Review the craft highland website • avoid duplication of information provided on craftscotland • Liaise with providers of local craft information and websites • develop an improved tier structure for provision of craft information. 13

  15. Rec. 10: Communication Craft • a comprehensive ‘communications’ database of all craft makers in the Highlands and Islands • improved information distribution networks and accessibility. • development of information and/or events aimed at retailers/curators • provision of an information sheet providing a summary of the sector and main contacts to potentially interested parties. • co-ordinated with craftscotland in order to minimise potential for duplication. 14

  16. Integration with Visual Arts Craft • Support for artists’/makers’ groups and studio trails • Resources for Continuing Professional Development • Awareness raising and critical assessment • Networking and coordination, gatherings and seminars • A comprehensive database of artists and opportunities • Liaison with key agencies: ‘making the case’ 15

  17. Next Steps Craft • Clarify region-wide and area-based levels of support • Integrate with recommendations for Visual Arts support: a single Unit? • Integrate with existing posts and agencies • Work with artists/makers’ groups • Prepare funding applications: SAC, HIE, Cooperative Development Scotland, Trusts and Foundations Borgh Pottery 16