Contemporary Arts and Crafts (CAC) is one of Mumbai’s oldest arts and crafts home stores. Working with artisans across the country to keep traditional Indian arts and crafts alive, CAC has developed a range of products for the modern day Indian home. THE BEGINNING Contemporary Arts & Crafts or CAC, as it is now fondly known, opened its doors in 1962. Conceived by a couple of architects and furniture makers, CAC sought to fill a vacuum left by the closure of British-Evans Fraser, Whiteway Ladlow and Army Navy in the 50’s. CAC began by looking at a few traditional Indian art forms that ranged from Kalamkari bedcovers from East India to glasswork from Uttar Pradesh. The idea was to educate Indians about the beauty of Indian craftsmanship, before it was fashionable to "buy Indian". At a time when Indians were enamoured with having imported goods in their homes, CAC set about its task of advocating Indian products. Vina Mody and her partners were also keen to help develop an export market for the craftspeople who worked with them. They travelled to different parts of the world promoting Indian textiles and Indian Art, while foreign tourists and business travellers to Bombay were now regulars at CAC. 1980s By now the range at CAC had grown to cover everything one would need for a house and more. Studio pottery from Auroville, glassware from Moradabad and ceramic dinnerware from Aligarh now shared space with block and screen printed bed and table linen as well as cushion covers from every part of India. Wooden items like salad bowls, trolleys, waste bins and trays were found in all shapes and sizes. TODAY Fifty years on and CAC has found a new home in the Fort district of Mumbai, the heart of the city. The new 3,500 square feet store is packed with products that CAC regulars now expect to find, but it has also started working towards attracting a newer younger generation of buyers. A new range of brightly coloured recycled moorah’s and stools, industrial lamps and shelving units now sit side by side with traditional Ikat bedcovers and Dokrah pieces from Orissa. With stores in Mumbai and Pune, CAC is looking forward at continuing its tradition of serving the finest Indian art and craft products to the Indian consumer. LOOKING A HEAD One of our goals at CAC today is to encourage and educate young people to support Indian arts and crafts. A way in which we see to do this is by setting aside a space within CAC as a craft gallery where we can hold talks, have karigars demonstrate their skills and help young designers to showcase their products. With this we hope to spread awareness about the rich cultural heritage that exists in our country.