The purpose of this research was to replicate and extend the 1995 HandMade in America study: The Determination of the Economic Contribution of the Craft/Handmade Industry in Western North Carolina. The 1995 study estimated the economic impact of the craft industry to be $122,000,000 in a twenty county region of Western North Carolina (WNC). The 2008 study includes the 25 counties of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area (BRNHA) designated by Congress in 2003, with “Craft” one of five core themes of the BRNHA.
The craft consumer sample reported a higher level of income and was more highly educated than the U.S. general population and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area visitors (2006). The craft consumers were largely female and older than the U.S. general population and slightly older than the sample of visitors to the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area (2006). Finally, the craft consumers originated from 38 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, and Mexico. Key craft consumer markets include North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, especially urban areas such as Atlanta, GA, Columbia, SC, Raleigh and Charlotte, NC, and Knoxville, TN.
On March 22 from 7-8:30 pm, The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) and Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce will host a public meeting on affordable housing solutions for artists, craftspeople and makers. The meeting will provide the public with an opportunity to engage with and learn from Artspace, a national non-profit organization based in Minneapolis, MN that specializes in creating, owning and operating affordable housing and studio/business space for artists and creative sector businesses.