artisanat, a community-minded program dedicated to creating work (not jobs) for local individuals, is the evolution of a longstanding tradition—training artisans to produce functional, handcrafted items, fostering self-reliance and promoting a local economy. Through artisanat, local artists train apprentices in the necessary skills and work ethics to produce and market works made by hand. Similar in approach to khadi—hand-spun, hand-woven fabric from India—or the distinctive Oaxaca Mexican barro negro Pottery or the pottery tradition of Sea Grove, NC where the production of functional, glazed earthenware pre-dates the Revolutionary War, artisanat seeks to establish a similar tradition in the Hudson Valley with this visionary, community-sponsored program.
artisanat was conceived in the tradition of the Tuskegee Institute, whose founder, Booker T. Washington, sought to foster economic self-reliance for African Americans by training them in craft and occupational skills. Perceived as a spokesman for black “industrial” education, Washington developed a network of wealthy American philanthropists who donated to the school.
To ensure the continued success of this program, artisanat is actively seeking:
- artists who are willing to train apprentices
- self-motivated people who want to create and sustain their livelihood by becoming artisans
- a community that supports their artisans by purchasing local handmade goods
- patrons who underwrite salaries during the six-month training period
Each new artisan is encouraged to continue their work and to carry on artisanat’s mission of training apprentices.