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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

International Folk Art Alliance

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness, Economic Development, Folk Arts, International, International Cultural Exchange, International Economic Development, International Exchange, Microfinance

Mission: To celebrate and preserve living folk art traditions and create economic opportunities for and with folk artists worldwide.

Results: In 2014, the Market attracted 19,000 visitors and generated $3.02 million in sales in over two and a half days with 90% going home with the participants. 173 folk artists including representatives from artists’ cooperatives, represented 59 nations and earned an average of $19,440 from the weekend-long Market, close to ten times what many would typically earn in an entire year in their home countries. We determined that 25,690 cooperative members, 92% come from developing nations, were represented at the Market last year. Earnings from the Market help empower these cooperatives, impacting and sustaining the lives of an estimated 200,000 community members. The Market also provided improved business skill and entrepreneurial training and more market access for participating artists that helps lead them to self-sustainable livelihoods. The organization enlisted the services of 230 local vendors, has an estimated $12 million economic impact on the city of Santa Fe and the surrounding region.

Target demographics: International folk artists as participants, national and international visitors of all ages

Direct beneficiaries per year: 173 artists from 59 countries; 19,000 attendees; 230 vendors/ contractors

Geographic areas served: Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East

Programs: Mentor to Market: Artists’ Training Program for business skill-building Educational outreach for children and youth New market access for artists International Folk Art Market | Online, online store and training program for folk artists

Community Stories

65 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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!

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.






Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!).

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.
j&bcasper

Donor

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Kathleen Fasanella

Donor

Rating: 5

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).

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I began work as a volunteer and am currently a Board Member. This is a beloved event, which brings the world to those who attend in a very meaningful. From the artists to the volunteers it is an extraordinary event that is unlike any other.

Donor

Rating: 5

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

Donor

Rating: 5

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!

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.
Peggy Gaustad





Annette22

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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......

Catherine45

Advisor

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Advisor

Rating: 5

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.