Strategy for safeguarding traditional crafts: The Bearers of Folk Craft Tradition programme
Selected in 2022 on the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices
In 1997, the National Institute of Folk Culture (NIFC) began to implement the project ‘Folk Trades and Handicrafts in the Czech Republic’. The project focused on the film documentation of traditional crafts. The fieldwork to identify producers revealed that most workshops were struggling financially and had difficulty selling and creating their products. The situation called for immediate action; the renewal of contacts between producers and customers and awareness-raising on traditional crafts and their technologies. In response to this situation, the Ministry of Culture and the NIFC set up the Bearers of Folk Craft Tradition programme in 2000, which aims to support, protect and safeguard traditional crafts. In addition to accessing public awards, grants and donations, artisans and their products are protected by an exclusive trademark. Further to documenting and researching traditional crafts, the NIFC collects and assesses the collections of products by award-winning producers. Traditional crafts are assessed by artists and designers, and award-winning producers receive a set of printed promotional materials, including leaflets, business cards, tags and a ‘Bearers of Tradition’ brochure. The public is kept informed through dedicated websites, publications, a DVD and a permanent exhibition in Chanovice.