Craft Studio’s success prompts change – The Maneater

Last year was a record year for the Craft Studio. In response, the Missouri Students Association are backing the effort to attach credit hours to their classes.

Last year, the Craft Studio saw a 100 percent increase in students in their Crafternoon program and a 53 percent increase in participation in multi-week classes, according to the 2014-15 annual Craft Studio report. They have also started assessing the attendance of their gallery shows and receptions.

MSA Senate Speaker Kevin Carr said making the Craft Studio’s classes for credit will help financially support the studio.

“This will tremendously bolster their whole program,” Carr said. “They will have institutional support from department heads or departments and that immediately gives a lot more leeway to interact and promote events to students.”

He said he would probably assign adding credit hours as a joint project to the Budget and Student Affairs Committees. He hopes to have this out of MSA’s hands and under the consideration of the administration by the end of the semester.

A majority of one credit hour classes offered are harder and science-related, Carr said.

Since the Craft Studio is comprised of two coordinators, five graduate students and 35 work study students, Carr said the only issue he sees is that there are no teachers present, only instructors, which could make the classes pass/fail.

Craft Studio coordinator Kelsey Hammond supports the potential of attaching credit hours to classes.

“If people want that, then we can make it happen,” Hammond said.

Carr said there are a lot of students who are interested in these classes but are not sure if they will get anything out of it.

“By getting students that tangible benefit of a credit hour, it is great for them because they know even if they aren’t getting the artistic benefit at least they are getting a credit or half a credit hour,” Carr said.

Since the art department experienced significant budget cuts, Carr said he believes the department will embrace this idea.

“If we get more people invested in art and expand their reach on campus, I don’t think it is unreasonable for their department to make significant gains in their allocated pool of resources on campus,” Carr said. “There are certain buildings that get a lot of funding, and giving the art department more influence over areas on campus is great.”

MSA Secretary of Auxiliaries Sean Earl said his biggest goal this semester will be ensuring that MSA promotes the Craft Studio.

“They are doing so good by themselves using social media, but we have so many different resources, like we can be putting commercials on MUTV, promoting it on the airwaves of KCOU and also putting it on the MSA page,” Earl said.

Although they have started charging non-MU students $2 to participate in Crafternoons, people are still attending. Hammond said the change resulted after they had upward of 125 students at a couple of their Crafternoons.

“We had to figure out what was going on,” Hammond said. “We need to consider the fact that MSA funds us. We need to start charging people who are not students for this service as we do for everything else we do.”

The Craft Studio’s assessments of their gallery shows are aimed at illustrating convey the value of art on campus.

“(The gallery) is a really good way to give exposure to up and coming artists, especially student artists,” Hammond said. “It is also a really good space because they have a lot control of what they can do in there and a lot of artists like that.”

While other galleries have rules stating what artists can and cannot do, the Craft Studio grants them more leeway. Students do not have to feel constricted by any rules such as having their work matted in a particular way, Hammond said

“We let the artists really have the space they need to realize their artistic vision,” Hammond said. “We really want their voices to be heard through that expression.”