Arts & Crafts Service
As the United States geared up for war, Vermont began an ambitious and unique program designed to promote arts and crafts in the state.
The Vermont Legislature established the Arts and Crafts Advisory Commission in the spring of 1941. The Commission was given the task of formulating a program “for the economic and practical development and promotion of arts and crafts in the state...”
The director of the Arts and Crafts Service was to travel the state seeking artists and crafters, create a listing of Vermont craftspeople, and develop relationships between consumers and artists and artisans, though this became difficult because of wartime restrictions on travel.
The Arts and Crafts Service acted as a clearinghouse, putting craftspeople and retailers in touch with each other. The Service also provied small loans to artisans to help them buy materials.
Through these programs, Vermont crafts were exhibited and sold at such stores as Filene’s and Jordan Marsh in Boston.
Artists such as David Gil of Bennington Potters and printmaker Sabra Field were able to benefit from the program. Labeling products “Made in Vermont” was one outcome of the Arts and Crafts Service’s experience in marketing Vermont products.
In January 1976, the Vermont Arts and Crafts Service was forced to close due to budget cuts made by Governor Salmon. While in existence, the Service was able to connect thousands of crafts people with each other, with schoolchildren and with retailers.
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