Craft Capital: Philadelphia’s Cultures of Making

Pre-order Craft Capital: Philadelphia’s Cultures of Making edited by Glenn Adamson and photography by Jessica Kourkounis

Celebrating Philadelphia


The city of Philadelphia has long been established as an epicenter for fine and decorative arts in the United States, and home to a strong community of accomplished artisans and craftspeople.

Over the course of 250 years, Philadelphia has become known as a capital for craft — a tradition that continues stronger than ever today. But being a Craft Capital cannot defined by one singular person, organization, mission, or action.

As the Craft Capital, Philadelphia is made up of:

• Artists
• Individuals
• Galleries
• Museums
• Universities
• Retailers
• Civic organizations
• Students
• and more

Being the Craft Capital means showcasing the value of craft and making:

• Craft connects past and present
• Craft and making are major contributors to the local economy
• The expertise and skills of artists and students are cornerstones of the creative economy
• Craft provides a point of convergence for the community, both those familiar and unfamiliar with making
• The creativity seen in craft furthers Philadelphia as a hub of innovation

Being the Craft Capital celebrates and honors the city’s innovative artists working today. And, like the art of craft making, being the Craft Capital means convening the community, encouraging individual expression, inspiring others, and pushing the discipline into the future while keeping an eye on the past.

Our second publication, Craft Capital: Philadelphia’s Cultures of Making, commemorates CraftNOW’s fifth anniversary as a collaboration showcasing Philadelphia as the capital of craft. Through a series of visual and written contributions by local writers and curators, the book explores the city’s enduring qualities — a concentration of skilled makers, and an evolving relationship to its own history, and more.