To see the positive impact IFAA and the IFAM has on the artist and artisans that participate reaffirms the mission and vision of all who work so hard to ensure it's success each year. The Market is truly a life changing global event and captures my heart every time I attend.
We look forward to the market each year and have sponsored participants. we also have had the wonderful opportunity of visiting market participants in Laos and Morocco and have learnedhow much the market has meant to them and their communities.
I have been a volunteer and Board member for the past 8 years with the SFIFAM (now part of IFAA). Folk art traditions worldwide are threatened by
many factors, including the importation of cheap copies of the baskets, pottery or other traditional arts that they create. I am passionate about the mission of the Market because
the opportunities afforded to artists by the IFAA create a lifeline of sustainability for countless artisans and their communities…already more than one million people are
estimated to have been served by this organization. They say that thirty cultures go extinct every year and that 50% of cultural diversity will be lost in the next one or two generations.
I am proud to be a part of the IFAA’s effort to sustain folk art and cultural traditions worldwide.
The International Folk Art Market Santa Fe is truly a "miracle, not a market". The phenomenal event that takes place each year thanks to an amazing system of volunteers and staff is but one part of that miracle. What touches me and others about IFAM Santa Fe are the countless stories of lives transformed...the lives of the artists who attend, and those of their communities that they represent. It is an organization like no other on this planet and serves a sector of the developing world that had been struggling with globalization and lack of markets. Only ten years old, IFAM Santa Fe has had an enormous impact and I can only imagine the positive contributions IFAM Santa Fe will make in the next ten years.
I have been both a volunteer and board member and am a huge fan and supporter of the work of this amazing non profit.
I am so dedicated and supportive of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market and Alliance for many reasons. The organization has a well defined mission to assist emerging third world artisans in a dynamic and multi-faceted way. When I became involved about six years ago the market just was evolving from a start-up event to a major market in Santa Fe. Since that time the evolution for the artist participants has grown to include marketing classes and other education and now even online marketing in the form of an international online store. The market's mission is to help not only the artists, but their towns and villages as well, by promoting this idea of contribution to the well being of not only folk art, but third world economies. The continued expansion of ideas and outlets for the market mission of helping the artists and the third world is so impressive. Supporting the third world artists with sponsorships and participation in the market is a very positive, feel-good experience for me!
The International Folk Art Alliance is the most amazing non-profit organization I have ever been involved with. The Alliance helps folk artists all over the world sustain their craft, become self-sufficient, market their beautiful work and create better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities. The cornerstone of our organization is a market which is held each July in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to which over 20,000 people come over a period of three days to see and buy art from artists from all over the world. At the end of the market, 90% of the proceeds of the sales are sent home with the artists. Last year, our artists sold over $3 million in arts and crafts! For many of these wonderful artists, the money they take home to their communities truly provides life-changing opportunities: for medical care, for education, for clean water, for housing. We are making a difference in people's lives!
I have attended IFAA's International Folk Art Market-Santa Fe each year since it began eleven years ago. The market has the highest quality of artists from around the world who keep their traditional art alive by representing their cultures and heritage. The artists have received awards and recognition in their own countries, as well as, from world organizations such as UNESCO and the World Craft Council. IFAA is a well run non-profit providing artist training in business and marketing, and markets for traditional artists to create a sustainable life in the world market place.
The mission of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market is to foster economic and cultural sustainability for folk artist and folk art worldwide and to create intercultural exchange opportunities that unite the peoples of the world. IT DOES IT! The market has empowered women from under developed countries to overcome their hardships, including physical abuse and violence, to unite together in cooperatives. These women create beautiful art using historical and traditional methods to promote and share their culture. Through the sale of their art they have acquired confidence and improved not only their lives but their children's lives. These women have enriched our lives by sharing their experiences and selling their art with us at the yearly market.
