Saturday’s reopening of the Center for Craft felt far more like a festival than a ribbon-cutting. There were performances by the UNC-Asheville Afro Music and Dance Ensemble, a DJ, hands-on artmaking stations and performance-art installations.
Hundreds of people streamed through the doors Saturday afternoon and, wherever they strolled along the Center’s three floors, there were things to do, see, nibble on or experience.
“Today’s event is really the prototype for future sorta festivals like this to come,” said Marilyn Zapf, the Center’s associate director. “We will use the themes present in the exhibition, so today it’s all about the future of craft. All of our programming relates back to this idea of the future.”
Previously operating under the unwieldy name of the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design, the streamlined Center for Craft hasn’t changed its mission—to serve as an exhibition outlet for contemporary craft and also as a destination for people studying and teaching craft practice. Some new programming is happening in partnership with UNC-Asheville and Warren Wilson College.
The Center reopened with expanded hours seven days a week, and admission is still free.
“It really is that synergy between the local craft community, the local community at large and that national discussion about craft that’s so exciting,” Zapf said. “The energy you see here today is reflective of that.”