Overberg crafters detail successes of DCAS Craft Museé programme
The successes of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport’s (DCAS) Craft Museé workshop were highlighted on Thursday, 14 November 2019 when the second phase of the project was launched at the Genadendal Mission Museum.
Started in 2018, the project helps crafters in the Cape Winelands, Overberg and Breeder River Valley regions improve their products and then provides them with a shop window by selling the products at local museums.
The Genadendal leg of the project has been one of the most successful, with over R1000 in sales every month.
“There is amazing value in this project. I keep on trying to get new crafters in the community to come on board. The value is not so much in your craft, but it’s how you can improve your craft,” said Anita Joseph, a jewellery crafter from Genadendal.
“We were not taught to change what we do, but to take what we do to the next level. It’s about how to make what you do look like it belongs in a fashion magazine. It’s about improving it to a quality standard that is above where you were before. It’s a very good project and I wish that more people would come and do this. Because the community really has a lot of talent that can be showcased in the museums. We have local and international support for our crafts.”
The first phase of the project helped the grassroots crafters to produce two products for sale. Phase two has focussed on creating a third and fourth product to sell, with DCAS supplying the crafters with new materials.
Liezl Jansen, Deputy Director of Arts, Culture and Language and manager of the Arts Development unit at DCAS, said the project is “an opportunity to upskills skill people, an opportunity for people to articulate their own identities and an opportunity to create economic opportunities”.
“After seeing the success, I believe that it is going to grow and we are going to be approaching a whole lot of other museum managers to buy into the project as well because we know that this project plays an important role in how local communities begin to articulate and say ‘this is who we are’,” she added.
She also thanked Lizahn Claasen, a principal cultural officer at DCAS, who has managed the project since its inception. The project will likely be expanded in 2020 with new crafters and new products at different museums in the Western Cape.
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