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The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, founded in November 2012 and hosted by the Aspen Institute, is a collaborative effort of over 70 artisan businesses, artisan support organizations, corporations, government agencies, and other partners who are working together to promote the full potential of the global artisan sector.  

The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise was created to elevate the importance of the artisan sector, support and grow artisan businesses, and share best practices in a collaborative learning community. 

Handmade is Human at the Aspen Institute


Handmade is Human at the Aspen Institute

Gina Rogari

"Handmade reveals our deepest humanity," Peggy Clark posited on December 2, 2016 to launch this year's annual meeting of the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, Handmade is Human. Now more than ever, we need to think about how to integrate artisans into global commerce, recognize the makers behind our products, and recognize what ties together people, cultures, and places around the world.

Every year, the Alliance hosts a gathering of members and friends in a vibrant, welcoming space to explore key learnings and innovations in the artisan sector. On December 2, 2016, over 75 artisan business leaders, partners, and advocates joined the Alliance team at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC for Handmade is Human.

At Handmade is Human, discussions ranged from how to unlock economic value in the artisan sector and the power of handmade in waging peace to questioning "how should we talk about handmade?" Ambassador Catherine Russell reflected on our accomplishments and challenges, Morgan Stanley's Alejandro Calderon introduced the idea of a Donor-Advised Fund for Artisans, and new and old faces took the stage to share their work and passion. Sector leaders and innovators met with artisans and business owners, building new connections and exploring how the process of hand craftsmanship reveals our deepest humanity.

"Working and creating with your hands is the oldest expression of man. The know-how of tradition is passed down from generation to generation for centuries, even millenia; it is part of our DNA, in our ancestral memory" - Marta Cucchia, Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti

Review the full agenda and speaker bios, and stay in touch with the Alliance on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for further updates!