2023 National Arts and Crafts Fair Reignites Support for Indigenous Creative Industries and Elevates Schools of Living Traditions to The National Stage

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The Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (DTI-BDTP) together with the DTI Regional and Provincial Offices successfully concluded the 2023 National Arts and Crafts Fair (NACF), a 5-day showcase of Philippines’ rich cultural heritage conceptualized by Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda. NACF spotlights not only the nation’s Indigenous creative industries but also elevated the Schools of Living Traditions (SLTs) and the National Living Treasures or Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) awardees to a prominent national platform.

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The 2023 NACF featured a diverse range of handicrafts, each bearing the distinct markings of Filipino culture and creativity. From intricately handwoven textiles and basketry to meticulously carved woodwork, the event displayed the talents of artisans and craftsmen representing the country’s 17 regions. Intending to preserve and revitalize indigenous creative industries and preserve our cultural heritage, the 2023 NACF also brings these traditions into contemporary life as part of the evolving mainstream Filipino identity. Consumer and market support for this initiative can be measured by the Php 28.49-million in retail sales and booked orders for the 232 exhibitors.

 

The 2023 NACF was well-attended by members of the diplomatic corps, key dignitaries, and government officials, affirming their commitment to supporting and promoting the indigenous creative industries. In particular, Senator Loren Legarda spoke passionately about the need for continued investment in these sectors to ensure their long-term vitality.

 

Presentations by different SLTs from all over the country were among the standout highlights of the fair, offering insight into the traditions, techniques, and beliefs that have been handed down through generations. Promoting SLTs not only enhances awareness and appreciation of their unique products but also increases income-generating opportunities, thus contributing to the sustainability of these indigenous communities.

 

The presentations were livestreamed as part of the daily program of activities, and remain accessible on BDTP’s Facebook page (DTI.BDTP).

 

The Design Center of the Philippines and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts were also key collaborators of the event. An NACF e-magazine has been published featuring the MSME-participants who, in their own words, share their beginnings, their struggles, their learnings, and their successes. This can be accessed on https://bit.ly/23NACF.

 

The DTI-Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion has various programs to expand market access of Filipino MSMEs. To stay updated about their initiatives, please follow their social media accounts on Facebook (DTI.BDTP), Instagram (dti.bdtp), and Twitter (@DTI_BDTP). You may also email BDTP Director Marievic M. Bonoan at bdtp@dti.gov.ph.

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