New approach to craft education to be unveiled, offering youth 6-17 a window into creative 3-D thinking, knowledge of materials, and the mind skills and habits needed for the 21st century
August 24, 2016 – Worcester, MA – The Worcester Center for Crafts will introduce their new, innovative Youth Craft + Creativity Program at a free event on Saturday, September 24 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Craft Center, located at 25 Sagamore Rd. in Worcester. Classes in the new program are designed with an integrated, multi-disciplined approach to youth education for ages 6 through 17 that is creative, fun and hands-on. The September 24 event is designed as a sneak peek into the Youth Craft + Creativity Program and will provide information, demonstrations, and hands-on activities – plus an opportunity for advanced registration at a discount.
The Craft Center has developed the Youth Craft + Creativity Program in response to parents, artists, educators and community members who have said it is needed - and needed now. “We’ve identified a void in Greater Worcester that we are trying to fill,” said Honee Hess, executive director of the Worcester Center for Crafts. “This new approach to craft education offers youth 6 to 17 a window into creative 3-D thinking, knowledge of materials, and the mind skills and habits needed for the 21st century.”
The Youth Craft + Creativity Program is distinct from other classes or programs because it is designed to teach the skills of craft while using it as a window, which takes students beyond the book and the screen to actually “think” and “do.” Classes introduce skills to be makers as well as to the art, aesthetics, science, math, engineering, and design that are fundamental in learning and making crafts. In this way, students are not only taught to work with tools, but also to understand more about skills that transfer from classroom to the world beyond.
According to a 2012 white paper by Michigan State University researchers, arts-and crafts-trainable skills have been proven to enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics success in K-12 classroom. Like Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei, modern-day innovators in science and engineering are artists and craftsmen as well. The Michigan State research shows that significant arts and crafts experience is highly correlated with professional success in science and engineering as measured by outcomes such as major prizes and honors, patents, or the founding of new high-tech companies. The notable factor is not the type of art or craft, but the early introduction to arts and crafts in elementary and middle-school years followed by persistent practice of that art or craft into adulthood.
Craft education nurtures the 21st-century skills of collaboration, communication, creativity, problem-solving and resilience that are prized by employers across the economy. As explained by Honee Hess of the Craft Center, “Craft enriches our society and economy in many ways, from master goldsmiths to makers who build film sets and props, from the small-batch production of designer makers and industrial designers to one-off ceramic masterpieces, and from centuries-old traditions to cutting-edge digital making and new product development. Makers contribute to sectors as diverse as engineering, manufacturing, medicine, technology, architecture, fashion and design.”
Throughout the year, the Youth Craft + Creativity Program classes will be offered for youth and teens, ages 6 through 17. Beginning October 24, 2016, the Youth Craft + Creativity Program classes will be six-week sessions for students in age-appropriate groupings. The classes will meet once a week for two to three hours, depending on the class and age group. After-school and on weekends, the Youth Craft + Creativity Program classes will allow youth and teens access to hands-on making: ceramics, bookmaking, architecture, stained glass, glassblowing, jewelry-making, enameling, sculpture, 2-D to 3-D, puppetry, paper-making, fiber and textile arts, and much more!
Funding to create the Worcester Center for Crafts Center’s new Youth Craft + Creativity Program was provided by the Stoddard Charitable Trust, the Fletcher Family Foundation, the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Southbridge Savings Bank, United Bank, Webster Five, Millbury Savings Bank, and individual donors. Bay State Parent is a sponsor of the September 24 sneak preview of the Youth Craft + Creativity Program.
The Worcester Center for Crafts is one of the oldest non-profit institutions for craft study in the United States. Founded in 1856 as the Worcester Employment Society to help immigrant women produce and sell hand-crafted wares to support their families, the Craft Center has evolved over the past 160 years into New England's leading center for craft education, exhibition and entrepreneurship. In 2004, the organization expanded and opened the New Street Glass Studio - an off-campus, 8,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, multi-studio glass facility - in Worcester. The WCC offers the only comprehensive glass-studio program in New England available to the public. Through an affiliation begun in 2009, the Craft Center is home to the Worcester State University visual arts-studios and partners in community outreach.
The Craft Center's mission is "to sustain craft as a vital part of our community" by providing high-quality craft education and training, by supporting craft artists in their professions, and through advocacy and public-education initiatives, including adult-education classes and workshops, youth-education and outreach programs, exhibitions showcasing the work of established and emerging artists, artist residencies, lectures, family events, studio rentals, Gallery Store, and major events. The Craft Center is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and its WOO PASS program, and receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. In addition, the Craft Center has an affiliation with Worcester State University.
For more information, contact Honee Hess, executive director of the Worcester Center for Crafts, at 508.753.8183 ext. 302 or firstname.lastname@example.org.