Northwest CT Arts Council guide makes local shopping easy

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TORRINGTON – Thanks to an online artist directory created in 2020 by the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council, finding local artists and their creations is just a little easier, just in time for holiday shopping.

“We started developing the guide last year, around the same time, with help from the Northwest Hills Council of Governments, to help artists get more sales over the holidays,” said the Arts Council Program Director Maddie Stenson. “We also knew that many artists were struggling during the pandemic, and we wanted to help them. “


The guide includes Barkhamsted, Bethlehem, Burlington, Colebrook, Cornwall, Canaan, Goshen, Hartland, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Hartford, New Milford, Norfolk, Plymouth, Roxbury, Salisbury, Sharon, Thomaston, Torrington, Warren, Washington and Winsted.

“We signed up on our website, calling on people to send us information about their e-commerce stores and get them approved for this directory,” Stenson said. “We also researched Etsy and other websites.

“A lot of the people in the guide are people we’ve been in contact with in the past, and it was just a matter of signing them up. There are probably around 300 stores in the guide, ”Stenson said.

Since the directory was established last year, Stenson said the board has received good feedback from users and artists. “People who want to support local artists say they like to use it, and artists say it helps,” she said.

Artists interested in being listed can register on the council’s website. “Click ‘Get Listed’ and fill out the form,” Stenson said. “I think it’s very useful, since everyone has gone digital. I used it last year for my Christmas shopping, and it was great.

Site categories are another way to save time while surfing and researching. Visitors will find links to pottery, original art, painting, drawing, photography and sculpture; jewelry, clothing, furniture and home decor, stationery, literature and books, prints and photography, and music and group items. These links lead to more detailed categories; for furniture and home decor, for example, links lead to antiques, handmade signs, duvets and pillows.

A special orders page has links to artists who do pet portraits, drawings and sculptures.

In addition to a host of artist and craft websites, links are offered to creative products such as bath and herbal products, children’s toys and clothing, and local musicians.

Developing and promoting the NWCT Artist Shop Directory is part of a larger project in collaboration with the NWCT Economic Development Corp., said Stenson. Funding for this project was provided in part through the Economic Development District Additional Disaster Recovery Award of the Economic Development Administration’s CARES Act.

The artistic guide is available at www.artnwct.org/shops.

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