The Northern Virginia Handcrafter Guild is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization in support of artisans and art & craft in the DC Metro area. Beginning in 1972, “open without qualification to anyone interested in crafts”, to support, promote, and educate the public about the tradition and value of handmade art and craft.
“Hide not your talents- they for use were made, What’s a sundial in the shade?”
The guild raised money to operate with a yard sale, then moved on to events in Tyson's Mall with gold tablecloths to the floor, no jewelry allowed (and no lawn chairs), to the events located at Embassy Suites, Falls Church Community Center, Mazza Galleria, White Flint Mall, and Ballston Commons. Some of the early events of the Guild had a large Christmas tree, decorated with bows and ornaments for a charity raffle, proceeds to benefit the Guilds community work. The events at Vienna Community Center (VCC) began with a spring show and then became an annual event Thanksgiving weekend in 1983. From 1990-1994 shows were concurrent at Embassy suites and Vienna Community Center to have an opportunity for all the artisans in the Guild. In 2002, the event was officially renamed the NVHG Holiday Art and Craft Showcase. There was a Spring Show at Northern Virginia Community College (2010,2011) and had shows at the South Run RECenter and Spring Hill RECenter.
NVHG is now back at the renovated VCC, presenting the NVHG Holiday Art & Craft Showcase, with the Guild artisans, and taken on the management of the McLean Community Center Holiday Art & Craft Show
The Guild has always donated craft supplies to area facilities and held workshops, donating skills and time to the community. Guild members created holiday or birthday gifts for the elderly and home-bound in local areas with the Meals on Wheels Program beginning in 1979, which has expanded to a monthly item contribution. Second Story, a community program for displaced teenagers in need, receives monthly support of craft donations and requested items to help an ever-changing group of teens in crisis. In addition, the Northern Virginia Handcrafters Guild Scholarship program is over 40 years old, helping deserving students complete their further education in art and craft.
The extra work and fellowship involved in these community activities is not only fulfilling but mention of such community activities often results in added press or advertisement. As an example, in the past there was a display at the Smithsonian of Christmas decorations done by the Guild. Some of these decorations were even selected by the Renwick for their permanent collection. What a coup!
Currently, the Guild sees a reemerging respect of the handmade, special, and out of the ordinary. With a newsletter since 1976, and a website since 2000, the guild looks to the future to a robust membership to rival our past. Although the Guild is ever-changing in its structure and presence, NVHG will continue its mission supporting artisans, promoting art and craft, and the community.
1st Vice President (Shows)
2nd Vice President (Publicity)
1st Director (Programs)
2nd Director (Community Services)
Mary Ann Rich