Bumper Sticker of the Week: “Think Global. Act Local.”

One of the goals of this website is the creation of a national Arts & Crafts network, where collectors, dealers, artisans, architects and anyone with an interest in the Arts & Crafts movement can instantly be in touch with others with similar interests.

And while the internet can provide us with the tools to make this possible, it cannot duplicate, it cannot replicate and it cannot be a substitute for personal contact.

Like yourself, when I was growing up there were a plethora of clubs: Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4-H, religious groups, card clubs, book clubs, photo clubs, women’s clubs and so forth.

Many of these have become but a shadow of what they once represented. Perhaps, as Tim Hansen pointed out here in his article on the Berkeley Hillside Club, the advent of easy transportation and advanced technology have lessened the need for small clubs and organizations.

But, as we have already demonstrated in other ways, Arts & Crafts collectors are again the exception.

When the Arts & Crafts movement was first gaining a foothold in cities such as Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and Buffalo, those first enthusiasts recognized that they needed a means of meeting people with similar interests – and of spreading the word.

And so they created Arts & Crafts Societies.

While it may seem that the Arts & Crafts movement is well-established today, we remain as scattered as those first enthusiasts were more than a hundred years ago. And despite the advances in technology, we still remain isolated from many of our fellow Arts & Crafts collectors. Without fail, at each year’s Arts & Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn, someone meets a new Arts & Crafts friend – only to discover they live just a few miles apart.

I would like to encourage you, then, to call or email your Arts & Crafts friends who live in your area and to suggest that you form an Arts & Crafts Society. It doesn’t have to be a burden for anyone. Start small, invite friends over to one of your homes, ask everyone to bring a dessert or drink to share, and have one of your members present an informal show-and-tell on what they collect.

And if your group soon outgrows everyone’s home, find a room in a church, school, restaurant or community center where you can meet.

The important thing is to reach out, to meet other people with similar interests and to establish a friendship, a network, a community of Arts & Crafts collectors.

And when you do, let me know and we’ll publicize it here at ArtsandCraftsCollector.com to help spread the word.