Sunday, April 03, 2016

The Crafter's Classroom

There's a great new co-op storefront in downtown Waterbury: The Crafter's Classroom, 106 Grand Street. They opened with a ribbon cutting on Friday, and they already have some fun classes being booked.

The concept is simple: artists and crafters share space in the storefront, displaying their work and teaching classes. For the artists and crafters, it's a great opportunity to have a visible presence for their work downtown and to make some money teaching. For the general public, it's a great opportunity to learn photography, knitting, origami, book binding, or how to use a scroll saw. For Waterbury at large, and downtown in particular, it's an opportunity to spur economic development using the arts as a catalyst, something that has been very fruitful in city around the country.

The Classroom has an online calendar of classes available, and you can also keep up with them on Facebook.

The Crafter's Classroom is supported by a grant from Connecticut Community Foundation and through the collaborative efforts of Spirit of Waterbury, the City of Waterbury, Waterbury Development Corporation, and Main Street Waterbury.

Photos from the ribbon cutting on Friday:

Todd Montello of WDC; Bill DeMaida, member of Spirit of Waterbury and an organizer of The Crafter's Classroom; Carl Rosa of Main Street Waterbury; Joe McGrath Economic Development Director with the Mayor's Office; and Ede Reynolds of John Bale Books and Spirit of Waterbury, also an organizer of The Crafter's Classroom.

Crafter Ken Killer with some of the wood ornaments he makes from old Christmas trees using a scroll saw. He'll be teaching classes on how to use a scroll saw at The Crafter's Classroom--a great chance for his former Wilby students to learn more from him!

Soy Candles --  The Classroom has the potential to grow into a thriving marketplace.

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