Message from the Board + Executive Director

Message from the Board + Executive Director

Looking Back, Looking Forward

A message from the Board + Executive Director

What a year it has been. At this time last year, we were hosting an exciting exhibition of ceramics from Kyoto. Today, we are riding out a pandemic that has upended our lives.

We began 2020 with the decision to thoughtfully execute our Strategic Plan, rebuilding the organization with revenue from our popular CraftBoston events. We were excited by this plan because it gave us an opportunity to imagine new directions and programming free from previous restrictions. Then Covid-19 reached Boston in March. In short order we had to cancel our CraftBoston Spring show and place the CraftBoston Holiday event online. The resulting revenue loss challenged our ability to provide much-needed artist support services, but through decisive action by our board and staff, and with generous donations from individuals, we were able to redirect and pivot our operations.

The Society of Arts and Crafts has weathered many crises since its founding in 1897… at least one pandemic, two world wars, depressions and economic downturns, and much social unrest. Throughout those historical events we believed in following our artist-centered mission, providing a platform for community, education, and craft economy

Today we seek your support.

When you send us your donation, what will we do with it? We will continue to provide a place where craft artists sell their beautiful work as we turn CraftBoston into year-round curated online exhibitions. Over the next months you will also see us roll out one of our significantly enhanced signature programs: The Mentor Program will broaden its educational scope, move online, and be accessible to many more mentors and mentees than ever before. 

Responding to the current social unrest and a deeply-felt desire in our craft community for necessary change within cultural organizations, our Trustees met with an expert this Fall to discuss how we can create a more diverse and inclusive organization. As a result, we will address and work to eliminate barriers to inclusion and build new partnerships that engage diverse new partners and groups. 

Pivoting to a virtual environment isn’t easy. Thank you for making a difference by helping us help artists during this time of change and uncertainty! 

Guided by our Strategic Plan, we created a new website that will serve as a transformational resource platform for the craft field. This important infrastructure investment was led and financially supported almost entirely by donations from our board of Trustees. The new website will be showcasing all the services we offer to artists, members, and valued patrons and it will serve as an exciting new forum, helping the craft community rebuild after the pandemic. No shortage of good ideas!

Everyone here at the Society of Arts + Crafts, board and staff, is passionate about the role of craft in our personal lives, our communities, and our economy. As this pandemic has closed us all in, people everywhere rediscovered the joys and benefits of making things with their hands. Craft has provided both masks, creative outlets, and personal solace for many. This is clearly a moment to build and sustain our engaging community of craft enthusiasts and support creativity in general.

With your help we will reach our 125th anniversary in 2022. We look forward to celebrating this milestone with new programming and enhanced support services that are making a difference in artists’ lives! Please join us in keeping the Society of Arts + Crafts a vibrant advocate. Let’s build the future of craft together!

Thank you for your support.

With our best wishes for a festive and restorative holiday season,

Lois Russell
Board President

Brigitte Martin
Executive Director

In a world of sameness, craft illuminates difference.

Send checks to:
Society of Arts + Crafts
North Shore Office
28 High Popples Road
Gloucester, MA 01930