Arvika – A Co-Creative Community

Anna Maria Espsäter travels to Sweden to find out more about the extraordinary sense of community that makes Arvika such an interesting place to visit and such a success story in terms of creative pursuits and lifestyle.  Some 30 minutes from the Norwegian border, Arvika lies along the shores of a crystal clear lake, Glafsfj orden glittering in the autumn sunlight with immense quiet forests encroaching upon it on three sides. Despite its small size, around 15,000 in the town itself, 27,000 in the borough, Arvika is a thriving centre in a variety of ways. In Sweden it’s well-known for its successful arts and crafts community – the country’s oldest arts and crafts shop, Arvika Konsthantverk, opened its doors here in 1922. It boasts an excellent art museum, the Rackstad Museum, with works by the colony of painters that settled around nearby Lake Racken at the turn of the 19th century; there’s a large outdoor museum, Sågudden, with buildings from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries; Klässbol linen mill, not far from town, weaves the table cloths and napkins that adorn the tables at the Nobel prize dinners and these are just a few of the plenitude of things created by this community in the fi eld of arts and crafts alone.

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