R2m injection for local crafters

The Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council (ECPACC) has managed to organise a R2m injection for their Craft Explore Project, which will benefit 250 crafters in the province.

The project forms part of ECPACC’s Creative Enterprise Accelerator Programme (Ceap), which was initiated by CEO Phumeza Skoti to instill a culture of entrepreneurship among creatives.

“There will be various capacities for building and market access programmes rolled out in a phased manner.

“These interventions will unleash the local potential that is locked by lack of opportunities for local craftsmen and women,” Skoti said.

EC beaders took part in the 360 Degrees Vanishing Project, a one-of-a-kind beaded installation at Art League Houston in the US (EC beading it up in Texas, September 5 2019), which was unveiled in July 2019.

Traditional beads sold like hot cakes in a pop-up craft shop in Houston, on the day of the unveiling of 360 Degrees Vanishing. Picture: ALEX BARBER/ART LEAGUE HOUSTON

ECPACC’s three flagship projects include ceramics, weaving and beadwork.

“We tested the international market by opening a pop-up shop at the premises of Art League Houston, where our local beads were selling like hot cakes,” Skoti said.

“This pushed us to intensify our fundraising efforts to be able to support local crafters to access the export market.”

The Craft Explore Project will benefit crafters from all over the province, with projects focused on bead work and weaving.

EC Craft Hub manager Vulisango Ndwandwa said: “We are committed to ensuring the preservation of the rich heritage of bead work, while re-imagining them in a modern context and creating commercial opportunities for local crafters to grow.”

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