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We're in the process of some exciting updates for our membership including:

  • updated website
  • expanded membership types
  • eliminating annual membership dues

These changes will roll out in early May.  As our team  works on improving the WCO experience we will not be accepting new members (other than those currently in Artisan Review).

Our member application will open again when our updated website is relaunched in May (exact date TBA soon).

The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, originally named the Pennsylvania Wilds Artisan Trail, was initially imagined as a way to grow the nature and heritage tourism industry in the Pennsylvania Wilds by promoting the region’s unique artisan wood products, and tying them to the regional PA Wilds brand. The opportunity, however, was much greater.

The PA Wilds is home to an impressive and diverse community of skilled artisans, craftspeople, and producers working across a variety of media. In the 2007, following the Artisan Development Initiative economics study, the PA Wilds Artisan Trail program was born. In 2015, the program was relaunched as the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania to better reflect its growing membership and mission. 

We are proud to be building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Pennsylvania Wilds, helping our creative makers and businesses network and learn from each other, and bringing products to market that reflect our region’s natural beauty, bounty and rural traditions, while giving an economic boost to our communities.

MEMBERSHIP TYPES



CREATIVE MAKERS

Artisans, micro-producers, and creative service providers at the heart of Wilds Cooperative.

You make and sell things. Products that can range from wood carving to painting to maple syrup or you provide a service, anything from music to writing to website design.
And everything in between.

Artisans within the Cooperative are self-categorized; no matter what term you choose, it’s about the creative genius of residents who are passionate about what they create, who appreciate things local, and want to reach a broader audience.

MEMBER TYPES INCLUDE:
Creative Service Partners &  Juried Artisans: Food, Craft + Visual 

EXPERIENCE MAKERS

Small businesses, organizations and communities that provide an experience and enhance the overall traveler experience in the Pennsylvania Wilds.

You’re the ones providing the experiences that make the PA Wilds a place worth exploring. From state parks, to festivals, to specialty retail, to outfitters to municipalities. And everything in between.

You are at the heart of what’s happening in the PA Wilds.

MEMBER TYPES INCLUDE:
Host Sites, Explorers, Trading Posts, & Community Partners



BECOMING A MEMBER


WHO MAY APPLY

Across many fields - in visual arts, craft, food, architecture and design - artists and artisans who live in the Pennsylvania Wilds may apply to this program as Juried Artisan Members. Certain artisans who engage in retail activity may elect to join as juried Trading Post Members.

Businesses, non-chain retailers and restaurants, qualified entrepreneurs, organizations (for profit and nonprofit), if based in the Pennsylvania Wilds, are welcome to apply as Host Site Members

The 12 ½ counties that comprise the region are Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Warren and northern Centre County (north of I-80). 


HOW TO APPLY

The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania reaches out to visitors using social media plus smartphone, tablet and other computer-friendly resources that rely on the internet. Members benefit greatly from this extended reach, but in the PA Wilds, easy access networking does not extend everywhere, nor are required computer skills universally held.

To take the required steps toward membership, you will need to use a combination of basic computer skills: completing an application and registering to be juried, working with & uploading your images to a digital photo album.  Artisans and Creative Service Partners are only reviewed for the jury process twice a year, in September and March.

REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATION

Residency

All applicants must have been full-time Pennsylvania Wilds residents for at least six months prior to the application deadline. To actively produce and sell juried work under program membership, Juried Artisan Members must remain as PA Wilds residents.
For proof of identity, submit copies of any one of the following with your application:
• Valid and current (unexpired) Pennsylvania Drivers License or PA State ID Card with legible dates of issuance and expiration;
•Voter registration card (stamped copy from county clerk’s office);
•Unexpired U.S. Passport or Permanent Resident Card with legible dates;
• Proof of lawful admittance for permanent residence or proof of permission from the Department of Homeland Security to work permanently in the U.S.; For proof of residency (required only for new individual applicants), submit copies of any one of the following with your application;
• Current utility bill (gas, electric, phone, cable, satellite, etc.), lease agreement or property tax record (owners), showing name and address.

SALES TAX LICENSE

If you make taxable sales, you are required to obtain a PA Sales Tax License. Visit business.pa.gov and search “rev-717” for details.

STATE AND FEDERAL REGISTRATION

It is your responsibility to inform yourself about doing business in Pennsylvania. Entrepreneurs who operate under their own given name as Sole Proprietors, with zero employees, and use their Social Security Number for tax filing are not required to register their businesses with the PA Department of State. All others must register. Business establishments with paid employees must register with the state. Visit dced.pa.gov/business-assistance/small-business-assistance, where small business owners can electronically register with the PA Departments of Labor and Industry, Revenue, and State. The PA Small Business Development Center is also a useful resource. Federal regulations can change. Consult the Small Business Administration (sba.gov) and the Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov) for more about business requirements.

FOOD SAFETY

Food artisans, producers and retail food facilities must comply with all PA Department of Agriculture guidelines, as well as applicable state and local regulations. Applicants must have the necessary permits/licenses in hand, before submitting an application to the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania. Food retail and/or wholesale operators, and their employees, must be in compliance with applicable provisions of the Federal Food Safety Act, the Retail Food Facility Safety Act and requirements referenced at the PA Dept of Agriculture site (agriculture.pa.gov).

NATIVE AMERICAN APPLICANTS 

Native American works must be submitted along with a copy of applicant’s membership card in a federally or state recognized Indian tribe, band, nation, organized group or community for authenticity purposes. The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 makes it illegal to sell or display with intent to sell, any product not made by Native American Indians in a way that falsely suggests it was.


Billing inquiries? Member Support? Contact our Admin  Partner:
Elk County Council on the Arts
237 Main  St.  Ridgway.  PA 15853  | 814-772-7051 | wildscopa@pawildscenter.org
The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania
is a program of the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship,
a regional 
non-profit. Learn more at pawildscenter.org

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