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Houses Into Homes: How Craft Makes a Difference


Thursday, Jan 19 2:00

Be Loved Chairs
Photo Credit: Myles Pettengill

How can craft prac­tice and creative think­ing make the world a better place? This is a big ques­tion, and one that is addressed in myriad ways by artists, arts orga­ni­za­tions, cura­tors, and schol­ars. We invite you to join us as we kick off our 2023 year of Amer­i­can Craft Forums with a conver­sa­tion explor­ing an inspir­ing part­ner­ship between The Furni­ture Society’s Craft for a Greater Good program and BeLoved Village, a commu­nity of tiny homes being built in Asheville, North Carolina, for those who strug­gle with housing inse­cu­rity. Commu­nity is stronger with craft, and this part­ner­ship is a true, feet-on-the-ground example of the hand­made making a differ­ence in build­ing stronger, more engaged communities.

Reverend Amy Cantrell created BeLoved Asheville with the inten­tion of build­ing a commu­nity for every­one and BeLoved Village is one of many projects that she started to realize that mission. The Furni­ture Society’s program, Craft for a Greater Good connects their annual confer­ences with the local city commu­nity, and looks for ways to contribute and give back. In 2020 The Furni­ture Society planned their confer­ence in Asheville and reached out to UNC Asheville’s STEAM Studio, who connected them with Cantrell. Despite having to cancel their confer­ence due to COVID-19, the part­ner­ship flour­ished. Furni­ture Society members and artists Ellie Richards and Annie Evelyn were selected as Local Resi­dent Fellows to work with Cantrell and BeLoved Village to bring craft to this neigh­bor­hood of micro-houses. A touch of hand­made is helping turn what started out as simple, quality houses into homes with a good deal of heart.

Read more about this collab­o­ra­tion in the Amer­i­can Craft Winter 2023 article Turning Houses Into Homes.”