After moving to Santa Fe and experiencing my first Folk Art Market, I was hooked forever. For the past few years I have taken on the responsibility of finding interpreters to work with the artists. The generosity of spirit of the interpreters is so heartwarming. Many travel in from all over the country to be interpreters during the training sessions, the panel discussions at the Folk Art Museum, and during the Market itself. They help the artists connect with the public. My favorite story from this year's Market is Kitty, an 81 year old French interpreter from North Carolina who is herself a potter. She spent all three days working with Habibou from Burkina Faso, becoming fast friends. As she wrote, "Serving as an interpreter was a wonderful experience and having lived in Habibou's country made it really special. Turns out that he would have been 6 years old when I was there. Actually the same age of our son when we lived there. Habibou called me "Maman" which was very sweet. The whole time I was running on adrenaline and was full of energy, happy, and not tired although I hadn't had much sleep. Being surrounded with beautiful art and artists from around the world was amazing. I felt like a kid in a candy shop! (Being 81, that's a great feeling to have again!).
Coming on board 4 years ago by chance as a volunteer on the Transportation Team, we have been involved ever since and plan to continue. The Folk Art Market Mission is why we return each year which states in part 'helping to empower women' and find Market humbling and exciting at the same time as we can, in some small way, help to better the lives & villages of folk artists around the globe.
The International Folk Art Alliance is a superb organization that helps folk artists from around the world in preserving their traditional art through opening avenues for sales--and the support necessary for the artists to enter a world marketplace. My husband and I have sponsored artists for the last 2 years. What a delight to meet them and have a small role in helping! In addition, the shopping experience was unequaled-- with artists from more than 60 nations offering their unique and beautiful wares. "The Market" is a highlight of our year!
This nonprofit puts on an incredible market each year that manages to offer something for everyone involved. Above all, the Market benefits the artists/artisans bringing their work and giving them a wider audience to appreciate what they have made in the preceding year. Volunteers receive a memorable experience helping the artists in their booths to display and sell their work. Visitors are treated to an array of arts and crafts that astonishes, and they are given the opportunity to acquire art forms that they may never have seen before.. There is even a special day when kids can get "passports" and go around the market gathering the flags of each country represented. The International Folk Art Alliance helps create a community that spans the globe.
I have been a fan of this organization for four years and continue to be impressed with the quality of the people involved. They have a national group of advisors who are committed to helping empower the artisans who apply to the market. It is truly an inspiring place!
I'm also a professional with expertise in craft development (manufacturing). My husband and I have been financially supporting artists with IFAA for the past 3 (4?) years and of course, buying many wares too. The advantages to clients is of course, improved standard of living, education, health but less obvious is the reduction in the economic motivation to move to urban centers (further straining challenged infrastructure) and retaining cultural heritage as an economic base. Buyers benefit by meeting the makers and by knowing their dollars have a direct impact as opposed to whatever percentages are whittled away via middlemen.
As to IFAA itself; I'm not privy to its inter-workings but as a show visitor, I can say that this show is the best show I've ever attended -and I attend a lot of trade shows (internationally).
The IFAA is an organization with a compelling mission that is also great fun. We attended the market as customers of the many skillful international artists in 2012 and were so impressed that we volunteered to help out in 2013 and be team co-chairs in 2014. The hook for us is the great good that the alliance does in encouraging and supporting artists and their communities, its impact on fostering global relationships and the just plain fun of shopping and interacting with the artists. If you haven't been to the market, come on down to Santa Fe in July 2015!
In selecting my role, I was not able to indicate that I am additionally a volunteer and donor to this fabulous organization. I have been involved on one level or another for over 9 years, and am more amazed with each passing year at the organization's ability to continue evolving and impacting the lives of so many in the work that it does. It truly is unique in every sense of the word.
IFAA/Santa Fe International Folk Art Market is a unique and wonderful organization that searches worldwide for little known but talented native folk artisans or individuals cable of and interested in producing folk art native to their local. All are from challenged socio-economic areas of the world and when they come together for Folk Art Market it is a beautiful gathering of people, color, talent, festivity, opportunity and reward.
IFAA helps these artisans identify what might be best sellers, how to improve methods and materials, ways to present their items more favorably, etc. through extensive training and coaching.
Best of all, the obvious joy and excitement of the artisans at Market who, away from home generally for the first time, are seeing a world they may not have known existed and experiencing the benefits of selling in a vast market place at favorable prices to the artisan and the customer.
Lastly, they return home with resources rarely enjoyed with a commitment to share the rewards of their participation with others of their community and fellow artisans in hopes of making their communities better places and that the other artisans may too have an opportunity to enjoy Folk Art Market in a future year.
