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Topic: "CRAFTY CULTURE" panel discussion about "craftivism" at Columbia College Chicago  (Read 1301 times)
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audreypillow
« on: October 12, 2005 01:04:48 PM »

Hi local crafty gals! What follows is a press release for an event I am putting together at work (Columbia College Chicago) that any politically-conscious crafter will enjoy...email me at amast@colum.edu for more information or just to say hi and let me know you're coming! -- XOXO, Audrey Michelle

For Immediate Release                                         
Media Contact: Micki Leventhal 312-344-7383
October 7, 2005                                                               
or Elizabeth Burke-Dain 312-344-8695

A HANDMADE REVOLUTION
Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media Presents Panel Discussion at Columbia College Chicago
That Explores Political Implications and Possibilities of Craftivism

WHAT:                 Crafty Culture: Feminism, Activism, and the DIY Ethic
A panel discussion with local women active in the Chicago DIY (do it yourself) arts community: graphics professional and craftivist Cinnamon Cooper; Time Out Chicago magazine Check Out editor Annie Tomlin; and painter and poet Alejandra Velera. Moderated by Annette Ferrara, cultural content provider and managing editor of Flavorpill.net. Q & A follows.

Jane M. Saks and Audrey M. Mast of the Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media are available for interviews.

Crafting knitting, needlepoint, beading, scrapbooking, sewing and more can be a hobby, a way to unwind and a creative outlet. It can also be a way to reclaim traditional womens work with a modern spin, start ones own business, save money, reject prepackaged/sweatshop-produced merchandise, recycle, raise funds or donate goods for charitable causes, and mobilize for political action. Columbias Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media presents a panel discussion that will explore the possibilities of craftivism.

While crafting is often a solitary activity, the popularity of such groups as Stitch n Bitch, indie art/crafts fairs, magazines like ReadyMade and Web sites such as craftster.org has helped likeminded women (and men) to network, exchange ideas and market their products. While these communities and media outlets mostly exist outside the mainstream media, there has been a less political, yet no less pervasive DIY lifestyle trend in mainstream media as espoused by Martha Stewart, Home Depot and the glut of domestic-themed cable TV offerings.

Crafty culture is part of a centuries-old history of women connecting, organizing and effecting change through handicrafts. It has been suggested that during the Civil War era, African American womens quilt designs were coded maps of the Underground Railroad. But as domestic prowess has become less of a requirement and more of a choice, modern women can approach it with a healthy dose of irreverence. Todays indie crafters are grounded in postmodern self-awareness.

Crafting can be examined as a new phase in the DIY phenomenon, with its ideals of empowerment, accessibility and community, which began with the self-publishing of the Beats and Situationists, mail art, pirate radio in the 60s, the anti-consumerist politics of punk rock, the rise of independent record labels, zine culture, and the 90s Riot Grrrl movement. Yet crafty culture may present a reverse rebellion: instead of the sharp critique of domesticity offered by second-wave feminists, contemporary crafters are embracing and celebrating the domestic arts as relevant, viable and creative work.

What does crafty culture mean for a post-third wave generation of feminists? Why is this trend happening now might crafts be more popular in times of war, economic downturn and political conflict? How can we channel our creative passions into activism? In an aesthetic environment obsessed with high design, what place do our handcrafted objects have and are they truly valued in our economic system? Do they have any cultural capital? Does crafty culture attract a wide range of participants in terms of race, class and gender?

WHEN:                 Thursday, November 3, 6 8 pm

WHERE:                Film Row Cinema theatre, 1104 S. Wabash, 8th Floor

HOW MUCH:          Free and open to the public

MORE INFO:         
Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, 312-344-8829

WHO:             
The Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media is a new entity at Columbia College Chicago and the first and only institute of its kind in the US. Our mission is to research, debate, archive and investigate significant societal and cultural issues related to women and gender in the arts and media.

-end-


 
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sewki
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2005 04:53:27 PM »

I might talk my boyfriend into coming with me, this sounds exciting!!  So... I'll keep my fingers crossed that he gets the days off. Smiley
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modpodge
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2005 08:10:01 AM »

I just emailed you- i would definitely be interested!
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goddessterri
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2005 06:56:32 PM »

This sounds really interesting.  I'm going home to Chicago in November but not that early....Good luck with it!
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modpodge
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2005 07:13:21 AM »

Anyone coming to this tonight? I'll be there!
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2005 07:40:49 AM »

How was it?!

I wanted to go really badly but I had to work late in Evanston  Undecided
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modpodge
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2005 09:54:02 AM »

How was it?!

I wanted to go really badly but I had to work late in Evanston  Undecided

eh...it was alright, I wasn't too impressed by anyone on the panel, except for a Time Out Chicago correspondent who had a really sharp wit (but didn't make it sound like she crafted that much at all). There was a lot of bashing on "Kountry Krafts" type things by one of the panelists, and when it was brought up by someone asking a question, she kind of avoided an answer. And it was COLD in the theater! Don't worry, you didn't miss anything spectacular.
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