-Courtesy of EnRoute Marketing

On Saturday, November 7, at 10 a.m., CraftNOW Philadelphia will hold the city’s “Biggest Free Art Class,” CraftNOW  Create! 

November, proclaimed “CraftMONTH” by the City of Philadelphia, inspires widespread and diverse celebration of the  region’s rich legacy, its internationally recognized contemporary scene, and its important role as an incubator for arts based in wood, clay, fiber, metal, and glass. For the list of over 20 partner exhibitions and activities coordinated by  CraftNOW during “CraftMONTH,” please visit

The virtual CraftNOW Create experience will feature a morning of live video demonstrations highlighting step-by-step  directions on how to create seven crafts, including clay monster heads, wooden dragonflies and butterflies, mini  mosaics, kites, puppets, Swedish holiday gnomes, and felted soaps. The projects are ideal for elementary-aged students. In previous years, CraftNOW Create was a daylong, hands-on family-friendly experience at the Kimmel Center. This year,  the leadership of CraftNOW found a creative new way to present this popular event to children and their families. 

“Over the next two weeks, we will distribute 500 free take-home kits into diverse neighborhoods via community centers,  schools, and arts organizations all over Philadelphia,” said Leila Cartier, executive director of CraftNOW. “Even if you do  not have access to pick up a kit, we will be sharing the list of simple materials needed to create these projects, in  advance on our website, so every child can participate.”  

The pick-up location map lives HERE

Sponsored by Joseph Robert Foundation, CraftNOW Create is family-friendly programming produced alongside another  “CraftMONTH” signature event, the annual CraftNOW Symposium. The symposium’s theme, Cultures of Making, will examine the many ways community, activism, research, and connection develop out of collaborative craft practices in the neighborhoods of Philadelphia and beyond. This year’s keynote speakers are Vashti DuBois, executive director of The Colored Girls Museum in Philadelphia, and Hinda Mandell, editor of Crafting Dissent: Handicraft as Protest from the American Revolution to the Pussyhats. 

Following the conclusion of the Cultures of Making Symposium, CraftNOW Create offers fun for the whole family and  will include activities by the American Swedish Historical Museum, The Center for Art in Wood, The Clay Studio, Fabric  Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, University of the Arts, and Wild Hand. 

“The free art program CraftNOW Create has always been about investing in children because of the extensive cuts to  funding and programs in schools. We know food and shelter are paramount during a crisis, but so is education and  enrichment,” said Cartier. “We want to introduce young people to the joy of hands-on activities. Through craft, one can  develop problem-solving skills, build confidence, and discover a sense of personal agency.” 

Participants of CraftNOW Create are encouraged to share their finished projects on social media using the hashtag  #CraftNOWCreate. 

About CraftNOW- CraftNOW was founded by a consortium of individuals, galleries, museums, universities, retailers, and civic organizations. Though diverse  in background, CraftNOW has been united in its desire to capitalize upon Philadelphia’s outstanding resources and highlight the city’s  continuing role in defining the future of craft. With its inaugural events in 2015, CraftNOW began its mission to showcase the city’s  community and create opportunities for the public to engage directly with the handmade. For more information on CraftNOW visit CraftNOW is made possible through a collaborative partnership with University of the Arts serving as fiscal  agent.

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