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The Finnish Crafts Organization Taito

The Finnish Crafts Organization Taito was formed in 1913. It is an umbrella organisation that together with the regional Taito crafts associations, form the Taito Group. The Taito Group has the entire country as its working area, consisting of sixteen crafts associations which have more than a hundred locations. The various activities of the Taito Group reach annually approximately 135 000 attendees. The fairs and exhibitions of the Taito Group reach 1,5 million people yearly. Since the beginning, the purpose of the Taito Group has been to look after the crafts culture, enhance the necessary skills and support the entrepreneurs in the field. The Taito Group is the expert of crafts culture in Finland and it actively works as the promoter of traditions and intangible cultural heritage. The aim of the Taito Group is to recognize and protect the local crafts tradition and its practices that enable it to be reimplemented in each time to be a living culture. The Finnish Crafts Organisation Taito supports craft intagible cultural heritage in many way.

Training and consulting, looking after the interests of the handicraft traditions and skills, competitions, exhibitions, events as well as communication and marketing. The Taito Group assumes the responsibility of the handicraft and the DIY-culture. The group offers counselling and training for all age groups, for which there are various courses and workshops.

The Group is a core organiser of the basic education of arts in crafts. The basic education means teaching the basic skills of crafts, knowledge of materials and techniques, with long term goals. The teaching hours are 29 000 yearly. In Taito Toddlers, 0-5-year olds take part of the handicraft processes through playing and sensing the materials and colours. – Taito craft associations run a chain of Taito Shops, consisting of 21 stores. Shops seek local crafts products and craft related services which are developed with the entrepreneurs. The Taito Group does business with 2220 entrepreneurs.

The Taito Group publishes Taito Magazine, continuously since 1907. The magazine has six issues per year, with 6000 copies. Twice a year the Taito Group publishes a customer magazine with course information and topicals.

Every year, The Organization selects the craft of the year, which highlights the cultural heritage of the chosen craft. The organization also gives awards: every other year it alternates between the Taito Award given to a crafts entrepreneur and the young practitioners’ Taito Junior Award.

The Finnish Crafts Organization Taito is firmly connected to executing the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. It coordinates the national Circle of crafts, which consists of the central organisations, associations, museums and schools of the crafts sector. The circle organises seminars and events, publishes and disseminates information about the inventorying of the living cultural heritage and encourages the heritage work.

Pondering Crafts evenings, organised by the Taito Group around the country bring together professionals and hobbyists to discuss and share ideas about the activities in and around the crafts sector. The Finnish Crafts Organization Taito has produced conversation card series Pondering Crafts. This series of cards encourages conversation around the significance of the cultural heritage of crafts.

The mentors of crafts traditions projects organised by Taito invites to safeguard the local craft heritage. The project is executed in cooperation with the Craft Museum as well as the local cultural actors and museum authority.

The Taito Group looks after and transfers the intangible cultural heritage of craftsmanship. It works towards upholding the crafts culture with its expert statements as well as working in projects and working groups both in Finland and abroad.

Year of accreditation: 2020

Main domain(s) of the ngo’s activities: social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, traditional craftsmanship.

Main country where the NGO works: Finland

Local, national or international level of the NGO: Local, National, International

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