09 Oct Crafting Futures: UK Study Tour – Youth Engagement
A partnership between Craftspace and the British Council
Crafting Futures, 2019 Study Tour (Photo: Matthew Savage)
“Craftspace is pleased to be a UK consortium partner for the Crafting Futures programme. Researching and leading UK craft study tours for international participants provides a valuable basis for informing our work with global perspectives as well as for exchange and mutual learning ”
Craftspace partnered with The British Council to organise and host a seven day UK Craft Study Tour for professionals focussing on Youth Engagement.
This study tour’s theme was youth engagement – both in terms of involving or engaging younger generations in appreciating their heritage and becoming consumers of contemporary artisan products or supporting young people into the creative industries through training, development schemes, apprenticeships or creative industry clusters.
Six arts professionals from Argentina, Nepal, Myanmar, India, Georgia and the Philippines participated in a study tour to the UK in October 2019.
The aim of the study visit were to:
- Build stronger connections with the UK sector and create opportunities for future exchange and collaboration
- Share approaches and methods for youth engagement from the UK craft/visual arts sector including training pathways (apprenticeships, further education models), public engagement, audience development, policy and creative production.
The tour included visits to museums, galleries, archives, collections and sites of production across the UK. Participants had the chance to network with British curators, museum workers, craft organisations and practitioners.
The first half of the tour took place in the West Midlands and North West of England including two major craft biennials (the British Ceramic Biennial and the British Textile Biennial). These biennials provided the added value of seeing and understanding the transformative and regenerative potential of place-based craft focused initiatives. Both are regional initiatives which have multiple objectives relating to creative programming, regeneration, strategic vehicles for change, tourism, reconnecting audiences with tangible and intangible heritage, skills development and creating links between creativity and industry. The second part of the tour took place in London; visiting museums, galleries, cultural organisations, retail outlets and other projects.
The tour included:
- The Schools of Jewellery and Textiles, Birmingham City University to learn about pathways to creative study.
- Beatfreeks in Birmingham to hear about Birmingham Youth Trends research and their approach to youth engagement
- Studio visits to: The Dual Works design studio and Deborette Clarke leatherworker in the Jewellery Quarter
- British Ceramic Biennial in Stoke on Trent to see exhibitions, hear about youth related programme and visit projects in various venues including Airspace Gallery, World of Wedgwood and Middleport Pottery
- The inaugural British Textile Biennial in Burnley and Blackburn at various venues including Gawthorpe hall hosting Alice Kettle’s, Thread Bearing Witness and Brierfield Mill hosting a Banner Culture exhibition.
- The V&A to hear about youth related programmes including CreateVoice and CreateFutures
- The Crafts Council to hear about their talent development programmes and Make Your Future schools programme
- Goldsmiths for a tour of their training facilities
- Cockpit Arts to tour studios and hear about their business incubation programme
- Heritage Craft Association to hear about their plans for skills development
Crafting Futures supports the future of craft around the globe. This British Council programme strengthens economic, social and cultural development through learning and access.
Crafting Futures’ projects support practices and people, through research, collaboration and education.