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FOCUS: Arts Funding Cuts - how


will it affect you? by Kathryn Sharman of Kat Got The Cream As the full extent of the most recent cuts to arts funding is confirmed, many members of the handmade community in the UK may be wondering how it will affect them and their business. UK Handmade spoke to Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director of the Crafts Council, to gain her long-term prognosis for the industry and her advice on how to weather the storm.


not drastically worse. People who buy handmade will keep on doing so because they’re passionate about it and very committed to it. It’s not something they’re going to stop doing unless they absolutely have to.


Will the recent arts funding cuts have any immediate affect on the industry? I think craft is quite robust but we’re not out of the water yet. The next 12 months will be crucial. At the moment it’s hard to be sure about the level of impact these cuts will have. Sales have been okay since the recession hit, inasmuch as they are


16 | ukhandmade | Summer 2011


“The Crafts Council has been working hard to reconnect schools with craft”


How will the cuts affect the future landscape in which independent designer-makers operate? I think designer-makers are better equipped in an economic downturn than other areas of the creative sector because they can be more flexible.


Often, they are not vulnerable to the high levels of capital investment in business or to market demands.


Many also have a portfolio approach to their work, although it’s possible they could lose aspects of this. The main issue is the impact of these cuts on infrastructure; the organisations, galleries and retail. This may lead to fewer opportunities for acquisition for public collections, which makers need for the profile of their work.


In what other ways will the cuts impact upon the community? Education is key because that’s what drives the next generation of makers, curators and buyers of craft. The Crafts Council has been working hard to reconnect schools with craft, with a view to pushing craft at a higher education level. Education


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