World Crafts Council

The World Crafts Council (WCC) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization that was founded in 1964 to promote fellowship, foster economic development through income-generating craft activities, organize exchange programs, workshops, conferences, seminars and exhibitions, and generally provide encouragement, assistance and advice to the world’s artisans. The organization is now formally registered in Belgium as an international organization and AISBL is the French shortcut to an international non-profit association.

The CMA was founded in 1964 in New York by Aileen Osborn Webb and her co-founders, Mrs. Margaret Patch and Smt Kamaladevi Chattopadhay.

Its purpose is to strengthen handicrafts as a vital part of people’s cultural and economic life, to promote brotherhood among the world’s artisans, to offer them support and advice, and to promote economic development through income-generating activities. In short, the WFS mission seeks to strengthen craftsmanship and artisans by connecting with the passage through the maintenance of inherited traditions and looking to the future with the use of modern technology to experiment, innovate and reach new markets.

It is structured as a Federation of Nations and Organizations, whose members are national entities, associate members, groups and individuals. It is organized in five regions: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America. The countries in each of these regions are members of the WCC and represent the crafts and artisans of their respective countries. Each of these regions has its own President, Vice-President and governing body.

The WCC is headed by its World President, elected at the General Assembly every four years. The role of the President is to facilitate interactions between the different regions by sharing data and information, stimulating new memberships in the different regions and helping to organize annual or biannual meetings.

The WCC emphasises the need to offer dignity, respect and self-esteem to artisans, bearing in mind that these people hold in their hands the living treasure of our cultural heritage. The WCC truly believes that each nation remains alive as long as its culture remains alive.

WCC is the only international NGO working with the craft sector and is affiliated to UNESCO in consultative status.

WCC website provides information about the organization and its structure, the different types of membership, and the activities of its members. It is regularly updated to include news, issues, reports and a schedule of events in the artisanal sector at the international level.

Author: Pedro Vázquez Bustos (Mexico)