Judy Frater

Ashoka Fellow
Bhuj-Kutch, India
Fellow Since 2003

Citation

This profile was prepared when Judy Frater was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
Introduction
Judy Frater believes that the traditional craftsperson is the best designer to make the work of the craftsperson economically viable to consumers and a larger market. Through practical and relevant education on technology and marketing, Judy is building the expertise of the craftsperson to make a significant contribution to the sustainability of the craft tradition.
The New Idea
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

Updates

Judy Frater is Founder Director of Somaiya Kala Vidya (http://www.somaiya-kalavidya.org/), an institute of education for artisans. She has lived in Kutch, working with artisans, for 25 years. During this time she Co-founded and operated Kala Raksha Trust. She established the Kala Raksha Textile Museum, and founded Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya, the first design school for traditional artisans. For this concept, Ms. Frater was awarded an Ashoka Fellowship for social entrepreneurship in 2003. Under her eight-year tenure as Director, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya received international recognition for its unique and successful approach to education of artisans. Frater received the Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Services to Design Education in 2009, the Crafts Council of India Kamla award in 2010, and the George B. Walter’36 Service to Society Award from Lawrence University in 2014. In 2014 she joined Somaiya group to found Somaiya Kala Vidya, to take design for artisans from a program to an institute and reach its full potential. Ms. Frater is author of Threads of Identity: Embroidery and Adornment of the Nomadic Rabaris, awarded the Costume Society of America’s Milla Davenport award. Before residing in India, she was Associate Curator of Eastern Hemisphere Collections at the Textile Museum, in Washington, DC.

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