- Hold a "Trunk Show". Invite an artist to come with a wide selection of work for a day or two.
- Stage a special exhibit of work by one or more artists. Add an Artist Reception if you can.
- Here's a take-off on the "Cash for Clunkers" program. Have customers bring in an old piece of pottery they can "trade in" for a discount on a new hand-made piece.
- Do a children's art event. With some simple supplies, kids can be entertained while their parents shop and they get to take home their own "masterpiece".
- Do a charity event. We know a gallery doing a silent auction for CERF+ and there are lots of needy charities in every community these days.
- Hold a mini (or maxi) art fair. If you have the space, ask several local artists to set up their work. One gallery is calling their event "Handmade Here!" and holding it outside for two days.
- A "sale" is always an attraction and even better if it ties to American Craft Week. How about a discount on all drinking glasses with the theme, "We're toasting American Craft"?
- Decorate your gallery or studio for American Craft Week. From the Participants' Resources Page you can download logos, posters and banner. Be sure to add your own logo, too.
- From zazzle.com you can buy American Craft Week t-shirts for you and your staff.
- Add the American Craft Week logo to your web-site and mailings.
- Promote the American Craft Week Essay Contest. Copy the rules, adding your own logo and info. Print flyers & stuff your shopping bags, so customers go home with them. If the winner comes from your store or studio, they get $250 to spend with you!
- Contact your local media. Send a letter to the editor of your newspaper talking about the value of American Craft to our nation's economy, aesthetic and heritage.
E-mail us your ideas and we'll share them here and give you credit, too!
If at all possible, COLLABORATE!
The real strength of American Craft Week comes when we band together and make a lot of "noise" about handmade craft. Here are some collaborative ideas:
- Organize a city-wide gallery/studio walk.
- Form a committee and brainstorm all the activities already taking place that week. Ask them to join you in celebrating American Craft Week.
- Develop a joint marketing piece, perhaps a postcard everyone can distribute at their location.
- Talk to the Chamber of Commerce and see if they can help promote American Craft Week in your area.
- Develop an American Craft Week calendar and media release you can use to promote all community activities.
- See if some public places can promote American Craft Week. Perhaps the airport, the library, or the visitor's center can host a special craft display.
- Don't forget arts organizations and craft-related clubs. Groups such as quilters, embroiderers and Etsy team members might want a chance to put their crafts in the spotlight.
Western North Carolina has done a fabulous job of collaborating. There are hundreds of participants and events, including festivals in Brasstown, Mars Hill and Swannanoa; studio strolls in downtown Asheville and Waynesville; a kiln opening in Tryon; open studios; demonstrations; trunk shows; gallery openings; a raffle for charity and more in most every town. Asheville's official tourism web site has set up a web page listing events in Asheville and the surrounding area's and a wonderful postcard has been printed for participants to hand out. Visit the Explore Asheville web site for more information and check out the examples of the post card below.