Craft Innovation Jumpstarter

Craft Innovation Jumpstarter

Craft Innovation Jumpstarter

For Artists

Introducing the Craft Innovation Jumpstarter

In 2022, the Society awarded two (2) grants of $2,000 each to individual craft artists who are advancing their craft field or their personal career through innovation. In 2023, the Society will award four (4) grants of $3,000 each, with award cycles in the summer and winter.

The Society’s Craft Innovation Jumpstarter is a new artist support program that focuses on craft artists who take chances, learn through experimentation, and want to connect with others working on similar creative problems. In its pilot phase, the Society’s program will provide grants to artists needing financial resources to pursue new directions or to advance new ideas in their work. 

Please see eligibility requirements below. Click here to read about our 2022 awardees.

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The pursuit of craft necessitates a problem-solving mindset: Craft makers are ingenuitive explorers, material risk takers, and small business owners. They pursue new ideas and solutions for their work with empathy and deep understanding of their materials and processes. Their imagination and lifelong learning offer exciting opportunities for discovery and interdisciplinary innovation. But when craft artists are ready to bring their solutions and innovations to the next stage, they often lack the necessary finances and other support to be able to make investments toward their new direction. The Society of Arts + Crafts seeks to address this gap by providing a new platform of resources—financial, informational, and experiential through the Craft Innovation Jumpstarter.

Over time, the Craft Innovation Jumpstarter seeks to develop a rich community of problem solvers and risk takers, whether they are working in longstanding craft traditions or aiming to pioneer new kinds of processes, materials, and forms of expression. The Society will use the program to foster connections between the craft field and other domains that draw upon the know-how of craft practitioners.

The pursuit of greater equity, inclusion, and diversity in the craft field will be an important focus of the program.

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Eligibility Requirements for Craft Innovation Jumpstarter

RESIDENCY:  Applicants must reside in New England (defined as Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).

PURSUING INNOVATION: The goal of the Society’s Craft Innovation Jumpstarter Program is to financially support craft artists who are pursuing innovation in at least one of the following areas:

– A craft medium
– Craft tool development
– Craft education
– Writing and publication efforts
– An area not listed here (artist will be asked to specify)

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:  Applications are accepted year-round. To be considered for our summer award cycle, applications must be received by May 7, 2023. To be considered for our winter award cycle, applications must be received by Nov. 5, 2023. Required files include up to 10 images of current work (72 dpi minimum, JPG or PNG file types) and PDFs of the applicant’s response to the following prompts (300 words maximum):

– Your bio and/or craft background
– How you plan to innovate in craft
– Describe past and/or current projects
– Describe what you have learned and/or how your innovations may be applicable to other industries
– Describe how the Society’s grant would help you in reaching your next goal(s)
– If relevant to your goals, describe how your work/planned project could impact your craft community or other individuals/groups/communities/businesses

AWARDEE REQUIREMENTS:  If selected, awardees are responsible for the following:

Availability at Award Ceremony (mid-June or mid-December) in Boston, MA.
– Inclusion of the Society’s logo on artist’s website and/or social media with link to the Society’s website.
– Attend a virtual meeting with juror(s) to discuss artist’s work and progress after six months.
– Participate in a virtual Mentor Program event to discuss project.
– Participate as part of a jury committee for the award at a future date.
– Submit a 1-page written report of results after one year.

Craft Innovators in Our Community

Craft + Eco-Activism

Michelle Lougee, Artist-in-Residence 2019

Lougee brought together over 100 people of all ages to transform thousands of single-use plastic bags into a crocheted sculpture of sea creatures, and helped illustrate the impact discarded plastics have on the environment.

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Craft + Machining

Chris Bathgate, Mentor Program Speaker

Bathgate is a self-taught machinist and metalworker who combined media in a new way to create an entirely new craft, and then created a successful career by using an on-demand business model.

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Craft + Meteorology

Nathalie Miebach, CraftBoston Exhibitor

Miebach translates scientific data related to  meteorology, ecology and oceanography into woven sculptures and musical scores — exploring how visual and musical aesthetics can be used to translate scientific systems. 

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Thank you to our partners and sponsors:

Fidelity Investments
Mass Cultural Council
Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation