Thank you to everyone who has supported our Kickstarter campaign so far, we’re very grateful for your donations and have reached our initial target. This is great news as it will enable us to set a further stretch target of an extra £15,000 so we can expand our plans for the content of the event, to include more workshops and demonstrations, as well as, a short film festival which will be screened in Vintage Mobile Cinema... Continue reading to find out more about the project.
Selvedge is about to undertake its most ambitious event to date. In July 2020 we will be partnering with the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market to bring a version of that event, The Selvedge World Fair, to London. Staged by our not-for-profit Selvedge Foundation, this will be a three-day celebration of textiles, where a curated group of world-renowned artisans will share their skills, and show and sell their work.
Selvedge is unashamedly biased towards the handmade. This bias is at the heart of what we bring to our readers, and our workshops, socials and fairs are built around a passion for nurturing and promoting makers. The artisans we will bring to London for the World Fair will be of the highest possible standards and we are working with museum curators, academics and retail experts to ensure the quality, variety and integrity of our offering. The selection process will be run by our partners, the International Folk Art Market. When applications open, your work will be considered by a panel of curators, academics, and senior members of the International Folk Art Market board. The Selvedge World Fair is not only for textile aficionados - it will be a vibrant celebration of cloth, a festival that engages a new audience with the importance of the fabric of all our lives.
The potential impact of an event like this is huge - from supporting the creative economy to preserving endangered crafts. But in order to bring the Selvedge World Fair to life, our Foundation needs to raise funds to cover the costs of staging the event and to enable our artisans to travel to and to stay with us in London. This is why I am asking for your support. Please consider donating to our campaign - we would be hugely grateful for any donation, however large or small. Every donation received will bring us one step closer to staging this extraordinary exhibition.
What are the dates and location?
We don’t yet have definite dates, but our preferred dates are either the last week in June or the first week in July 2020. As for location, Kensington Gardens is where we would love to hold the fair. It is central, has great transport links, and is close to both the V&A and the Design Museum. We can't confirm Kensington Gardens yet, because as it is one of the Royal Parks it is governed by their protocol. Selvedge must submit a bid to hold the World Fair there, and we can't do that until tenders are invited later in the year.
Is the festival just about textiles?
The focus of the event will be textiles, as that is where our expertise lies. However, our partners, The International Folk Art Market (IFAM) based in Santa Fe, include goods of all materials in their offering. In our joint enterprise we plan to have 75% textiles, the other 25% being made up of jewellery, baskets, beads and other crafts. We want the fair to have wide appeal, but it wouldn't be a Selvedge event without textiles at its heart.
How will the Selvedge World Fair differ from the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe?
I have long been an admirer of the energy and vibrancy of the International Folk Art Market, but we are not simply attempting to create a London-based edition. The geography and history of the two locations and organisations means that we have some interesting points of convergence and divergence; I suspect Selvedge will have a stronger representation from the Commonwealth and Europe in our application pool, I also suspect the pool will relate to the contents of the magazine and therefore have a slightly less traditional feel. However, we do hope to replicate the spirit and atmosphere of the International Folk Art Market and to follow their example by hosting artisans from as many countries as possible.
Who can apply?
There will be two categories in which artisans can submit an application:
A Traditional interpretation of a craft indigenous to your home country
B Innovative interpretation of a craft indigenous to your home country
We will accept applications from; individual artists, companies, NGOs, cooperatives and not-for-profits etc..
How do I apply to exhibit?
Applications to exhibit open in June 2019. You will be able to follow a link from the Selvedge website to the application form on our partner organisations’ IFAM site . They have fifteen years of experience and have developed a robust infrastructure to manage large numbers of applicants. We are expecting upwards of a thousand applicants.
What about artists from the UK, are they excluded?
No, the event is open to the whole world and of course, that includes the UK. Although we don’t want the event to be dominated by any one country so there will be the same limitations on the number of participants from the UK as there are from any other country.
What about the regular exhibitors at Selvedge fairs?
Of course, there will be room for the makers and merchants our readers expect to see at our events. We will have a marquee for antique textiles and another for haberdashery and notions, so you can pick up all of your craft supplies once you have been inspired by our makers.
Is the festival just about selling?
The primary aim of the Selvedge Foundation is to provide economic opportunities to the makers of handmade textiles worldwide, so introducing makers to our readers and supporters is very important. However, there will also be a programme of panel discussions and talks, as well as workshops and craft activities for children both at the festival and around London, in the days leading up to the event.
If I donate how will my money be spent?
If you donate to our Kickstarter campaign your money will be spent on the infrastructure of the event; insurance, security, marquees, toilets, generators, the list is endless. We also plan to make applications to public funding bodies to help with administration costs and with the costs involved in hosting artisans from overseas, many of whom will need assistance with travel and accommodation expenses.
I am not able to give a donation, how can I help?
The Selvedge Word Fair will be a community event and we are grateful for whatever support you can give. There will be lots of volunteer opportunities, which we will have more information about later, but for now, you can sign up on our website. We are also looking for sponsorship either financial or in kind. Please email email@example.com for more details. We will try to involve as many of the wonderful companies and individuals who have helped make Selvedge what it is today. Our ambition is that with your help the Selvedge World Fair will share the reputation for excellence that Selvedge magazine has worked hard to build over the years.
How many visitors are you expecting?
It is always difficult to make accurate estimations, but we are basing our estimate on the events Selvedge has held in the past, as well as historic visitor numbers to the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe and their satellite event in Arlington, Texas. Our goal is 5,000 visitors in the first year increasing to 7,500 in the second year and 10,000 in the third year, at which point the event would be financially self-sufficient.
I hope I have been able to answer some of your questions. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have others. Please do spread the word on your social media using #selvedgeworldfair
As a thank you for your kind donations we have a number of rewards..
Risks and challenges
Over the last few years, the rising profile of craft and hand-making has been heartening for us here at Selvedge. Increased appreciation of the hand-made is wonderful, but it also means that we face more competition when we host events. This is why, for the Selvedge World Fair, we are keen to draw on our global network of artisans, bringing goods to our audience that they have not have had the opportunity to touch and feel before.
The size of the event we want to stage means that we need to increase our audience, reaching out beyond the people who already read the magazine and enjoy the real-life Selvedge experience that our regular fairs offer.
With a much larger fair, we are determined to maintain the quality of the makers that we showcase. Our partner organisation The International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe receives over 700 applications annually we are hoping the Selvedge address book will swell this number to over 1000. A rigorous three-stage selection process with its checks and balances will ensure our one hundred artisans will be the very best the world has to offer.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)