How does CERF+ define "craft" as an artistic discipline?
Craft is the creation of original objects through the skillful manipulation of materials. These materials were traditionally considered to be clay, fiber, metal, wood, or glass. However, today’s artist working in a craft discipline may also employ concrete, plastic, synthetic fibers, recycled materials and other non-traditional materials. Craft objects may be functional or nonfunctional, but both types derive part of their meaning from their association with traditional functional forms such as chairs, vessels, garments or implements. Qualities that contribute to the success of a craft object include the skill of the maker, the use of the material, the refinement of the design, and the originality of expression – or all of these.
In addition to satisfying the above definition, eligible work must:
- Be well designed and executed, exhibiting integrity as traditional or contemporary craft
- Demonstrate technical competency and personal identity
- Be created by the applicant artist. However, portions of the work may be created by others under his/her direct supervision
- Not be based upon commercial kits, molds, patterns, or plans
- Be created in the United States or by a U.S. artist while temporarily working abroad.
CERF+ assistance is given to individual artists in three categories:
1) Professional Artist Working in a Craft Discipline
For the three years before your recent emergency, you must have earned the majority of your livelihood from the sale of your art and activities related to your art, been engaged in producing a body of work in a craft discipline (or disciplines), and spent at least 50% of your work time in design, creation, production, and marketing that work.
2) Professional Artist/ Alternative
CERF+ recognizes that certain artists working in craft disciplines are producing bodies of work that are experimental, sufficiently new, or may not be commercially viable in the short term, yet are an important part of the vitality of the craft field. While it is expected the applicant had a viable, ongoing livelihood at the time of the emergency, we understand that he or she may have needed to generate the majority of income from sources other than the sale of this work. An applicant in this category must meet other, more stringent qualifications than the art income/time requirement above. To be eligible, you must demonstrate outstanding quality and depth of work and commitment to your career through added documentation. See Supporting Documentation page for details.
3) Artist Working in a Craft Discipline/ Emerging Professional
CERF+ recognizes that many of the most acclaimed artists of tomorrow working in craft disciplines have only started to establish their careers today. We understand that these promising artists may not have years of significant income from their art, but have gained recognition for their skill and creativity, and have taken strides to enter the professional realm. We are eager to assist an artist who can show his/her young career was on a clear trajectory to professional success and he/she was otherwise financially independent before a recent, severe emergency took the art career off course. However, an applicant in this category must meet other, more stringent qualifications than the art income/time requirement specified for the category (1) of Professional Artist Working in a Craft Discipline. To be eligible, you must demonstrate outstanding quality and depth of work and commitment to your career through added documentation. See Supporting Documentation page for details.
In addition to meeting one of the three artist category requirements above, all applicants must meet these eligibility requirements:
1) Suffered a recent career-threatening emergency
You must have experienced a recent, unforeseen emergency or triggering event that has significantly and adversely affected your ability to produce and/or market your work and, thus, creates the need for immediate relief funds and/or assistance.
2) Be a legal U.S. resident
Please note that CERF+ may limit the frequency or total number of emergency assistance awards an artist may receive, even if otherwise eligible.
Have questions about CERF+’s emergency relief assistance for professional artists working in craft disciplines? Complete our Emergency Assistance Inquiry form and we will contact you.