We are extremely impressed with the purpose, methods, organization and unselfish passion displayed by all involved in the ongoing and evolving process of Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. Annette and Mervin Peters
I love being involved with the International Folk Art Market. It is so inspiring to see all the different artists from all over the world and their beautiful works. It is so rewarding to know that you are helping not only the individual artist but also many more people in their communities. I have loved getting to know some of the artists and learning more about their cultures. Here's to lots more successful years for the market!
I have been involved with this organization since its inception, as a Board member, artist liaison, volunteer and shopper. It is quite a privilege to work with the artists that gather in Santa Fe every summer, to hear their stories and to celebrate their successes. The IFAA brings them not only this opportunity for financial gain but also reinforces the notion that what they do is vital and worthy of our respect. The artists leave with money for schools, vaccines, wells, extended families, and various other individual and community projects. That they also leave with a sense of pride and purpose, is the story of the IFAA.
I love this organization. It is an extremely satisfying experience to volunteer during the Folk Art Market weekend in Santa Fe in July. Folk artists from around the globe interacting with each other and with the people from all over the US who come to see their beautiful work. As a volunteer I know I am valued by the organization itself. The staff are very verbally appreciative of all that volunteers contribute. It is one of the highlights of living in Santa Fe to be able to participate in such a wonderful endeavor.
Being a part of the IFAA and Santa Fe International Folk Art Market brings great joy and satisfaction. To meet artists from around the world and learn about their cultures is priceless. To know that you are making a difference not only the lives of these artists but the thousands who attend the market is so satisfying. To see children merrily explore the Market and meet artists who give them a flag stamp for their countries is such a joyful learning experience, Whatever you give to the IFAA you will receive back so much more......
I have been involved with the Mentor to Market training program since the beginning and attending the Market in Santa Fe since the first one. I am consistently surprised and delighted by the Market, the impact on artists, the opportunities to find amazing folk art, and the dedication and capabilities of the staff. It is an amazing operation and nonprofit. And as it continues to focus on sustainability for the artists, the global impact will be a game changer.
The Santa Fe Folk Art Market is an amazing success and story. I have attended each year since it started and have been working with the Mentir to Market Training programs for artists for the last 4 years, bringing in executives from all over the US to help the artists. Everyone who comes, including Ambassador at Large for the State Depart,met for global Women's Issues, Melanne Veveer, have been so impressed with the quality of the handcrafts and art, the scale of activities, the impact on the artists, the impact on the community, the dedication of the volunteers and the exceptional yet small staff that puts it all together. It has to be seen to be understood....it is a market, a training week, an economic development platform, a dedication to folk artists and a really fun time. This nonprofit deserves five stars and the award.
I have been involved with the IFAA as a volunteer and donor since the beginning. The success has been amazing! By providing a market for the talented and often deprived artists of the world, this market has resulted in a huge success and had a world wide influence. Here's to many more years!
My wife and I were honored to be asked to be among a core group asked to help financially support the launch of the first International Folk Art Market, and we have been deeply involved in this amazing organization ever since. I was even more honored to be asked to serve as the first Chair of the newly formed Board of the Market, now part of the umbrella organization, IFAA. I have been pleased to serve on several other non-profit boards, but none have been remotely as rewarding as service on this board. The mission of the organization, to preserve artistic and cultural heritage and to economically empower artists around the world is unique. It is noble to aid the disadvantaged, but to me, giving a way for them to earn a living and retain their dignity is even more important. IFAA deserves the many accolades it has received for its tremendous accomplishments.
My wife and I have been donors for several years as well as volunteers and enthusiastic purchasers of the IFAA market's wares. I have been actively involved in social purposes organisations in the US and in Europe for nearly 20 years. Most all such organisations espouse and strive to provide empowerment for their beneficiaries. The IFAA does this in spades. It connects great crafts people to new markets, provides them with new skills that are relevant to survive and thrive globally and has created various new channels to market that enable these crafts people to earn sums of money that would have seemed impossible beforehand. So the Crafts people get skills, market access and money to support their communities; all this is in their hands. How is that for real empowerment. The IFAA IS REMARKABLE in so many ways. Beyond the benefits for crafts people, there is the joy that consumers in the West have by seeing and buying phenomenal arts and crafts AND living and learning from the artists as hosts and volunteers. As I said, IFAA IS REMARKABLE!
