Artisans Center of Virginia

  A Brief History of the Artisans Center of Virginia

1987: Governor Gerald Baliles included the statement “enhancement of the craft industry” in a set of directives to state agencies. At the top of that list was the need for a unified presence for Virginia Artisan handcrafted works.

1997: the Artisans Center of Virginia (ACV) was incorporated and begins to develop a statewide artisan registry.

1999 – 2008: ACV operated a successful 5,000 square foot sales and exhibitions gallery in Waynesboro, VA.

1999: Virginia’s first four artisan trails established by the “Hand Craft Alliance,” Waynesboro, Virginia, a committee of ACV’s founding members and regional partners.

2000: ACV was designated by the state, to the public, as the “official state artisans center.”

2006: Governor Mark Warner’s “Works Initiative” supports ‘Round the Mountain, the Southwest Virginia regional artisan trail development.

2006-2008: ACV performs the Alleghany Craft Network Outreach Study to identify artisan businesses in Alleghany region of the state.

2009: ACV closes the Waynesboro gallery and expands its statewide scope with a clear objective of creating statewide collaborations between state and local governments, planning districts, the small business community, arts organizations, economic development, tourism and artisans to bring the ACV strategic initiatives to fruition all across the Commonwealth.

2009 - present: ACV Artisan Trail Network statewide program is initiated with implementation on-going. As of January 2016, Virginia currently has 30 community-connected and developing artisan trails representing 46 counties and 12 cities across Commonwealth.

2010: ACV initiates it’s Studio School Entrepreneur Framework to encourage healthy business development among members and their communities.

2013: ACV’s headquarter office relocates to the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Virginia.

2014: ACV at the request of the state, initiates development of the Virginia Oyster Trail.

2014: In partnership with ‘Round the Mountain and the Virginia Tourism Corporation, ACV brings American Craft Week to the state of Virginia.

2015: Governor Terry McAuliffe declares October “Virginia Artisan Month”

2015: ACV launches Virginia Oyster Trail.

2016: ACV in partnership with ‘Round the Mountain and the Virginia Tourism Corporation release the first Statewide Artisan Industry Economic Impact Study.


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