Craftivism Class Students Bake Causes Into Treats

By Dan DiPrinzio | December 20, 2023

Students from Arcadia University’s Craftivism honors class enjoyed homemade baked treats with activist messages to celebrate the end of the semester. 

Part of a final project, the desserts depicted causes and topics near and dear to the students’ hearts. Before digging in, students explained what topic they chose and why they think it’s important.

Emily Hamscher ’24, a Biology major, baked a spiced cake in her Oak Summit apartment and iced it with the words “The Earth can fill our needs, not our greed.” 

Hamscher said she chose to talk about the effects of climate change on the Earth because of a class she took here at Arcadia. 

“My project talks about how we’re exploiting our resources and damaging the environment,” she said. “I was inspired to do this because I learned a lot about climate change here at Arcadia and it really opened my eyes about how serious the damage to Earth is right now.” 

Layla Engle ’24, a Biology major, decided to bake brownies with the message “History has its eyes on you” because of the charged political climate in the United States and around the world. 

“The inspiration behind my project was all the politics going on right now – especially with the election next year,”  Engle said. “It’s a reminder that no matter which way you vote, you don’t have history repeating itself and that we want to move forward. The efforts we have made to get to this point shouldn’t go backwards.”

Craftivism – craft + activism – is the act of using traditional, domestic arts as a formway of activism, protest, and social empowerment. The Craftivism class is available every fFall semester on campus as part of the Honors program. 

“This is an activism class for introverts,” said Carole Loeffler, assistant director of the Honors Program and professor of Visual and Performing Arts. “The whole idea is to make connections with people and have one-on-one conversations.”

As part of a different project this semester, students made craft pouches and donated them to the Schuylkill Nature Center in Philadelphia, which helps rehabilitate injured animals.

“We join an existing organization that’s already doing good work and support them,” said Loeffler. “The Schuylkill Nature Center made a call for fleece pouches, so that’s what some of the students made and delivered this week.

“Other students made things for other projects,” she added. “For example, one student knitted a blanket and donated it to a homeless shelter.”