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Canberra Today 6°/11° | Monday, October 25, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Craft ACT cancels DESIGN festival

Image 1: Lucy Irvine, DESIGN Canberra 2021/2022 signature artwork, The Stills. Photo: Lean Timms

CRAFT ACT has today (October 5) announced its decision to cancel its signature 2021 DESIGN Canberra festival, which was due to be presented this November.

The full 2021 program, themed “Transformation”, will be shifted to November 2022.

CEO Jodie Cunningham

Instead of the November festival, the organisation will present a program, “Nurture”, to support artists impacted by covid-driven cancellations.

Recently-appointed Craft ACT CEO Jodie Cunningham said she believed the move to next year would ensure that the festival will run to its full potential in 2022.

The substitute program, she said, would encourage audiences to keep engaging with more than 520 local artists impacted upon by the cancellation and supporting them by buying their work at

“Nurture” will run throughout November and will include creative workshops both online and in person, online studio tours and interviews, an online art auction, a sketchbook challenge, professional development workshops for artists, a music event that celebrates Craft ACT’s 50th anniversary and public art commissions.

Highlights from the “Nurture” program will include:

  • Nurture: Online Craft and Design Auction. Craft ACT will give design-lovers the chance to own their own piece of contemporary design at an auction of works by Craft ACT members.
  • Nurture: Mindful Making Workshops. Ticketed live-streamed and face to face workshops with Craft ACT artists across a variety of mediums.
  • Nurture: Studio Stories. Artist video interviews with artworks by these artists becoming available to purchase through the Craft ACT online shop.
  • Nurture: November Sketchbook Challenge. Participants will receive a sketchbook in the mail and a daily creative challenge in their email inbox to respond to in a sketchbook. The maker of the most innovative sketchbook will receive a cash prize of $2000.
  • Nurture: Thrive. Professional development workshops for makers.
  • Nurture: Discover. Craft ACT will partner with the City Renewal Authority to commission several artists to develop concepts during lockdown and artworks during 2022 for small ephemeral public art interventions to activate City West to be launched in 2022.
  • Nurture: Play. Solid Gold Craft ACT 50th Birthday Party: A ticketed music event that celebrates Crafts ACT’s Golden 50th birthday. Hosted by Chris Endrey, the line-up includes performances by Michael Simic (Mikelangelo) and Lucy Sugerman, a gold costume competition, a craft, design and music quiz; and a gold martini mixing tutorial.
  • New Membership Category: Craft + Design Lover Membership. Craft ACT has also just launched a new category for their membership program. The new category is aimed at supporters of the arts. The support will directly support Craft ACT to create greater opportunities for our community of craftspeople and designers, and for the growing audience who admire and appreciate the skill and excellence of their work.

“Nurture,” November 5-28. The full program will be launched on Tuesday, October 19. Registrations of interest in participating here

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Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Helen Musa

Helen Musa

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