The IFAA / Santa Fe International Folk Art Market are platforms that support, encourage
& promote the lives of folk artists worldwide. The impact that has resulted in the past 10
years within the artist's communities has been life changing! In addition a more educated
and growing international support base is being created.....living in Santa Fe for 36 years
we never seen a more positive arts organization. We have proudly served as volunteers,
meeting market artists @ the airport who have traveled for days, co-chairing the music/
entertainment committee, and past co-chair for the Folk Art Market.
Ray & Judy Dewey
I serve on the Advisory Board and am a HUGE FAN and SUPPORTER of this outstanding non-profit. Producing the world's largest Folk Art Market, IFAA provides opportunities to folk artists coming from all over the globe. For many of the participating artists, the income received from the weekend International Folk Art Market Santa Fe represents 10x more than they would earn in a year at home. When they return home, this income can translate into clean water for their villages, girls in school, improved health care, and thriving folk art communities. I am proud to be a part of an organization that contributes so much to so many and is "making a world of difference." JoAnn Balzer
I serve on many boards and am involved with many worthy causes, but IFAA is absolutely one of the most amazing organizations I have ever been associated with. The impact on the economic self sustenance of over 25,000 artist worldwide, improving the lives of over a quarter of a million extended family members is astounding. And, the role IFAA plays in global cultural preservation is huge. The market alone is a real life-changer, where the artists keep 90% of their sales revenue, made possible by the work of over 1500 volunteers. When an artist returns to their home country with 20 or 30 thousand dollars in sales, often in countries where average daily wage can be under one dollar... well you can do the math. Even more significant is the IFAA's commitment to robust and effective training programs and classes for the artists so their ability to market their art and achieve success in other ways and places is further enhanced. This organization is so incredibly well run, with the most committed and active board I have ever experienced. I am blessed to be associated and committed to IFAA.
I am no longer on the Board but I have known many of the people who put this together for years and when I was asked what I thought the Board needed I said it needed an insurance policy on Charlene and Judy because they were absolutely indispensable for the creation of this incredible market. First of all, they lived the vision and not just for the lives they have changed in the many countries abroad but in the lives of the volunteers and staff. In a small town, to have over 2,000 volunteers, year after year - is unheard of.
It is also remarkable that the City has been a partner in this event. Their help with the transportation has saved the market thousands of dollars.
I think it is the most exciting event in New Mexico. And the folk art merchandise is better than anywhere else in the world. To meet the artists, arrange for the merchandise to come to New Mexico, to get it packed and unpacked and priced is a monumental achievement when you consider the language barriers,
the distances, customs etc. - it is monumental. And when the board has a new idea, it is carried out before the next meeting. These people are truly amazing. And what they have done is beyond incredible.
For the last 5 years, the International Folk Art Market - Santa Fe helped our cooperative - The Cheque Oitedie - to promote the Ayoreo culture, their traditional art based on the sustainable management of Bromelia hieronymi the plant wich deliver its fine fibers to the women. They also helped us to increase the benefit for our artisans, and let us to know many people of different countries! For all these reasons we feel very happy to be a part of this family. Thank you and congratulations!!!
My husband and I have always loved folk art. When we visited the International Folk Art Market-Santa Fe for the first time 6 years ago, I actually got choked up seeing the long lines of people who also appreciate the wonderful folk art that is sold at the Market. We resolved to return to volunteer the next summer, and, amazingly, we did. We were impressed with how well the Market is run, how well the artists are respected, and how many dedicated volunteers it takes to make this incredible event happen. By the fourth year of volunteering, we found ourselves looking at houses in Santa Fe and moved here full time the next spring. We have had a leadership chair position for the last two years with a lot of responsibility. The Market staff is so dedicated, and as a volunteer I always feel valued and appreciated. It is a wonderful feeling to be a part of such an incredible endeavor where artists are able to sell their beautiful wares and return to their homes with the funds to improve their lives. Each artist's story is a beautiful story of devotion to their culture and family.
For the last six years I've volunteered at the International Folk Art Market--Santa Fe. The opportunity to assist artisans who have the backing of such a well-run organization keeps me coming back yearly. The Market cares deeply about the artisans and that shows in its high support for them emotionally, physically, and financially.
