Chris Delany | Crafted Livelihoods
Fellows work to maximize the impact of their ideas through design. They work through a systematic process driven by the five elements of scalability: real impact, big bang for the buck, lasting behavior change, easy replication, and the right path to scale. Fellows participate in the program for two years, working through several design iterations.
THE IDEA: Crafted Livelihoods
High-end craft that creates livelihoods and preserves culture: a process to identify, design and market traditional and innovative craft from indigenous communities
HOW IT WORKS
- Identify high-risk indigenous communities with cultural and environmental significance and offer a livelihood opportunity through craft enterprise
- Gather key information and inventory of extant designs, products, skills and materials
- Select unique high value winners, both traditional and innovative
- Train local artisans
- Provide business management mentoring
- Facilitate tailored marketing to high end national and international outlets
THE PERSON: Chris Delany
Chris Delany is an artist from New Zealand who develops livelihoods for artists
A New Zealand mom with an eye for design, Chris took her kids to the Solomon Island and found she could make a big difference. Fearing a forest-free and culturally impoverished Pacific, Chris identified local craft traditions with potential for village livelihoods. Now she's back in Melanesia to continue the creation of living heritage craft that provides good incomes and strengthens cultures.
For centuries Pacific Islanders lived in relative harmony with their environment. The 20th century brought rampant logging and unsustainable fishing, destructive to both native culture and ecology. Chris Delany saw opportunity in the spectacular skills, unique imagery, and fast-disappearing cultural heritage of the Pacific Islanders, and she set about designing craft projects for the 85% who live in villages. Simple cultural mapping and inventories of existing crafts identify skills, designs and materials. High value product ideas are selected, produced, and niche marketed, and small business management training gives the artists control of their enterprises. Collaboration with international galleries and museum outlets is growing with the expansion of ethical markets. The model adapts well to other cultures and offers men, women and youth in rural communities without formal education or access to jobs, a dignified chance to make a living.
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