Cluster Development

Folk Arts & Crafts Revival

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Cluster Development

The project aims to revive and preserve the traditional arts, crafts and culture of various communities – especially the tribes, of India. Through our activities we aim to alleviate the existing poverty level, and develop sustainably, the arts and crafts of such communities, which are representatives of their culture and existence. Our mission is to support the creation, revival and preservation of original art/craft work which is rooted in a particular community/tradition or belongs to a certain tribal culture. We partner with artists to eliminate middlemen and are committed to social and economic betterment of such communities.

Our project aims to impact a community by leveraging their creativity, talent and training to become a significant voice for social change. Our objective is to build strong partnerships and collaborations that extend or deepen the presence of artists within a community – rural or urban. Our projects that strive to highlight existing community assets or address critical local issues in communities that are deeply impacted by social and economic changes. Partnering with local communities’ projects may include convening events that foster dialogue between and amongst artists and community members. These events may serve as a vehicle for creation of new works, performances, exhibitions, workshops, case studies and other activities that explore the power of art as a force for social and economic justice.

This, so the villagers refrain from abandoning their traditional occupations for labour jobs/migration temptations. Our other goal is to bridge the gap between the rural and urban and build acceptance amidst communities while sensitizing masses towards the constant loss of art forms each year.

We also aid artists through establishing better working conditions, procuring raw material and product development. Through our program, we engage rural/ tribal artists in learning about emerging market trends, or relevant social issues which helps them in understanding the type of product to make. Design Workshops allow them to understand their own traditional history, and the contemporary scope of work, thereby enabling them to innovate in keeping with the times and be less dependent on external designers. We believe that artisans are a model community who can channelize change in their community simply through their art/product and therefore strive to develop their ability to recognise and translate situations into products/paintings.

Through several creative learning workshops, and those on marketing and pricing, we strengthen a cluster’s ability to carve a niche in the market. Our market linkage program for them begins with exhibits at corporate offices which offer spaces pro-bono to encourage artisans. This intervention allows for artisans to get critical feedback on their “new” products and also sell their works while developing new business opportunities. We connect them to retail stores across Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Chennai, and Gujarat. 
We also market our artisans work to existing design houses/independent designers who may COLLABORATE/COMMISSION work to artisans. The idea is that this should be part of the artisan’s annual income, but not entirely so.




Artist-Entrepreneur, Andhra Pradesh

“In our village, it was impossible for people to work together. Because of the pressure of manufacturers’ orders, most artisans would supply at cheap rates, and some of us would be left out. Others would copy designs also. Happy Hands has not only made each artist self-sufficient, but ensured nobody copies designs. Earlier we marketed our products single-handedly, but now, when any artisan from the village gets a chance to go for an exhibition, we all give him our products. Happy Hands has made this cluster one, and now in my unit I have 10 apprentices learning and helping me. We have also got the opportunity to supply wooden pens to companies. Today, my son goes to an English-Speaking school because I can afford it now.”

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