Our Mission + History

About Us



The mission of the Society of Arts + Crafts is to support and celebrate craft makers and their creativity. The organization’s vision is to build and sustain a vibrant and diverse community and shape craft’s future.

Who We Are

The Society of Arts + Crafts is a national non-profit organization based in New England. Since its inception in 1897, when 27 people came together to support fine crafts and the hands that make them, the SA+C has been supporting and celebrating makers and has been at the forefront of the American craft movement. Hand skills, fine and heritage craft, sustainable craft practices, innovations in the craft-technology connection, craftivism, and many other areas have all enjoyed a recent surge in makers, followers, and admirers, showcasing the increased relevance of making for all of us.

Our History

In 1897, the organization was formed as the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, Massachusetts.  Original charter.  As you can imagine, the Society of Arts + Crafts has evolved since then. For many years, it was an association that existed primarily to showcase annual exhibitions and awards of merit and achievement. The organization opened a successful exhibition space and retail store and occupied, over time, three different locations on Boston’s much-visited Newbury Street. In 2002,  the first biannual CraftBoston™ event occurred, a craft show tradition that continues today.

In 2016, when its Newbury location was no longer available, we relocated to Boston’s Seaport District. Although the Seaport location was modern and innovative, its location in a still-developing section of Boston proved challenging. In response to COVID-19, the Society moved out of the Seaport location in March 2020 to continue its operations and serve its artists remotely. CraftBoston™ Holiday 2020 was the organization’s inaugural fully online event. Ultimately, the online version of CraftBoston lacked the humanity of the live version. We appreciate that, and have built programs that help us all come together again.

The iconic CraftBoston™ event has been retooled as CraftBoston on the Move, offering curated experiences at museums and galleries that end with a meal or reception, fostering ways for all of us to gather together. We have mentorship programs for emerging artists, and grants to provide direct support. Additionally, we are preparing pop-up retail events, juried calls for entry, and group craft-related to craft. Please join us! We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event!