by Lisa McGrimmon
Looking for craft shows to attend in your area? A craft show directory is an excellent place to start your research.
Many arts associations and craft guilds publish craft show directories for the geographic are that they represent. Their listings are normally updated annually, and in general, I have found show directories from arts associations and craft guilds to be reliable sources of show information that allow you to quickly and easily discover local shows you might not know about.
If you don't know the primary association for artists and crafters in your area, it's pretty easy to find them.
I would start my search locally on the town/city and perhaps county level first. Simply do an online search for your city name and arts association or your city name and craft guild. If you live in a lower population, rural area, like me, you might have good luck searching for a county-wide arts association or craft guild as well.
That search should yield the results you need. If it doesn't though, you could also simply call the closest art gallery in your area. They will be plugged in to the local arts and craft organizations and will be able to get you started.
Associations may still publish a physical book listing many shows in your area, or they may have fully switched over to providing a digital listing of shows. Start your research by checking out the website for the arts association or craft guild that represents your area, and search the site for information about any craft show guide they publish.
If you can't find the information on their website, call or email the local arts association to ask whether they publish a craft show guide and how you may get a copy. Your library or your local Chamber of Commerce are also good places to look for craft show directories if you're having trouble finding the information online.
Craft show directories published by arts associations will normally include the name of the show, location, craft show dates, deadlines for applications, website, and contact information to reach show organizers. Once you find shows that are of interest to you, be sure to visit the shows' websites for application information.
Once you've checked your local area for shows that interest you, have a look state-wide or province-wide for any shows or festivals that are within distance that is reasonable to you and might provide good opportunities to sell your crafts. Check out official state or provincial travel sites for your area. They often provide thorough lists of festivals and shows in the region.
Although craft show directory listings will often provide application deadline dates, I have learned the hard way that the deadlines listed in these publications are not always 100 percent accurate.
Unfortunately, when I was first starting out, I missed a couple of deadlines simply because the deadline noted in the directory was incorrect. The directory listed a date later than the actual deadline, so I missed the deadline to apply to a couple of shows. Always go to the original source for crucial information like show application deadlines!
The following online craft show listings are also helpful: