Mad’in Europe, a commitment for European Cultural Heritage – The choice of Craftsmanship
European craftsmen in areas such as wood, metal, glass, ceramic, textile, stone crafts, music instruments and restoration are the guardians of European diversity, cultural heritage and know how. They are now facing business troubles because of their small visibility within an offer of cheaper and more accessible products. Moreover, during the last decades, apprenticeship and training in traditional crafts in Europe has progressively decreased and new generations are no more considering these careers.
Consequently, despite an increasing interest for rare and customized services and products, many traditional crafts are disappearing.
Mad’in Europe’s has started its activity at the end of 2013 with objective to bring sustainable and concrete support to these micro-businesses, through different actions. Mad’in Europe is connecting the European art-crafts community with international potential users: private consumers, architects, designers, interior designers, musicians, …
Its action since then has been covered by press and received a reward in 2015 (Victors 2015 – Jury & Public award) for its commitment in favor of Craftsmanship.
Action & Achievements of Mad’in Europe in three years
- Select professional high qualified makers in the above-mentioned areas, all over Europe, gather them into a unique portal (www.madineurope.eu) and make them accessible worldwide thanks to a multilingual search engine based on several key wording levels. Over 1.750 have been accepted after evaluation of their profile. They come from more than 10 European countries. New applications come every week. When accepted, craftsmen members are asked to be active and responsible of keeping their profile updated, sharing it with contacts and asking for reviews & quotations.
- Promoting crafts themselves through editorials, interviews, focus, agenda of main events in order to develop public’s awareness about crafts.
- Promote the transmission of know-how proposed by craftsmen through internships and classes.
- Support craftsmen sales through the e-commerce platform, created in November 2016. Only selected pieces are proposed to the public according to specific subjects.
- Develop the synergies between the contemporary design world and craftsmanship.
To assure these steps Mad’in Europe has created a network all over Europe and is collaborating with many regional, national & international institutions. The purpose is to merge energies and resources of all stakeholders and to focus on a common vision which is “supporting excellence by bringing sustainable growth”.
Madina Benvenuti, founder and manager of Mad’in Europe
Madina Benvenuti has lived in Italy, France, Germany and Belgium and has worked for companies in the United Kingdom.
For over 20 years she has worked for the media, for photographic studios, in communication and participated in the creation of databases of images and databases on different themes linked to World Heritage, has directed a multimedia communication project on social issues promoted by the French Senate and participated in the publication of several books.
She has been director of three Press Agencies, has managed teams and has been responsible for the sale of copyrights on all types of media, printed and web, all over the world.
“As an agent of photographers, I have worked extensively for the dissemination and enhancement of the human, artistic and natural World Heritage. Italian and French, but deeply European in spirit, I am fascinated by the quality and richness of the craftsmanship that we can find in Europe. Despite some European programs devoted to the protection of these ancient crafts, the men and women behind them are very penalized by the way we consume. My work in the world of communication and heritage has put at my disposal tools that I am happy to use for the benefit of European crafts. I am convinced that a modern approach can provide enormous support for the craft economy.”
Madina chose to put her experience and mastery of five languages at the service of European crafts, convinced that the “Made in Europe” is still a symbol of quality and creativity.
When she was working at Planet, a media agency specialized in world cultural heritage, of which she was a co-founder, Madina had discovered Japan’s National Living Treasures, men and women considered as custodians of ancestral crafts and the Japanese culture. “This is a good example. I believe that we should give more importance to the European living heritage.”
Later, with the advent of digital, Madina realized how important content and information management is. Hence the idea to give an online showcase to thousands of selected and filtered artisans of art, otherwise difficult to detect in an ocean of not always qualitative offers.
Followed by four other partners based in different European countries, and active in consulting, audiovisual and advertising, she inaugurated the Madineurope portal in Florence, during the event Artigianato & Palazzo at the end of May 2013.