Craft Optimism is an online marketplace featuring beautifully made, hand-crafted American goods that educate the public about climate change or inspire or model a sustainable response to climate change. Proceeds from this fund-raising effort are awarded through grants for Research, Education and Conservation projects throughout the 19 museums and the National Zoological Park of the Smithsonian Institution.
Registration is required. 


Set up a Bidsquare Account

1. Go to Bidsquare.com

2. Complete the form and click “Create Account”

You will receive an email from Bidsquare. Click the link in the email to complete the registration process. Registration/Account set up is free on but you will be asked for a credit card for identity verification. (A temporary $1 charge may be made, then reversed on the credit card).

Now You Are Ready to Browse the artists’ shops in Craft Optimism! Remember to check out “View Catalogue” to see more than the first 12 items in each artist’s shop.

To Shop Craft Optimism

1. Go to Craft Optimism. When you click on an artist shop you will be taken to their storefont landing page that displays 12 featured images. Click VIEW CATALOG at the bottom of the landing page to see all the items in the artist’s shop.

2. To Browse, click on an item in the storefront to get full details and to see additional photos. If you have further questions, you can click Inquire Now link to send the artist an e-mail.

3. To Shop, use the one-click registration button at the top of each artist’s shop. Press BUY NOW on the item of your choice, and you will receive an invoice from the artist by email.

4. To Return to the full list of artists on the Smithsonian Craft Optimism Main Page, click the link in the artists’ description at the bottom of their storefront banner that says, “CLICK HERE to see all Craft Optimism artists” or go to Craft Optimism.

Our Process:

Experts in the craft community nominated artists and makers based on the high quality of their crafts and their commitment to combat climate change. Nominators included representatives from:

  • Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery
  • National Museum of the American Indian
  • Carnegie Museum of Art
  • The Penland School of Craft
  • The Haystack School of Craft
  • Ornament Magazine
  • Honoring the Future

The Curating Committee reviewed our expert artist recommendations and worked to select a diverse group of sustainable artists.

What is our sustainability criteria?

Each artist was asked to include a statement that explained how their work or their practice met the at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be created in a manner that helps to address climate change by fostering energy conservation, water conservation, waterway protection, stormwater management, tree preservation and protection, use of solar or wind energy, waste reduction, use of recycled or repurposed material, urban gardening, or other appropriate measures.
  • Address/reflect the Impacts of climate change, including: population displacement, glacial ice melt, ocean acidification, extreme weather, droughts, floods, wildfires, species loss, human health effects.

Our partners at Honoring the Future lent their expertise and evaluated all applicants based on their sustainability statement.