A contingent of international guests—leaders of national craft federations and craft advocacy groups, as well as diplomats and government officials—are coming to the Summer Buyers Market of American Craft in Baltimore this July.
The North American branch of the World Crafts Council (WCCNA) has invited its counterparts in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America to send representatives here as guests of the show, scheduled July 10-13 at the Baltimore Convention Center. There, WCCNA leaders will participate in arts business seminars and observe the operations of the summer wholesale trade show of U.S. and Canadian fine craft and gift products.
Visits to major craft and art museums and events in Baltimore and nearby Washington, D.C., are also planned, and Baltimore city officials are preparing a welcome. It promises to be a craft-filled week, starting with the Buyers Market and culminating with Baltimore’s Artscape, billed as one of America’s largest free city arts festivals, July 15-17.
“The World Crafts Council’s mission is to increase economic opportunities and recognition for craftspeople around the world through cultural exchanges and education,” said Cindy Bowden, president of WCCNA. As NICHE was going to press, representatives from North America, India and Africa had confirmed plans to attend.
“It is an honor to host this international body of craft leaders and experts,” said Wendy Rosen, producer of the Buyers Market and a North American representative of WCCNA. “We share many of the same issues when it comes to improving the lives of artisans and protecting the value of their authentic and indigenous art. A global exchange of ideas is essential to making craft a sustainable livelihood for artisans everywhere.”