For six years my son and I have volunteered at the Market, as waterboys giving cool refreshment to attendees. He was just 10 when we started, and it's been a great experience for him. Although we play a tiny part in the weekend, we are always treated with professionalism by the organization's staff, even as the event increased exponentially in scope. It's a wonderful event and my son and I are very proud to be a part of it.
As someone whose academic career has focused on artisan enterprise development, i give the International Folk Art Market-Santa Fe a 5* rating. They are encouraging excellence in folk art creativity and production and then offering a venue for the artists to market their goods. As the artists come together in Santa Fe, they develop community among themselves which serves as a valuable ongoing resource for their future work.
I feel so blessed to be a part of this organization that is so dedicated to empowering folk artists all over the world. By creating this venue, the Market has not only given these artists an opportunity to receive the recognition they deserve and income to support their families and communities, but it has also given Market attendees, staff and volunteers the opportunity to open their eyes and hearts to the world.
This is a wonderful organization to be a part of. The work of all of the volunteers and the staff make a significant impact on the lives of thousands around the world. I'm proud to be involved as a Board Member and as a Volunteer!!
An exciting place to be, with many treasures to be found, and friends to be made from all over the world.
For ten years I have volunteered with this wonderful organization that really does change lives. After just the first year we learned something so stunning, so amazing….that if we could put just a small amount of earned money into the hands of mothers, we provided a huge life line of support not just for her, but for her daughters, who could now be sent to school and avoid the nightmare of pre-teen or early teen marriage. Young sons would be sent to school instead straight to the fields or factories. As an artist returning home with money in her hands, the mother established a position of respect in the family and in the village as an income earner. That respect helped to keep her safe within the marriage. All this benefit for the woman, her sons, her daughters and her village just by taking the brave step to apply for a booth at an annual art sale thousands of miles away in Santa Fe, New Mexico. What a miracle!
What an exciting experience to be a part of an extraordinary organization that brings together people from all over the world, provides many of these people with an essential portion of their annual earnings as well as with a venue to share their culture with others and provides the volunteers with the satisfaction of knowing that they are contributing in a significant way to making this all happen. The International Folk Art Market-Santa Fe is a swirl of colors, languages, music - a rich and exciting experience for all involved.
It has been such a joy to watch this event evolve over the last decade - I remember wheeling my then 5-minth-old through the first market on a dreary, wet summer day, impervious to the weather because of the amazing energy and vibrancy of the market. Now, 10 years later, my family looks forward to attending each year. The stories that each of the artists bring are just as important as the art they create, and we all leave feeling inspired and alive. By far one of the best events in Santa Fe each year!
I have worked with Haitians artist such as Serge Jolimeau, and Michee Ramil. The market is an opportunity for the artists to show to the world their talents, and its also a chance to help them to realize their dreams.
What a wonderful experience to hear the stories of how the $ has them and there villages. heart warming. The market is extremely colorful, well organized and very friendly.. it fosters understanding between people and makes a huge impact on all
The Market is the highlight of the year in Santa Fe. Volunteering is extremely rewarding not to mention a lot of fun. It feels good to be a part of an organization that does so much good in the world for so many people.
The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market is changing lives across the Globe by increasing awareness and appreciation of traditional arts. Since the market began in 2004, Artists have used market profits to dig wells, build schools, and other community improvements; things that were not possible before are now possible. Since the market began in 2004, it has grown to largest of it's kind in the world, and has continued to attract more visitors and increase sales every year. Artists keep 90% of all sales, and artist payout is complete within 24 hours of market closing. The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market and it's partner, The Museum of International Folk Art, provide unparalleled economic opportunities for artists, and a fantastic experience for visitors.
I have attended the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market every year since its inception. It gets better every year. It is so interesting to be able to meet artists from all over the world. Being able to bring people here supports the work of artists and allows for intercultural exchange.
I attended IFAM in Santa Fe almost every year with feel of joy and was looking forward for the incredibly colorful event every time to be amazed and amused by the endless creativity and skills of Folk Artists from many countries. In 2010 I decided to offer myself to be a volunteer as a translator (I speak Russian and Hungarian languages). It was simple to register online and close to the event I was invited for an orientation. i did not mind to drive from Albuquerque (altogether 6 times ) to join the crowd of volunteers to make the visit of participating artisans (many of them for the first time in the US) more comfortable. I was assigned to 2 young ladies from Kyrgyzstan along with 4 other Russian-speaking volunteers - i am sure we did our best in helping the Artists to communicate with the buyers during the 3 days of busy market. The Artists were very happy with the sales and expressed their hopes to be able to participate next year as well.
