Wednesday 8 May 2013

Update Applied Arts Scotland spring 2013

The Board has met twice now and has been busy putting a structure in place that will allow us to develop long term projects and establish a network across Scotland and the UK to represent makers and develop opportunities.

So what does that mean?

We have renewed, built on and expanded on a network of Ambassadors and key partner organisations in Scotland and the UK. We are already using this network to be able to deliver a Roadshow of events; some coming up near you!

The first event is in partnership with The Lighthouse in Glasgow on Wednesday 22 May and the Scottish Artists Union (SAU), with whom we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding; you can book a FREE place for the “The Craft of Making” event here: Fi Scott will be talking about her upcoming Tour of Scotland visiting 180 artisans and small manufacturers followed by a (paying) Pecha Kucha event with MAKlab.

The second event will be held in collaboration with the Fife Cultural Trust Newburgh on Tuesday 28th May at the Big Cat Textile Centre with talks by textile artistJeannette Sendler, Kirsty Thomas form LovelyPigeon and glass maker and AAS Chair Inge Panneels.  You can book tickets for this FREE “Selling your work, not you soul” here.

There are more events planned in Hawick (June), Inverness (June), Dumfries (August), Edinburgh (September) with more details to follow. We will be using the Roadshow not only to entertain you and provide excellent networking opportunities but also to gather feedback from you about issues you care about and stuff you may like to see happen? We will talk about our future plans, the membership model we are developing and what that means for you, and some info on the preliminary research into apprenticeships…

As some of you may be aware, the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has proposed to remove the category craft from its accounting methods. The Crafts Council’s research 'Craft in an Age of Change' estimates that the majority of the 23,000 craft businesses, of which 88% are sole-traders, will be under the VAT threshold and thus invisible in the methodology the DCMS propose to use to count the creative industries.  AAS fears ‘that what does not get counted does not count’. Whilst the proposed changes are a devolved issue, we feel strongly that the removal of the term Crafts will have a detrimental effect on the sector as a whole as individual businesses will be put in categories outside of government data on creative industries and therefore the voice of 23,000 craft businesses will no longer be heard.

After consultation with makers and the maker organisations, AAS has organised a petition, which we hope you will all sign in support of grassroots support by the sector. AAS will feedback the results and comments back to the Crafts Council and partner organisations, who are negotiating on on behalf of the Craft sector with the DCMS.

For more information please see: 

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