28.03.2014 - UNESCO Venice Office

Building a bridge between youth and the craft community

©Il Mestiere dell’Artigiano, Benvenuto nella mia Bottega! – Shoe-maker

The 2014 edition of the project ‘Il Mestiere dell’Artigiano – Benvenuto nella mia Bottega!’ (The Artisan Craft - Welcome to my shop!) has been launched. The project aims to build a bridge between youth and the artisans and craft community.

Since its inception, over 3,500 students, from elementary, middle and high-school levels, have participated in the project. Their participation has given them the opportunity to intimately capture the professional “know-how” of artisans through personal encounters and workshops in a diverse range of professions, from carpeting and blacksmithing to building boats, shoe-making and hairdressing.

As an additional feature, the project enables students to visit significant Art Museums throughout Venice with the aim of cultivating the knowledge of younger generations concerning the conservation of the valuable works that the trades concerned have possessed and produced over time. These collaborations with the Venetian institutions have included the likes of the Museo d’Arte Sacra di Venezia, La Basilica di San Marco, Museo di Palazzo Mocenigo, and Abate Zanetti di Murano, among many others.

In 2013, following demand from the students themselves, the project expanded to the art of Venetian pastry with the aim of reinvigorating this valuable tradition and intention of cultivating future master craftsmen in this area. Furthermore, a stronger focus has been initiated in facilitating a link between high-level pre-university students and the artisans and craft sector. Through the possible future introduction of apprenticeship opportunities the project also hopes to build a bridge to employment for younger generations.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, the project continues to gain momentum and is attracting a surprisingly high level of new entries for the 2014 period. The project’s ambition that the students of today will become the artisans of tomorrow will hopefully be realized, carving the way for future custodians of traditional knowledge and preservers of invaluable forms of cultural heritage.

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The project is organized by Confartigianato in collaboration with Artsystem Associazione Culturale and the Gazzettino. The project has been institutionally supported by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice, Italy since 2011, complementing and contributing to the visibility of UNESCO’s objectives in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in Venice.

Website: http://www.mestiereartigiano.it/




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