International Folk Art Alliance
January 29, 2011
I've been involved since the inception of the Market and have continued to feel enchanted, emotionally moved to action, and privileged to be involved with such a special group of artists, staff and volunteers. Every year there are stories from the artists about how the Market has changed their own lives and those in their communities. And the more we learn about the artists and their communities, the more we all want to help them preserve their folk art and folk ways. We have thousands of volunteers who feel as though this is "their" market, as well as artists who depend on the income from the Market to care for their families, send their children to school, and build basic infrastructure in their communities.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I visited the weaving villages of one of the Peruvian cooperatives based in Cusco. The founder of the co-op has revived traditional weaving techniques, patterns, and natural dying in 10 communities in southern Peru. The weavers have a new-found pride in their skills and their heritage.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Figure out ways to expand the reach of the organization. All of our artists, as well as the new artists we haven't identified yet, need more opportunities to sell their beautiful work.
Board Member & I have volunteered as part of the artist training committee, worked with Kellogg interns from southern Africa, and served on the Board as Treasurer and now Secretary.