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How to Start Your Own Satellite Reef

Thank you for your interest in the Institute For Figuring’s Satellite Reef program.

Constance Tomich and Cindy White, contributors to the Indiana State Women's Prison Reef.

The IFF appreciates the enthusiasm and curiosity of the many people worldwide who learn of the Crochet Coral Reef project and want to participate. Our Satellite Reef program includes thousands of crafters working around the world, from New York and London and Melbourne, Cape Town, Latvia and Croatia. The IFF has cultivated this supportive network since the start of the project in 2005.

A Satellite Reef begins with a committed hosting institution, which could be a museum, an aquarium, a local craft center, a college, etc. The Institute For Figuring determines a rights and programming fee based the size and scope of the proposed local Reef, as well as the duration of the project. We have a sliding scale and try to accommodate all kinds of communities. Once the Partnership Agreement between the IFF and the hosting venue is signed, organizers can begin holding workshops and generating the Satellite Reef. It is up to the organization to determine how many in-house resources go into creating the Satellite. In our experience, the more resources, the larger the Satellite. Different locales and hosts can accommodate different sizes. The longer you run the program, the bigger it will get. This project is truly grassroots and once word of it starts to spread, participation is exponential. Time is not the only factor needed for a successful Satellite, however; dedicated personnel and in-house budget are just as crucial.

The IFF provides program participants with support at the various stages of their process--we've worked with many different kinds of organizations and can advise on what has worked for others in terms of community organizing as well as readying the hundreds of pieces of coral for display. The IFF provides its Satellite Reefs with wall texts articulating the nexus of information that is itself the CCR project--the maths, ocean health, and community art as well as inclusion in the worldwide network via this website. The contextualization of your Satellite Reef within the larger CCR community is paramount to its strength, and to the integrity of the project as a whole. Organizers are responsible for ensuring that this overall framing is clearly visible and understood by participants and by any institutions that exhibit a Satellite Reef.

Please contact Anna Mayer, Manager of the Crochet Coral Reef project, at for more information.