By Carolyn Schweitz
The Center for Craft will open a renovated 7,000-square-foot space, the National Craft Innovation Hub, in its historic downtown Asheville location in November. Founded in 1996, the Center for Craft is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and advancing the field of craft. The new space will feature a gallery that will honor visionary arts advocate John Cram and will be shared by the Center for Craft, UNC Asheville and Warren Wilson College. The John Cram Partner Gallery will feature new and emerging artists.
Cram was a key figure in the revitalization of Asheville in the 1980s and 1990s and a leader in bringing vibrant art and artists back into the area. His work in establishing galleries and renewing the art scene for Asheville has led to numerous recognitions, including the North Carolina Award for fine arts. The Center for Craft is honored to be able to dedicate a portion of its new space to Cram as a way of continuing his legacy in Western North Carolina.
The Innovation Hub will also feature a coworking area for teachers, students, artists, designers and even entrepreneurs to use to incubate and grow creative ideas. The space will house private offices, dedicated and flex desks, phone/nursing booths, conference rooms, a kitchenette and lounge, complimentary coffee, a lecture hall and classroom or workshop spaces. The Center will host a Cowork Open House to allow people to preview the space with the new furniture and artist commissions on Wednesday, October 16, from 5–7 p.m. Early-bird pricing will be offered for the event. The entire Center will officially reopen on Friday, November 1, with the Public Grand Reopening on Saturday, November 16.
This new expansion creates great potential for the future of the Center. “The Center’s national efforts to broaden the understanding and practice of craft through education, grants and conferences are critical in this rapidly changing world,” says Stephanie Moore, executive director of the Center. “Our expansion deepens this commitment by drawing attention to craft’s rich history in the region and provides new ways for audiences to engage with our programs.”
The Center for Craft is located at 67 Broadway Street, Asheville. For more information, visit CenterForCraft.org, call 828.785.1357, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or find them on Facebook at Center for Craft or Instagram @centerforcraft. For information on the cowork space, visit CenterForCraft.org/cowork.