Meetings Notes from 10th Ward Block Watch: Society for Contemporary Craft 12.11.18

Conversation with Society for Contemporary Craft

 

  • 2021 is the 50th Was started in Verona. Contemporary Craft has been the Strip District Produce Terminal for 32 years. Is free of charge. Art is central in people’s lives. Accessibility is important.Strong educational programs.
  • Core values: art to build community, critical support for Artists providing opportunities, filling gaps in public education, sharing cross cultural perspectives , social Justice (e.g. displacement, food justice)
  • Facilities: With redevelopment of produce terminal, future is uncertain. Looking at spaces in Upper Lawrenceville.
  • Exhibition: Craft Media: clay, glass, metal, wood, found materials. Museum-school partnership with 6-8th graders alongside curriculum. Have done projects like stitching pillows with Women’s Shelter to address feelings about displacement.
  • Studio program: 3 major studios: wood and ceramic, fiber-mixed media, and metals. 100 programs a year, scholarships are available, offer a broad price range to be accessible. $35 is the lowest for entry level classes. Invite school groups to tour exhibition and do a hands on activity. Drop in station: open and free, family oriented, accessible and high quality.
  • 8 visiting artists through airBnb, sometimes have done summer artist residency. Traveling shows, e.g. around social justice. Received Award of Distinction from American Craft Council, a national organization that gives award every 2 years. We are first org. to receive it in Pittsburgh, so it’s a big deal.
  • Events are generally at night. Workshops on weekends get around 20-30 people, events like artist talks, fundraisers. Saturdays we get about 200-400 people visiting our Strip District location over the course of a day.
  • Potential interest in pop-up locations for the end of 2019. Would need 3,500 SF for exhibition space in late April-August, 1-2,000 SF studio space, 1,500 SF of retail store.
  • 12 current full-time employees.
  • Drawn to Lawrenceville because of stronger residential presence, schools, afterschool programs, etc.