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Collaborate project explores making meaning through craft

Participant painting bright colours onto a leather circle.

Craft can boost wellbeing, celebrate culture and help build communities, according to a new report produced by the Crafts Council working with academics from Glasgow Caledonian University London.

However, more must be done to ensure racially minoritised and excluded communities can access creative resources.

The research has been funded by the Centre for Cultural Value’s Collaborate fund as part of the first round of funding awarded to research partnerships in 2022.

The report, Wow, I did this! Making Meaning Through Craft, explores the cultural value of craft in the context of race and racism in the UK. The research used a novel methodology called Living Labs, bringing together academics, cultural partners, and communities in this cross-cultural, cross-generational research. This better reflected the diverse range of experiences and craft practices in communities and the impact of immigration, migration and displacement on cultural production and making.

Ben Walmsley, Director at the Centre for Cultural Value, says:

We are delighted to fund this vital and under-explored area of cultural value through our Collaborate fund. Through the lens of social justice, the Crafts Council and their academic partner Glasgow Caledonian University London have undertaken research on how to decolonise craft-making and make it more inclusive. This research will provide insights that will support the wider arts, cultural and heritage sectors to address structural inequalities and celebrate the diversity of cultural practitioners.

You can delve deeper into the research, methodology and findings by reading the full report, available via the Crafts Council website.

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