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 had one of the best and most educating experience of my life. The staff was competent, creative, knowledgable and flexabile. You could not ask for much more. It is a truly eye opening experience to Americans with little idea of life or conditions
I am a folklorist and for the last four years I have been the head of the artist selection committee for the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. It is the single most well-run, inspiring, influential and meaningful non-profit I know that provides opportunity for traditional artists throughout the world that they would not normally have. It makes all of the difference in hundreds of folk artists' lives--healing whole communities, providing housing, hospitals, roads and more, helping communities provide resources for orphans with AIDS, and improving the health of the artists and the arts throughout the world.
I have been involved with the Folk Art Market (IFAM) since the beginning, and just love it. At first, when it was starting out, it was exhilarating--all hands on deck, let's make this happen. It's still exciting as it's matured and our respective roles have solidified. I love the mission of creating sustainability one artist at a time; I love the experience of the market--so many people from so many countries--very vibrant. The event is very well organized and continues to improve year after year
I love this market for many reasons the most important being that many of these artists from impoverished villages and cities earn enough money to support themselves and their community. I have heard stories of market participants building fresh water systems for their village, or starting schools. The market is an invaluable resource for many many people. I also love that the market brings artisans from around the world and that market goers are able to learn about different cultures. This market has a wonderful 'passport' game for visiting children who have their 'passport' stamped by an artisan from each country - just one of many educational programs. I also love that the market provides an impetus for the artisans to continue producing their local crafts - so that ancient handcrafts will not be lost. This SF International Folk Art Market is truly a great nonprofit!
The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market is one of the most exciting events I've ever participated in or attended. I've been an active volunteer ever since attending the first Market (6 out of 7) because I wanted to be a part of something that literally helps people all over the world in the most direct way possible. The artists from many countries bring their beautiful art work, sell it to people from all over the US and go home with money they can use to put their children through school and buy supplies to create more art. The organization is extemely well-organized with minimal paid staff. Over 1600 people volunteer over the course of one week. It is the most "win-win" event that could exist for everyone involved.
The Folk Art Museum is a research facility as well as an exhibition space. It is notorious for introducing people not just to fields they didn't know but also to fields they never dreamed existed.....Unlike traditional academic art, Folk Art does not need to pass through a filter into the viewer's aesthetic nerve center....
The international Folk Art Market is a soulful, spirit-filled endeavor that I've been blessed to be a part of the past few years. Attending the market itself is an incredible experience. And to realize the impact this event and organization has on our city, state, national and international community is something to be proud of wholeheartedly.
For 5 years I have worked with indigenous artist cooperatives from Saraguro Ecuador. The women make and sell wonderful seed bead necklaces. It has been a joy to see the growth in sales each year and to hear stories about how the money earned has helped families and villages. The Santa Fe Folk Art Market is the first place these artists have had an opportunity to sell on a large scale. The artists who attended learned how to sell, export, price goods and much more from the market staff.
This year for the first time we will see the Mega Cooperative from Saraguro. It is an organization of 5 coops and the profits will be split between all of them. They hope to be able to come to the market every year. There is nothing to compare with the Santa Fe Folk Art Market anywhere.
I became involved in the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market seven years ago when I was asked to sell water for a two hour shift. The United States had invaded Iraq, and I was at a low point in my feelings about the U.S. I had been wondering what the rest of the
world must think about our country. I knew that the politics of war did not represent the "best" that the U.S. could do for the world.
As I walked up the steps into the Market, I was greeted by the most glorious sights and sounds. People from all over the world were sharing the market experience. Literally, tears swelled up in my eyes....I realized that yes, we in the U.S. were capable of showing the "world" that we cared about them, and that we were not just a country of war mongers. The stories that I heard back from the artists confirmed my conviction that the Santa Fe Internatonal Folk Art Market was truly acting as a peace ambassador. Artists who had never left their own countries, and who came reluctantly with fear of Americans, had their own stories about the generosity of the Market and its 1,000 plus volunteers.
