SVA Art Therapy Exchange Program in NYC- Craftivism

On Wednesday, the SVA MPS art therapy students were given the opportunity to learn about craftivism and what exactly it entails. Craftivism is all about using craft as a “gentle protest,” which enables many people of all ages to protest without the intensity of physical protesting in the way many people first think of when they hear the word “protest.”

But before getting into those details, the students were led through a guided meditation where they called upon their ancestors in hopes of gaining words of wisdom relating to something they and the world as a whole need. Many crafts go back in origin to our ancestors and often were taught to us by our ancestors. Craft is traditional types of art making that gets passed down through generations.

Through a video by Sarah Cobett, founder of the Craftivist Collective, the students gained a deeper understanding of craftivism. Tying in art therapy is really quite simple. Considering the basic definition of art therapy as a profession that helps people resolve conflict, increase self esteem, and gain insight, craftivism meets everyone of those goals as well. Being an art therapist overlaps with being a craftivist. However, there are ways to further craftivism by getting involved in gentle protests by creating objects that are a form of protest for certain issues. Whatever personal social issues you stand for, there is certainly a way to protest it using crafts.

To get the students involved in their first act of craftivism, they each made an embroidered heart with an intention personal to them. Many of the Intentions related to the wisdom that their ancestors passed on to them during the meditation. Every student walked away feeling connected and intrigued about how to further craftivism into their own practice.


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