Cultures of Making Symposium

Friday, October 30, 2020
Friday, November 6, 2020

Start Time TBD




Enough Hat by @amandakaffka



Each year, CraftNOW hosts a symposium to provide a platform for critical discourse in contemporary craft. This year the symposium will be hosted digitally allowing for national and international participation.

CraftNOW’s 2020 symposium Cultures of Making will examine the many ways community, activism, research, and connection develop out of collaborative craft practices in the neighborhoods of Philadelphia and beyond. Keynote speakers Vashti Dubois, Executive Director of  The Colored Girls Museum in Philadelphia, and Hinda Mandell, editor of Crafting Dissent: Handicraft as Protest from the American Revolution to the Pussyhats, will be central to each day’s conversation as we talk and think about the role of craft as a tool for provocation and exchange, especially in this heightened time of social unrest.

Flanking the United States presidential election, this symposium is scheduled for Friday, October 30 and Friday, November 6, 2020. Talks and moderated discussions will take place inspired by the recent publications Craft Capital: Philadelphia’s Cultures of Making edited by Glenn Adamson and Crafting Dissent: Handicraft as Protest from the American Revolution to the Pussyhats edited by Hinda Mandell.

This symposium is being organized in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Lecture and Event Schedule Coming Soon


The 44th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is currently researching various virtual options that will enable them to present the talents of the selected 2020 artists in an exciting and responsible manner. Save the November 6 – 8, 2020 show dates and follow their social media @PMACraftShow. 


Vashti DuBois has held leadership positions at a number of organizations over her 30-year career in non-profit and arts administration,working primarily on issues impacting girls and women of color including: Free Library of Philadelphia, Tree House Books, the Historic Church of the Advocate, Children’s Art Carnival in New York City, Haymarket People’s Fund in Boston, Congreso Girls Center, and The Leeway Foundation. DuBois is a graduate of Wesleyan University, and a NAMAC Fellow. 

Launched in 2015, The Colored Girls Museum (TCGM) “honors the stories, experiences, and history of Colored Girls of the african diaspora.” It is the first institution of its kind, offering visitors a multi-disciplinary experience of memoir, in all its variety, in a residential space. This museum initiates the “ordinary” object — submitted by the colored girl herself, as representative of an aspect of her story and personal history which she finds meaningful; her object embodies her experience and expression of being a Colored Girl. 


Hinda Mandell is an associate professor in the Rochester Institute of Technology School of Communication. She conducts research at the intersection of sensational events with private lives. Since 2018, her research has focused on the intersection of craft and political events, examining craft as a gendered, communication tool that can subvert the social order. Her op-eds have appeared in USA Today, Politico, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, LA Times, and The Guardian. 

She is editor of Crafting Dissent: Handicraft as Protest from the American Revolution to the Pussyhats (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019); co-curator and co-editor of Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism (RIT Press, 2019, with the exhibition touring in the U.S. in 2019-2020); a co-editor of Nasty Women and Bad Hombres: Gender and Race in the 2016 US Presidential Election (University of Rochester Press, 2018); the author of Sex Scandals, Gender and Power in Contemporary American Politics (Praeger, 2017).

Philadelphia Museum of Art

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway