Meet Sandra Browne: Our Interest Group Moderator for Traditional Crafts and Artisans

The promotion and development of the crafts sector is her life-long passion and this has taken her all over the globe in pursuit of a better understanding of this sector and the practices of its artisans. Over the long years in the employment of the Barbados Investment Development Corporation as the Crafts Development Coordinator, Sandra has developed relationships with many international agencies with whom she has partnered in the crafts-related work of that Corporation and of Barbados including agencies such as UNESCO, the International Trade Centre, the IADB, UNDP, Aid to Artisans, Artesanias de Colombia, Caribbean Export and more. She is a long-standing member of the World Crafts Council and was fortunate to participate in its 40th Anniversary celebrations in 2004 in Metsovo, Greece.

Sandra has continuously demonstrated her ability to undertake bold initiatives for the betterment of the crafts sector such as the successful negotiation of unprecedented South-South technical cooperation from the government of Colombia in 2013/2014 aimed at strengthening the creative industries in Barbados. This resulted in Barbadian artisans being trained in Colombia and in Barbados by Colombian experts over a year long period. Additionally, in 2014-2015, she coordinated a 14-month GEF/SGP UNDP funded project on Natural Fibres and Seeds for which she co-wrote the project proposal.

Working directly with the Technical Coordinators of the Caribbean Heritage Network Project since 2015, Sandra has, together with Dr. Wendy Hollingsworth, developed the structure, content and user interface requirements of the directory now in use by the CHN as it pertains to artisans, craftspersons and practitioners in traditional cultural heritage industries. In retirement she continues to work with the creative sector through the work of the Barbados Natural Fibres Network which she co-founded in 2015. This network ensures the retention and transfer of skills in fibrecrafts through continuous training and product development workshops. Sandra holds the BA (Hons) and the MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the PhD in History also from the UWI.

Through this CHN medium Sandra is happy for the opportunity to continue to reach out and to serve the crafts sub-sector in general and crafts practitioners in particular, especially in light of the need for juxtaposing the traditional and contemporary practices.

Recently, Sandra represented the CHN at the Association of Caribbean States' (ACS) 6th Regional Workshop for the Stengthening of Capacity-Building and 5th Meeting of the Regional Network of Artisans in Tourism of the Greater Caribbean and 2nd Training Workshop for Focal Points and the Regional Network of Artisans in Tourism of the Greater Caribbean at the ACS Secretariat in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on August 16, 2019. 

We invite you to interact with her on the Interest Group for Traditional Crafts and Artisans and learn more about our sites related to Craftspersons and Artisans


Craftsmanship in Barbados

The craft sector has become more vibrant as many craftmen make careers out of their artistic expressions. One observes more innovative craftsmenship and fresh ideas being explored. However what is the level of participation of craftspersons at regional and international workshops within the last ten years?