My work with the Market took on a new level when I was asked to join the Board of Directors almost five years ago. Since then I have served for two years as the Chair of the Board. Now I see the on a day to day basis the year round dedication and commitment of the staff and volunteers to the mission of the Market. The Market truly is devoted to helping preserve cultures all over the world by providing an opportunity for folk artists to sell their art.
For the past two years I have also been involved in the community outreach of the Market. We are bringing children from improvished areas of New Mexico, many of whom have never left their own towns or pueblos let alone has the opportunity to visit a foreign country. The Market in conjunction with the Museum of International Folk Art is providing these children with the opportunity to experience hands on arts projects with our international artists.
I believe the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market truly is bringing the world together in a meaningful way.
In Santa Fe we are fortunate to be surrounded by art -- cultural, historical, and contemporary -- which we can sometimes take for granted. The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market is a wonderful reminder that for some, art is more than a way of life, it is a means of living. The work of SFIFA is so important to those who rely on their work to support themselves, their families, and their communities. It is important to those of us who enjoy art and want to contribute to the arts and know we are doing something more.
I have attended the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market (SFIFAM) every year since 2006 serving as translator for the bead artists who come from Saraguro Ecuador. SFIFAM has been an incredible experience for me and especially for these indigenous women. Not only do they sell more beadwork there in one weekend than they do in an entire year in Ecuador, but the market has provided courses to the artists which give excellent training in sales techniques, pricing, and marketing. To date five different bead artists have come from Saraguro to the SFIFAM, and they take their knowledge home with them. In addition, the monies earned have improved the quality of life for ca. 100 families, the members of the cooperatives. This money has been used for microloans administered by the cooperatives as well as many other family expenses.
The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market is an incredible organization that spreads cultural understanding here at home, and around the globe. They unite artists from around the world, and help them to sell their traditional arts at a massive festival held annually in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Run by an incredibly talented and organized staff, and amazing volunteers, the market is a well oiled machine that never ceases to amaze. Three incredible action packed days, and everything runs smoothly, even with over 22,000 people in attendance. The 2010 market brought 132 artists from 50 different countries, with over $2 million in sales. At the event artists take home 90% of the profits from the sales.. something no other organization can claim. Artists return to their home country, and many times reinvest these profits in community development. This elevates the standard of living for countless individuals, and makes a positive contribution towards social justice around the globe. The goodwill developed around the world is just incredible, and the cultural exposure for both the artists themselves and the attendees is enormous. The market honors endangered folk traditions, and increases their longevity by educating consumers, ensuring that the beauty of hand made works of art remain in our modern world. The market provides important contacts for artists that enable them to assure a fair wage and living conditions, as well as a boost to the human spirit. The impact is just enormous, and I am thankful that such a wonderful organization exists. We have attended the International Folk Art Market twice now, and look forward to many more years of participation. I have made numerous contacts for my own business, and appreciate the exposure to cultures that I do not encounter in my folk art business in Latin America. It is a true win win experience for all!
Santa Fe International Folk Arts Museum/Market is one of my favorite places in the world! To me it is the world. A trip around the globe meeting the people, geography, culture and colors that make it spin. More than a just a static monument, SFIFAM is alive. An organisation that celebrates and perpetuates the creativity that bursts, pulses and expresses what lives in the soul of humankind.
The santa Fe International Folk Art Market: Like a trip around the world featuring the best folk art - worth a trip to Santa Fe in itself!
I volunteered for the first time with the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market in July, 2010, as part of their Artist Training Program.
The first thing I noticed was the commitment and level of dedication of their volunteers, some who have been working with the organization since the inaugural market in 2004.
Working with the staff, volunteers, and artists in the week prior to the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market opening, I quickly realized what an invaluable service the Market provides to the artists they work with. Not only does the Market provide artists, including women's cooperatives, from developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Central Asia, Eurasia, and the Middle East, an opportunity to sell their work and retain 90% of their sales, they also provide training to new artists at the Market in areas such as marketing, pricing, and display techniques.
The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market truly lives up to its vision and mission statement of "fostering economic and cultural sustainability for folk artists and folk art worldwide and creating intercultural exchange opportunities that unite the peoples of the world".