ST. LOUIS – Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design has embraced its 50th anniversary as an opportunity to assess its capacity to serve the St. Louis community. Part of that self-assessment has been a recent name change, adding “Center of Art + Design” to better reflect the mission of the organization. Another aspect is a streamlining of operations that will allow Craft Alliance to focus its resources to better serve audience demands in all of its programming.
A generous sponsorship from the Kranzberg Arts Foundation will enable Craft Alliance to expand education and community programs at its Education Center in the Kranzberg Arts Center. It allows for the creation of new programming that will help make the studios more accessible— like the upcoming Sunday Crafternoons, Free Family Days, and other collaborative endeavors that utilize the state-of-the-art studios Craft Alliance maintains in the Kranzberg Arts Center. The Artist-in-Residence program will continue to thrive in Grand Center as well; during additional open studio hours the public is encouraged to engage with the resident artists in meaningful dialogue about craft techniques and art practice.
Senior Director of Education Luanne Rimel says, “We are excited to expand our education offerings in Grand Center through the partnership with the Kranzberg Arts Foundation. New programming will draw new audiences to that space and make us more accessible to the entire community. We are especially excited about our Sunday Crafternoons — a program based solely in Grand Center — where we host low-cost art making events that allow people to try out a new skill in our studios and complete a project in just a few hours.”
Beginning in September, the gallery in the Kranzberg Arts Center will become an arts incubator operated by the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, and all of the exhibition programming at Craft Alliance will take place in its gallery in the Delmar Loop. This shift creates new opportunities for collaboration between the two organizations. Both groups are very excited about the possibility of creating arts opportunities and events that activate the space in new ways.
The organization views this change as a way for Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design to reach even more people over the coming years. Executive Director Boo McLoughlin says, “Streamlining our operations and directing our focus in the Kranzberg Arts Center on our education programs will strengthen our capacity to educate a diverse urban audience in craft techniques. Craft Alliance is committed to bringing the St. Louis community exceptional opportunities to view and create contemporary craft.”