Hartford Artisans Weaving Center, Inc
Hartford, Connecticut, USA
MissionThe Hartford Artisans Weaving Center is a supportive and creative community that is preserving, promoting, and teaching the craft of hand-weaving. We teach classes for all ages, curate exhibits and sales, and run a unique artisan program. The artisan program teaches weaving to the blind and visually-impaired, and anyone 55 and older.
What We DoThe Weaving Center is the only organization in the U.S. that uses weaving to address the social and occupational needs of seniors and the blind.
Although our approach is unique, we know that the needs we address are all too common. Why do we believe in the positive impact of hand weaving in a group setting? Creating art in a supportive learning environment overlaps with well-documented research on the health benefits of socialization and creativity.
Many of our adult students and artisans are retired, or have been excluded from the workforce due to disability or changes in health. This has limited their earning potential, and opportunities for creativity, socialization, and learning new things.
In January 2020, NPR highlighted recent research in a piece called, "Making Art is Good for Your Health. Here's How to Start a Habit." The studies suggest that consistent "creation can reduce stress and anxiety and improve your mood." Plus, "flexing our creative side can give us a stronger sense of agency--the ability to solve problems by imagining possible solutions."
Medical studies have consistently shown that social isolation is a physical and mental health risk for aging populations and adults with disabilities. The U.S. Census Bureau indicates that 15% of Hartford County residents are over the age of 60. Of those, 30% live alone.
With instruction for adults, youth, and blind and senior artisans happening concurrently at times throughout the year, the center is always abuzz with conversations between people from different generations and cultural backgrounds.