State News

Crafts generate $206M for western N.C. economy

Posted April 3, 2009 4:01 a.m. EDT
Updated April 3, 2009 9:57 a.m. EDT

— The head of the state Department of Cultural Resources said Friday that the craft industry generates more than $206 million a year for the economy of western North Carolina.

Secretary Linda Carlisle made the announcement at the headquarters of HandMade in America in Asheville. She was joined by representatives of the six groups that commissioned the study to update figures from 1995. Fourteen years ago, the crafts industry had a $122 million impact on the region.

The study details the economic contributions of crafts by sector, including artists, retail galleries, schools and consumers.

“Craft feeds the heart and families throughout western North Carolina,” Carlisle said in a statement. “This new research study highlights the leadership, entrepreneurship and educational resources of this nimble industry, and provides in-depth information about the financial support it brings to the region.”

The findings concluded that the region is well-established as a leading U.S. center for craft production and education and, as such, is both a significant growth industry and a draw for tourists, one of our region’s main sources of revenue.