The Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, and the Minister for Crafts and Trade, Olivia Grégoire, announced on Tuesday the first public policy devoted exclusively to arts and crafts. The project, eagerly awaited by professionals, aims to enhance and promote the various arts and crafts sectors.
On Tuesday, at the Mobilier National in Paris, the French government announced the main thrusts of its national strategy to promote fine crafts. With a budget of 340 million euros, the executive is finally coming to the aid of a sector that has been severely weakened by the health crisis and inflation.
The aim is to conclude a strategic industry contract by 2025, in conjunction with private-sector players, which will enable a coherent and sustainable economic and cultural policy to be deployed in favor of fine crafts.
“It’s a strategic sector for employment and competitiveness”, explained Olivia Grégoire, the French Minister for Crafts and Trade. She pointed out that the arts and crafts sector represented 19 billion euros in 2019, including eight billion in exports. The sector as a whole comprises 60,000 companies, 281 trades and 150,000 professionals.
The Group’s strategy can therefore be broken down into five areas: promoting art and crafts to young people; training and transmitting excellence and art and crafts; anchoring art and crafts at the heart of local communities; supporting research, innovation and creation; and developing art and crafts internationally.
“To grow, the arts and crafts sector also needs to open up, and this is what this strategy will enable them to do, by bringing arts and crafts not only closer to their customers, but to all publics”, explained the Minister for Crafts and Trade.
Rima Abdul Malak, the French Minister of Culture, declared that arts and crafts “symbolize French excellence around the world, and the promise of objects crafted with meticulous care and patience, imbued with the history of the place where they were created. In the face of mass production and disposable objects, art craftsmen are the bearers of values that give faith in the future.”
Youth and training
To achieve its objectives, the French government is planning to open 1,000 3rd grade internship places with art craftspeople, create 730 new activities dedicated to art crafts for 15-19 year-olds via the Pass Culture program, and develop discovery workshops for 35,000 young people via a network of associations.
INMA, the Institut National des Métiers d’Art, will be responsible for the nationwide roll-out of hands-on workshops aimed at schoolchildren, drawing on the work of associations such as De l’Or dans les mains, L’Outil en main, the Compagnons du devoir, the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, etc.
Guided tours of national museums (Musée d’Orsay, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, etc.) will be offered to craft professionals registered with the Chambres de Métiers et de l’Artisanat.
In the national factories, an apprentice training center (CFA) dedicated to the decorative trades will be created on the initiative of Mobilier National. This will enable all art and craft training courses at the national factories to be harmonized, to take into account the needs of regional factories and workshops, and to promote international cooperation.
Art professions in the regions
Within the framework of France 2030, 46.8 million euros have been earmarked for the creation of local cultural and creative industry clusters, mostly focused on art, design and fashion.
To strengthen the territorial network, ten new local Manufactures will be built by 2024, to support third-party production sites and shared workshops in the regions.
Art artisans will also now be eligible for a workshop installation allowance (AIA) or equipment purchase grant awarded by the Ministry of Culture. Until now, this assistance was reserved for artists in the visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, design). Now extended to the arts and crafts, it will help finance the installation of workshops and the purchase of equipment.
Supporting research, innovation and creation
Featured photo : © Mairie de Paris