Heritage Crafts and the City & Guilds Foundation are delighted to award two new bursaries for Black and ethnically diverse trainees in heritage crafts.
This round of bursaries is specifically focused on trainees experiencing financial hardship, as the UK undergoes the economic uncertainty of inflation, rising cost of living and spiralling energy costs.
Marcia Bennett Male is a London-based mid-career stone carver with previous training in architectural stone carving and stone masonry. Her bursary will allow her to take her career to the next level by training in portrait work, specifically how to use a traditional pointing machine for reproducing likenesses from a clay maquette. Marcia is determined to teach and pass on skills that are currently difficult for both her and her students to access in the UK.
Michelle Mateo is a Monmouth-based early-career basket maker, green wood worker and leather worker. Her bursary will allow her to train in split wood basketry, expanding her repertoire from ask to hazel and oak splint basketry, and to weave baskets in styles from the UK, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Spain and the US. Two forms of split wood basketry are currently listed on the Red List of Endangered Crafts.
It is still the case that the UK craft sector does not accurately reflect the diversity of the UK as a whole and, for this reason, we are taking positive action to target this bursary at Black and ethnically diverse groups who are currently under-represented.
Heritage Crafts and the City & Guilds Foundation believe that the value of our craft heritage comes from the diversity of skills and traditions across all of our communities, whatever their background.
The City & Guilds Foundation is part of the City & Guilds charity, and its programmes are targeted to help everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from, have opportunities to succeed.
City & Guilds Foundation Advocacy Lead Lauren Roberts said:
“Quality skills development for all is at the heart of what we do at the City & Guilds Foundation. We are incredibly excited to be working with Heritage Crafts in their mission to support black and ethnically diverse individuals, and are very proud to support learners on their journey to be highly valued members of the heritage community.”
Heritage Crafts Endangered Crafts Manager Mary Lewis said:
“We are thrilled to be working with the City & Guilds Foundation to provide bursaries for Black and ethnically diverse groups and help redress the historic imbalance of opportunity that has resulted from both overt and hidden discrimination within the heritage crafts sector. We are very excited so see the new generation of makers as much more reflective of modern British society.”
About the City & Guilds Foundation
The City & Guilds Foundation is part of the City & Guilds Group charity, and has a specific focus on high impact social investment, recognition and advocacy programmes. Each of the programmes it runs act as a catalyst to make a difference to people, organisations and society, through investing part of its surplus and resources into helping everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from, get opportunities to succeed.