Craft Marketing Program
Kentucky Craft Marketing Program to be Honored at New York International Gift Fair
FRANKFORT, Ky. –. Kentucky, long recognized for its fine crafts and pioneering efforts in craft marketing, is one of 17 charter exhibitors to be recognized at the 2005 New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF), August 13-17, as part of a 20th anniversary celebration for the Handmade Division.
George Little Management LLC, coordinator of the fair, is planning a series of celebratory activities connected with this milestone event that spotlights the Handmade Division’s history and the outstanding contributions of its participants, which includes the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program. Festivities will include a retrospective display showcasing archival materials and images that span the last 20 years, an anniversary reception recognizing the division’s charter exhibitors, and an evening event at the Museum of Arts & Design in New York on Saturday, August 13,2005.
The New York International Gift Fair is one of the largest wholesale trade shows in the country. The semi-annual event currently features 2,800 exhibitors showing over 6,000 product lines. The fair is held at the Jacob Javits Center, New York and occupies over 650,000 square feet of exhibition space. Show promoters anticipate 43,000 buyers to attend from more than 60 countries. The division features functional and decorative accessories, fashion accessories and jewelry, plus an array of other unique craft objects. All participants are selected by a panel of craft professionals, based upon uniqueness and marketability of their products.
Since 1985, the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program, a division of the Kentucky Arts Council, has coordinated Kentucky exhibitors and manned a state booth. “The KCMP’s participation in New York established Kentucky’s position on the national craft business landscape and catapulted our success in the early years of the program”, says Fran Redmon, KCMP Director, who can attribute national media exposure for the state and Kentucky Crafted: the Market and exhibitor sales to the NYIGF.
Kentucky was one of the first states invited to participate in the newly formed Handmade Division which added handmade products to the general gift lines. While other states, such as such as Maine, North Carolina, and West Virginia initially participated, Kentucky has continued to maintain a presence there -- so much so that buyers have come to routinely expect to see the “Kentucky Crafted” booth as they first enter the Handmade section.
Juried participants of the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program (KCMP) are eligible to participate in the booth. “Exhibitors must be market-ready and able to handle the expenses of doing a show in New York “says Vallorie Henderson, who now coordinates the KCMP booth. Over the years more than 100 Kentucky craft businesses have participated. At present KCMP maintains a single booth where up to five exhibitors can share the space.
For more information about the New York International Gift Fair,
visit: www.glmshows.com . The Kentucky Craft Marketing Program is a division of the Kentucky Arts Council, a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet, Commonwealth of Kentucky. For more information, visit the KCMP website, www.kycraft.ky.gov. or call toll free 888-592-7238, local calls 502-564-8110 ext. 471, email@example.com.
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PHOTO CAPTION: Kentucky’s early participation in the HANDMADE division of the New York International Fair. Craft Marketing Program staff Fran Redmon (2nd from left) and Nancy Atcher (3rd from left) pose with state officials at the 1986 NYIGF, including First Lady Martha Wilkinson (4th from left) and Donna Moloney of the Economic Development Cabinet (far right).
Since 1981, the Craft Marketing Program's mission is to develop the state's craft industry, support and empower Kentucky artisans and craftspeople, create an economically viable environment for craft entrepreneurs, preserve the state's craft traditions, stimulate and support product development, and generate public awareness, public support and public/private partnerships.
The Program provides assistance to Kentucky residents, individuals, or groups wanting to develop as craft professionals through economic opportunities and training, to other outside entities (e.g., craft retailers, craft and art organizations, community and government agencies), and the general public. The craft industry in Kentucky contributes 252 million dollars in annual sales and Kentucky is recognized as a model state for its craft programs and its role in the $14 billion national craft industry.