Farmington, PA — Touchstone Center for Crafts is excited to announce a grant award from Center for Craft in Asheville, North Carolina. The Craft Futures Fund grant will be used to help fund Touchstone’s Virtual Open House on Saturday, September 26th. With this event, the Center plans to connect with new audiences more widely across communities, increase accessibility, and build diversity – with the hope of expanding the demographics of the craft field.
“Craft organizations across the field are adapting to current realities. Touchstone’s Open House allows anyone from around the world to visit their studios and experience their educational offerings,” says Stephanie Moore, Executive Director of Center for Craft. “The potential to broaden audiences and improve accessibility is incredibly promising.”
“Nothing beats visiting Touchstone’s campus and watching live demonstrations, but perhaps touring our studios virtually, watching online demonstrations, and interacting with artists virtually will actually reach more people than our typical event does” says Lindsay K. Gates, Executive Director at Touchstone Center for Craft. “Starting with our own organization, the Open House has the potential to help attendees understand what to expect of the craft school experience, inform them of the educational and professional opportunities, and inspire them to become involved in the craft community.”
Touchstone is bringing their immersive experience to you direct from the mountains of the Laurel Highlands on Saturday, September 26th. Participants can view campus and studio tours, demonstrations in blacksmithing, ceramics, glass, metals & jewelry, and painting, watch a live stream of the noborigama wood kiln being unloaded, participate in online art activities, and learn how to get involved in this creative community. The event will be held online from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at touchstoneopenhouse.org.
Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp. (91.3 WYEP & 90.55 WESA) is the official media sponsor for Touchstone’s Virtual Open House. Funded in part by the Fayette County Tourism Grant Program.
ABOUT CENTER FOR CRAFT Founded in 1996, the Center for Craft (formerly The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design) is the leading organization in the United States identifying and convening craft makers, curators, and researchers, and matching them with resources, tools, and networks to advance their careers. Over the years, the Center has become a vital community resource, serving thousands of visitors annually. As a national 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the field of craft, the Center administers more than $300,000 in grants to those working in the craft field.
ABOUT TOUCHSTONE CENTER FOR CRAFTS Founded in 1972, Touchstone Center for Craft’s mission is to advance excellence in the arts and crafts by educating and encouraging individuals to develop technical skills, good design, and innovative expression. We achieve this through an array of media including blacksmithing, ceramics, glass, fine metals, drawing/painting, and other special topic areas. Touchstone’s 150 acre wooded campus is located in the Laurel Highlands, just 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, near Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, Ohiopyle State Park, and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Touchstone is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization offering immersive learning experiences in 7 fully equipped studios, workshop scholarships for teens and adults, artist residencies, internships for artists, and professional gallery exhibitions.
To learn more about Touchstone Center for Crafts please visit www.touchstonecrafts.org.
Touchstone Center for Crafts
1049 Wharton Furnace Road
Farmington, PA 15437
In light of Governor Wolf’s recent announcement to transition several Pennsylvania counties, including Fayette, to “green” status as of June 5th, we wanted to share some information regarding our plans.
Touchstone Center for Crafts is excited to be part of a group of museums and cultural institutions from across Southwestern Pennsylvania that is collaboratively preparing our organizations for safe re-openings.
The shared priority of the group is the health and safety of our visitors, staff, and volunteers. We are working together to develop and share best practices, in conjunction with federal, state, and local recommendations. These best practices will reflect the unique needs of our institutions and will help to ensure you feel comfortable and prepared on your return to Touchstone and other Southwestern Pennsylvania museums and cultural institutions.
Our group started meeting in late March and now includes thirty different museums and arts organizations that span Allegheny, Westmoreland, and Fayette Counties. We are meeting digitally on a weekly basis to share plans and discuss key elements of re-opening, including visitor guidelines; our facilities; staff and volunteers; and diversity and equity issues. Although each institution is evaluating re-opening under their own schedule, we are confident that these shared conversations will facilitate safe and smooth re-openings across the region.
While this group convened for the purpose of collaborating on best practices for reopening our institutions, it has opened the door for other vital collaborative efforts, such as addressing our support for racial equity and ending the cycle of violence and oppression affecting people of color in our community. This group will continue to meet to listen to the needs of our community and discuss specific actions that can be taken by each institution to make a change.
Touchstone’s campus will remain closed to the public until further notice. We’ve made the decision to not hold any events or workshops on campus for the remainder of the 2020 season. Our staff is busy scheduling virtual programming for Teens and Adults, tackling some major administrative and maintenance projects, and preparing for our 2021 season. Until then, we are glad to continue connecting digitally and look forward to welcoming you back to campus again soon!